BAS Pride 2015: What The LGBT Community Taught Me About Love & Marriage
My heart is filled with love this morning.
Same-sex marriage is legal in every single one of these United States of America. Living in America, believing in the American ‘dream’, these ideas, this almost imaginary possibility – one can quickly become disheartened by all the bad news, the hypocrisy, the going-back-on-their-promise, the mythic creature of equality, but this morning we all woke to some great news. The LGBT community won a long and very hard fought fight today. The most basic and primal and eternal concepts of union and commitment have been affirmed today. Love won today
I don’t want to go into anything else right now. It’d be unnecessary. Who was against it, what they said, who did what is not important right now. Today is celebration. Today is call out of work. Today is champagne for breakfast. I wanted to write this note telling the LGBT community what they’ve taught me about this finally equal institution of marriage.
You’ve taught me to change the paradigm of marriage…
Throughout this struggle I’ve always heard this argument of ‘they are changing the definition of marriage’ I would argue that can be a great and urgently necessary thing. When you look at the rates of divorce within five years of anywhere from 50-70% (depending of what studies you’ve read) we should all agree that something does, in fact, need to drastically change and with the success rate of same-sex relationships being so high, I think we could use their participation in bringing these numbers down.
As a heterosexual male I rarely see marriage affirmed in conversation the way it should, the way I’ve more commonly seen it represented in the LGBT community. There are so many marriages I see that don’t fight for love because they don’t have to. It hasn’t been taken from them or never given as an option. I see more marriages that follow a forced societal narrative than a true love story. I see more men and women together and all very unhappy. Marriage is constantly spoken of in terms of limitation, what is taken away, what you can’t do versus as a freedom and something that propels you into the unknown. What we see is marriage as a luxury that’s gone undervalued and taken for granted all in the face of people denied this basic human right. More hetero couples discuss being unhappily married, actually warn against marriage than being blissfully married, but isn’t THAT what marriage
About finding that one person with whom we can explore the depth of ourselves and this boundless and beautiful life with. About finding that one person who not only loves your quirks, but cultivates more, adds more layers and removes old ones. About finding the one who will walk in karmic footsteps, unafraid to be reborn, towards nirvana’s horizon which you’ll never reach, but that’s ok. Who fluently speaks your language and writes stanzas and silence in a calm unfettered understanding. About finding that one person who will grab your hand and tread all sand and jungle and mountain, who grips that hand fearlessly in the face of eternity whether utopia or apocalypse. About finding that person whose love is quantum with forever seconds away. Isn’t that what this is about?
You’ve taught me about partnership…
Whenever I would talk to gay couples they would use the term ‘partner’ – my partner and I etc. and I always liked that term more. Husband and wife in their highest expressions are ‘partners’ and I felt the gay community embodied something that transcended these titles. Like, they had the golden ticket and never knew it. I always felt like they had something I wanted, something that more hetero couples needed to work towards and fight for. I know a lot of gay couples with partners, but not a lot of hetero couples with partners. As a little boy growing up in San Francisco, whenever I saw a gay couple walking or at a bus stop I always remembered them holding hands. I would look up at them, they would smile down at me and wink and I would slyly smirk and giggle. I thought it was so cool. It always seemed like they were with their best friend.
If marriage is the highest expression of love and commitment like poetry is to writing, I want to congratulate you on this victory, but more importantly I want to commend and thank you for the beautiful example you’ve set. This beautiful and possible new paradigm. For all the blood, tears and heartbreak, today is a victory and we are happy this morning and so very PROUD!