Archive for June, 2014

I started crafting a well composed and well thought out blog post half a dozen times at least.  A compact and cautiously worded essay balancing my less than charitable thoughts with warm understanding and compassion.   But every time I felt that, although I agreed with the sentiments I was expressing, my heart was not entirely there.  Because the things I want to say are not as nice as I’d like to think I am, because there’s something about June that sometimes pisses me off.  For straight people, June has traditionally been a month filled with weddings and engagements.  For queers it’s been a month of Pride Parades and rallies.  White taffeta vs. rainbow extravaganza.  Weddings were a ‘them’ thing.  A contentious thing.  A thing we could not partake in.  Now, in 19 states and DC, we can.  Marriage equality has gotten a good toehold and we are not going back.

But…

1 – I believe in equality, I believe we should all have the same rights, including the right to marry, but that does not mean that I believe, or don’t believe, in the institution of marriage.  Saying I want to be seen as equal is NOT the same as saying I want to get married.   We have our own history, our own culture, and for many of us, that culture does not include the great desire to get legally married, only the great desire to be seen as human and equal.

2 – Why do straight people think it’s OK to ask questions about my relationship they would never ask a straight couple?  Not every straight person, and not even all that often, but these questions have been asked –

If I refer to her as my wife or spouse –

Are you married?

If we say yes

Legally?

In what state?

How do you have sex?

3 – I think it’s great that you believe in equality.   Put another way, I think people who do not believe in human equality are kind of fucked up.  So yes, it’s good that you are in favor of marriage equality, but you don’t need to tell me that any more than I need to tell you that I believe you have a right to marry.  I don’t need your validation or approval.  Yes, having someone smile and tell me that they think it’s fine that I’m gay is a lot better than gay bashing but it is kind of condescending, you know?  Telling my you don’t think it’s anyone’s business what I do in the privacy of my own home makes me a little suspicious that you’re actually thinking about what I do in the privacy of my own home (hint: if you watch girl on girl porn, that NOT it)

4 – This question has to go ‘Why do you people need a Pride Parade?  Why do you have to be proud of being gay?  We don’t have a straight pride parade’

Because straight culture did not suffer shame at the hands of gay culture, because you probably did not come of age being told there was something wrong with being straight, you did not have to come from a place of shame, to acceptance, to pride in being.

 

So that’s my rant.  It’s maybe not my kindest, most open side, but it’s how I sometimes feel.

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What about love? There’s a topic that’s been dissected, written, poured over, expounded upon to excess. Because we’ve probably all felt love at one point or another in our lives, and there are so many sticky issues, so many surprises. Love can draw you into the depths of a darkness that defies logic, and just as quickly, just as definitely, bring fill you with a sense of euphoria that overwhelms all sensibility. Right away people think of romantic love, that’s obviously a biggie, and the other loves we feel so often seem tamely calm by contrast that we can forget their impact on our lives.

For most of us, first love is parental love. Our infant selves loved without question, without limit. There’s no way of making it through childhood unscarred. And this with loving, caring parents who want the best for their children, who mean no harm. We long to make them proud, and in our tiny child worlds we suffer the hardest strike of failure when we think we have not met the mark. It is in this framework that we learn we are not perfect, long before we realize that they, our parents, are not perfect either. But also, our love for our parents, and their love for us, follows us, always faithful, allowing for our mistakes, bolstering us in the face of the adversities of life. From our parents we learn of love in darkness and light.

The love we feel for our children is fraught with peril, this love takes us by surprise no matter how much we expect it, overwhelmed by the shear force of emotion, at the lengths we know we’d go to to protect this life put in our trust, and knowing even as we dedicate ourselves to our children there will be missteps, errors, slights that we did not intend. I do not mean to be the harbinger of doom, to point out that all love is flawed, it is, but that’s beside the point. Our children forgive us our missteps, it is from them that we learn the largess, the generosity of true love, the ability to see beyond the details into the solid force of it.

As children we discover the extensive pallet of love, how it covers all manner of family; siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and the rest. That our friends fit into this rubric too, that there are degrees of love, even if we cannot find any exact measure.

There is an understanding early on that romantic love exists, that one day our hearts will open in this different way, enveloping us in a love like no other. This other word, lust, skirts around us, ready to take us in, take us by surprise, toss us headlong so that we fall hard when we fall in love, landing in a heap, heaving and shaking, simultaneously without doubt and completely unsure.

There had been an assumption, from culture, from parents, from… and I waited patiently as friend after friend developed this thing called a crush on one or another cute guy. So the rush of feeling I felt the first time I saw a girl in that way was not immediately clear to me. I did not define this sudden sense of longing as love or lust, at first it was just some strange affliction that caused heart palpitations, but with time I understood, this was it, the ‘love’ they all talked about.

And still, nothing prepared me, more than three decades later, for this love I am in. At the cusp of fifty I found myself as shy as a school boy, as sleepless as a youngster with a first crush, overwhelmed by the raw force of emotion she brought out in me. I ascribed it to nothing but carnal desire, there was no doubt that her physical self threw me into all manner of want, so it was easy enough to be jaded about it, to tell myself it was casual, I was good at sex without strings, it was no big deal. I fell into that boiling pot of emotion as innocent as a lobster.

how does one define this visceral yet intangible state of being?

 

Random…

Posted: June 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

It’s going to take me a while to get back in the swing of blogging regularly.  Not for lack of desire, but it’s messy and hard to write.  I want to be open and honest about myself, my feelings and failings etc. while at the same time not letting myself slip into self-absorption.  I want to share my love and my difficulties with being in a long term relationship, but I do not want to in any way appear publicly critical of my partner.  How to document struggles and emotions without too much navel gazing and without whining or blame?