Thursday, June 10, 2010

Some very special friends

June is Gay Pride Month
Some very dear people in my life are gay. It has never really mattered to me either way. I tend to use Dennis Miller's quote
"The MOST important thing in MY life is my orgasm and the Least important thing is YOURS" That is kinda how I look at it.

My friends are my friends because of how they treat me and the people around me. How they interact with life and are good citizens of the world- kind and caring...

A friend of mine was asked by her company to write an essay for gay pride month about being gay in America. The following is what she wrote. I thought more people should read it, so I ask her if I could post it here. It's something to think about.

The “American Dream”….

I think everyone in this country really just wants a fair shake to earn their piece of the pie and live life as best as they know how. For some, that is a wife, a husband, and 2.5 kids and for others it is not.
Being a member of the GLBT (gay & lesbian) community I know that Oklahoma is one of the most conservative and religiously backed states in the country. Growing up here has been a very difficult and trying time for me and most of my friends. We go to school and grow up learning about how great this country is. We have a constitution that protects the citizens and we are all created equal and have the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. Then when we are grown up and live in the real world we realize quickly that this is not true. Living in the GLBT community you are lucky to feel like a second class citizen, it is typically more like an invisible citizen.
Just take an imaginary trip with me for a second….

Suppose you had a life partner of 10 years that you would marry if you were given the chance. Your life is amazing together and you wish to have a child. You have a friend that would be a willing donor, but then you learn that in Oklahoma a doctor will not do the procedure unless the donor is your husband. Getting pregnant and having a child is suddenly put on hold.
Maybe you should be foster parents and adopt, help kids that really need it. After speaking to the state you learn that only one of you can be the “adoptive parent”. This does not seem like that big of a deal until 10 years from now you (the one that is not the adoptive parent) has to rush the kid to the emergency room and can’t make parental decisions on his behalf. During this time of raising the kid and giving him a better home than he had at the 5 previous foster homes you get to see all of the talk shows and news shows saying that same sex couples shouldn’t be able to adopt, that “gay people will raise gay babies”.
You and your life partner, being responsible parents, decide it’s time to buy a house. Your partner has the better financial situation so you put the house in her name. When you add your house on insurance you ask if you can get multi line and multi car discount and you learn that you can if your partner puts her name on your car title, but if you were straight and married it wouldn’t be an issue. You also inquire about long term care because you are at the age when you should be getting it. You learn that if you were married you could get a discount for you and your spouse both signing up. But, since you are both female and “just life partners” not recognized by the state, you are not eligible for the discounts. You want to purchase life insurance on junior to make sure he is protected, but since you are not the “adoptive parent” you do not technically have an insurable interest in him and your partner has to do it.
A few more years down the road you get really sick and have to have emergency surgery. Surgery does not go all that well and you wind up in the ICU recovery room. The visiting rules are only family, 10 minute visits every couple hours. Your life partner has to lie and say she is your sister to be able to visit you and that is only if your parents do not stop her. (Remember, they don’t agree with your “situation”) You have talked about your life wishes and medical wishes with your partner numerous times, but not with your parents because you are not that close anymore. They kind of shunned you. Unless you have proper legal papers in place, your parents speak for you and not your life partner (the one you would marry if you had the right). But God is on your side and you make it thru the ordeal.
Carry on with your life until 5 years later. Your partner is tragically killed in an automobile accident. Remember how her parents didn’t really care for you either and how the house is only in her name? You finish at the funeral that you didn’t get to plan only to come home to them packing up your stuff. You are being kicked out of your house that you have lived in and paid the bills on for years, because it was only in her name and you are not married so you have no right to the property, they are going to sell it. Remember the kid that you have raised that you have no “legal right” to? Is fighting for custody for him something you really want to have to go thru at THIS point?

This sounds like a nightmare, but stories like this are a harsh reality. What does the couple really want? Do they want to stick out, be different and be a pain? Or do they really just want their piece of the American Dream?

There are members of the community, just like the rest of the world, that do not wish to be married and that is fine. Have you ever been with your boyfriend or girlfriend, walking around during a date and just wanted to reach down and hold their hand? It’s a sweet gesture and it shows you care. Have you ever been afraid to do that in public because at best you just have fowl things yelled at you and at worst your are physically attacked and sometimes even killed? Hate crimes are a real part of the world and that is a very sad fact. To be verbally or physically abused all because you love someone.
A typical stereotype I hear is that gay people try to convert a straight person to be gay and that is comical. I have never told a straight girl that she just hasn’t been with the right lesbian and I could change her mind, but if I had a dollar for every time a straight man told me that I just haven’t been with the right guy yet and he could change my mind I would be rich.
I also hear a lot that being gay is a choice and it is for most of us. We could live the straight life and feel like a visitor in our own body which is miserable or we could do what feels right and natural and “choose” to be happy and be gay. “Coming out” is an issue in itself. At some point all of us get to the point when we are tired of lying and saying our partner is our roommate and making up fake relationships to keep our families and friends at bay. We eventually come to the conclusion that it is better to be hated or despised for who we are than to be loved for who we are not.

I am not trying to change your mind by writing this. It is ok with me that you may feel that it is still wrong and you do not have to accept it. That is the beautiful thing about America is that we can have our differences and still co-exist. Tolerance is not agreeing or promoting, it really is just accepting. I do not want a piece of your American dream, I want to create and live my own, peacefully how I see fit.

Makes ya think! TOLERANCE
Later Darlin'

1 comment:

Sherry said...

I'm with you girl.