Friday, April 15, 2005

Our Greatest Weapon is Spirit

I find myself outraged today. As most of you have probably heard, the Oregon Supreme Court has annulled 3000 gay marriages that took place last year.

I read The Oregonian and felt emotion swelling to the surface. It was another of those combination days - I was outraged, infuriated, sad, heartsick. My heart couldn’t pick just one. I was swirling, caught up in the tornado of all of this controversy and I felt sick.

I, personally, am not necessarily a proponent of gay marriage. Before you grab a gun and head for my house, let me explain myself. “Marriage” is an agreement that straight people have been fucking up…forever. 50-60% of all “marriages” fail. Nice stats. Can’t say too much about it though as I’m one of those statistics, too. Twice.

My first husband I married when I was 19. Having not been taught by my parents how to participate in a healthy and loving relationship, I did not know how to manage love and commitment to this degree.

I was married to a man that worshipped the ground I walked on. He treated me with love and kindness and would have given me the world.. and tried to. I, on the other hand, having been raised in a family of intense inner strength, thugs and bikers (for all intents and purposes) thought he was weak. A pushover. Just because he didn’t shout his opinions from the rooftops, I thought it meant he wasn’t a strong individual. I was so wrong.

I didn’t know how to be with someone nice. I was too keyed up – I entered a room like I had just rolled down a flight of stairs. My presence was bigger than life. In some respects, I’m still that way. Now it’s on a more controlled level. I don’t have to make my mark on the world. I’m just me and that’s good enough. Take it or leave it.

As a result of my inability to love someone kind, my first marriage became my “starter” marriage. This, like the turned down scholarship to Irvine, is the other of my biggest regrets.

I didn’t marry again until 12 years later. Thought I had it worked out. Who was I kidding? I was seeing a woman when I met Auburn Aries’ Dad. That should have been my first clue it wasn’t going to work. And after some time of being together, I learned (the hard way) that he was an abusive alcoholic (physically and emotionally). Nice. Bloody lips, scars, torn clothing. At this point, I had become the intermediary between he and his then nine-year old son.

He promised repeatedly not to hit me again. Promised to quit drinking. Eventually I realized that I needed to stay in the relationship for his son’s sake. I was the rock. I decided I would leave when my stepson was strong enough to make it on his own. And I did. He was 17 when I left the marriage.

My ex shoved me when I had Aries in my arms when she was a little over a year and a half old, and within a week, I was gone. Just so you know, we did plan Auburn Aries. The relationship leveled out at one point and I thought things would be okay.

I made the mistake of marrying someone who was like my brothers (brawn) and my Dad (alcoholic). I know, trust me, it took the five years I was in therapy to sort it all out.

Moving on… Marriage in the conventional sense will never change.

Gays and lesbians are different than straight people. It’s a fact of life. Our needs differ even if based simply on the complexity that same sex relationships bring. Those differing needs, however, do not mean that our rights are any less important than theirs. Equal rights aren’t special rights.

I would like to see Civil Unions put in place. A way of leveling the playing field. Give us something that we, as gays and lesbians, can feel good about that’s fair and impartial. Help take away the stigmatism that we’re different…in a “less than” way.

I am a lesbian Mom. I understand the difficulties in trying to install in your child that love makes a family. That is doesn’t matter what color a person’s skin is or what body they are in but that you fall in love with someone’s spirit and that you should never be ashamed of who you love or feel like you have to hide it because it doesn’t fit other people’s idea of what’s right. This is an especially difficult battle considering her Dad’s a bigot (to some degree).

Anyway, I read the paper and felt my heart hit the floor. With each paragraph I read, I could no longer fight back the tears. It was so unfair. I know the decision by the Oregon Supreme Court doesn’t mean relationships are lost. But I couldn’t help but think of my friends Ubergirl and Cowgirl.

Ubergirl has been through so much. She and I have had our difficulties with each other. We were both lied to in the past and I did some things based on those lies that had an extremely high cost for Ubergirl. A bell that cannot be unrung. Try living with *that* your in your heart. Let me tell you, it sucks. I feel we have been blessed to have been able to overcome our hurdles and become friends once again.

When I met her wife, Cowgirl, I realized that as difficult as those times were, Ubergirl was very lucky in love. Cowgirl is great and they compliment each other perfectly. It was Ubergirl and Cowgirl. They were one. They were married.

Even though my current opinions differ about marriage than your typical gay or lesbian, I can totally understand why someone would want to declare their love for each other with that type of ceremony. And some one had taken that away from them. I wanted to go kick the asses of the people who are so narrow-minded that they did this to these and many of my other friends.

Married Wednesday and not on Thursday. How would those suck-ass idiots in the Supreme Court et al, like it if they found out their marriages weren’t valid and had been annulled? AND, they had no control over it whatsoever.

My friend “Hansen” came by my desk to touch base with me. His sister was married to her long-time partner last year. He knows the battle, the victory and the heartache. All I could do was look up and see compassion in his eyes and shake my head unable to find the words while tears filled my eyes.

It was a huge sense of rejection and how dare someone reject the declaration of love and commitment of two people? Any two people. People. That noun itself denotes we are all one. We are all just people. Equal people.

The difficulties that I have with this whole thing started last year. When Diane Linn, Commissioner, et al, decided to start issuing marriage licenses, she did so – what I feel was –prematurely. So many strides have been made in the GLBT community that issuing marriage licenses just felt like cramming it down the population’s proverbial throats. People don’t work like that – not on this issue.

I agree that it’s overdue. I agree that no one should have to wait for equal rights. I just wish she would have handled it differently.

You know, if I could run my own life as well I can run other people’s lives…

These are all just my thoughts, my opinions for today. I opened the paper today and my heart hit the floor. I read the words of couples who have been impacted by these decisions and my heart goes out to them.

We’ve lost the battle, but we’ll win the war. Every person deserves to live in a hate free world. As with every epic struggle that has come before this one, our greatest weapon is spirit.

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