I wrote this post into my LiveJournal in March 2004. I am pleased to note that we did not even have to wait until my wife's 30th birthday to marry. (That comes up in July.) But I am sharing it here because it sums up my feelings on the issues I've been debating so well, and shows where I've been coming from. I would welcome comments.
Something just occurred to me in a mental flash, an idea that I’d like to share.
As I was posting the excerpt about my Leisurely personality style as explained by the Personality Self-Portrait, I thought about what it said about fighting for one’s own happiness, even going so far as to oppose one’s culture for the right to be happy. It sounds self-centered, and I don’t think the portrait of the Leisurely style is meant to be flattering, but I like the idea of being a person who fights for her own happiness. When I fight against censorship and for LGBT civil rights (and right now, marriage in particular), I fight for the right to be happy in my own way. And I think that gives me an advantage in these struggles. I think it gives others on my side an advantage, too. Let me explain.
When one fights to defend one’s own happiness and love, one has a huge advantage in that s/he has happiness and love to defend. If one is fighting for *future* happiness and love, then one is fighting for hope, and that too is an advantage because one has hope to defend. To fight for someone else’s happiness and love is a wonderful act of love and friendship, and that is an advantage because one has loved ones and friends to defend.
Whatever motivates people who fight for censorship and against LGBT rights (right now, marriage in particular), I do not think it is happiness, love, or hope. It is fear—fear of the new (what I like to call neophobia), fear of the world changing just as they’ve found a way to understand it, fear that their kids might eventually reject their values, fear of a group of people they don’t like or understand. It is too often hatred of “the homosexual”, liberals, and people who don’t share their values in general. It is anger that the world is not, by their lights, morally up to code, and it may never be. They forget that it’s a struggle for all of us, as human beings, just to keep our own selves morally up to code, never mind everyone else. Even the Bible says that.
Maybe I’m wrong about what motivates the other side, but I am going by what they show us. I participate in online debates and am simply amazed that so much fear, hatred, and anger exists in the world. I mean, I’m just a little ol’ secretary/freelance writer; I didn’t know I was also helping to destroy civilization by falling and staying in love! Some feat for a Leisurely-type woman! I read the angry, homophobic, neophobic op-eds that use hateful words like “sickening” to describe same-sex love. Then I read letters to the editor from queer folks who speak of love and straight supporters who speak of tolerance. I look at the angry red faces of conservative commentators fuming about the same-sex marriages in San Francisco versus the beaming smiles on the faces of the just-married couples, and I know the rest of America is looking, too. Such a contrast between the beauty that love gives the plainest face and the ugliness that hate bestows on the most naturally beautiful. How on Earth can people miss that?
And I am thinking, how can the Army of Lovers *not* win these stupid-ass “culture wars” eventually, when we’ve got so much to fight for? Right now, I don’t even think I have to wait until I’m 35 to get married, let alone worry about not getting really, truly, irrevocably married until I’m as old as Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon. K’s a year and four months younger than me. We might have an absolutely shatterproof legal wedding, with guests and gowns and everything, on *her* thirtieth birthday. And maybe we’ll even have won a few victories over political and corporate homophobes and neophobes by then, too!
We’ll see, won’t we? It’s amazing what happens when normally Leisurely people feel compelled to get off our asses and do something.