Friday, July 07, 2006

Bring the Pain

“Is it real, son, is it really real, son, something I can feel, son, is it really real?”—Method Man, “Bring the Pain”

L’Ailee and I will be engaged in wholesale therapy this weekend. Fire Mountain offered an online glass bead blowout just in time for me, with new millefiori, dichroic, and “black and white bear” beads. L’Ailee’s favorite fabric warehouse is calling her name, too.

At least it’s still legal to channel our anger. We channeled our anger for a good long time last night. But we’re still plenty angry today. I cried, too, finally letting myself have it, and that wasn’t enough, either. I guess we really did expect that win in court. It looked good on paper. As Tony Stewart could’ve told you last month, though, there are times when want-to isn’t enough and everything gets taken out of your hands. Ultimately, it came down to seven people, and four of them said no, and probably would have said no regardless of anything.

Mat Staver, the founder of the Liberty [For Conservative Straight Christians Only] Counsel, used to content himself with making a nuisance of himself in my hometown, Orlando. Now he’s a Big Willie among American homophobes, and he and his people travel the country putting on anti-gay legal circus acts. I wouldn’t be surprised if he represented a straight guy who mugged a gay one! I wish I could laugh at him, like I did in Orlando. I wish I still believed in mutual respect. But the respect well’s gone dry. I am no longer even remotely interested in being “nice” to anyone who feels that my life and love are their political currency to spend or who makes their living at my expense.

L’Ailee has worn her great-grandmother’s heavy silver crucifix almost every day since she came to NYC. Even after 9/11 finally convinced her to open up about being an “agnostic atheist”, she still wore it for the familial associations. She told me she’d stop wearing it if I gave her something she’d like better—a challenge, with bling for her. Today she wore the Hill Tribes silver rose pendant I strung with her beloved garnets and rock crystal for her. “I don’t want anyone to think I’m a Christian after yesterday,” she declared. “I’m tired of Christians.” Of course she meant a certain very noisy kind of Christian, and she’ll get over it, but there it is.

The thing that really sickened me yesterday is the idea that people are celebrating this. People are actually thrilled that our lives are harder because of them! People really think they’ve done good! It occurs to me that they either truly don’t know what they’re doing or they claim ignorance. They’re not thinking about, you know, Lilo and L’Ailee or Adam and Steve. They think they’re defending God and Tradition and Family, which is different from most real families. If they were forced to look real couples in their real eyes and listen to our real stories, their consciences just might itch a little. Better to dehumanize us and deny our love. Better to make things up.

I get accused of being emotional. Well, of course I am! As if I’m not supposed to be upset that my legal rights as a spouse depend on some doctor or judge’s good will and my ring now has as much legal validity behind it as a cereal box prize! Don’t be emotional! May as well say, “Don’t breathe.” A lot of emotional rhetoric is certainly generated against us. To hell with the homophobes who call me overly emotional. So would anyone be if their marriage was legally ended without their relationship being ended, through no fault of their own. I’m not going to shut up for them. I’m going to let them see the tears and anger and frustration and bewilderment and most of all, the love. Ultimately, I think this one’s going to be won by tears. Let the people who put them there accept their responsibility and see what they’ve done!
If nothing else, I’m learning that no issue is ever truly academic. I understand if people clicked out. I hope, if you got this far, that you understand why I must discuss it. I don’t want to, you know. I want to just be married and live my life and have fun. That can’t happen for me yet, and the reason why I can’t is because of other people’s beliefs and decisions.

A few years ago, I had a choice to make. There was a handsome man who was a lot of fun and lived nearby. There was a beautiful woman who was almost toxically serious and lived far away. Then my uterine fibroids wouldn’t be ignored anymore. The man blamed me for my miscarriages and got angry. The woman reminded me that we’re both A-positive if I needed a transfusion during surgery. The choice seemed obvious to me, and I haven’t regretted it since. The choice, most importantly, is *ours* to make. At the last turn of the century, other women fought to defend their rights to love freely. In other countries, they’re still fighting hard just to say hello to him and hold his hand on the street. My great-great-grandmother came here from Hungary to escape an arranged marriage. I’ve been drafted into the ongoing fight for love, and I’m proud to be on my side. I have to believe that my love is stronger than their fear.


BostonPobble said...

BE EMOTIONAL!!!!! I get so tired of people saying "Don't get angry about it." Have you ever noticed the people saying that are the ones speaking from a place of PRIVILEDGE?????

Why should the ones who have been done the wrong have to be the ones who are *nice* about it???? Be as pissed as you are Lilo. Be as hurt as you are. Be as angry as you are. And know you are not alone.

puhpaul said...

I get so tired of hearing the "Traditional Model of Marriage" arguement. They seem to overlook people like your great-great-grandmother who was forced to marry someone she probably didn't even know, or the traditional dowery that was needed to buy a good marriage for a daughter. Keep fighting, eventually the Christian Right will fall and the silent majority will speak up. They just need the goad.

lightfeather said...

Your passion ignites the world one candle at a time. Be angry, it's OK.

dondon009 said...

I am so sad.....but now is not the time to be sad.

It's time to become and remain ANGRY!

I'm sorry, dear friend......


oomm said...

My heart truly aches. I'm sorry, for all of us. I won't offer words of comfort, now is not the time to get comfortable.