So my thoughts and feelings on this matter don’t really pertain to anyone but me. You don’t have to read this. But I have to write it.
Thoughts and feelings that appear in my consciousness as I see our world respond.
I have expressed support of my fellow human beings, at least here in America, who can now marry who they want to marry. Who am I to judge? I am heterosexual and have failed at marriage before. In my own belief system I have floundered at what I believe in, the sanctity of marriage and commitment.
I have religious beliefs. I have traditions in my heart. And I don’t use either of these as a basis for my opinions regarding this. I didn’t use them applying them to my own decisions. How can I hold someone else accountable to them?
My sole reason for support of this is:
These are human beings.
It wasn’t that long ago that my existence was bubblefied. It was a small existence, in parameter, in logistics, in willingness to extend myself and learn and experience. And when I burst out of my bubble (not all that long ago) I realized that there are a lot of people who are made to feel ‘less than’ or not as good as others.
And you know what?
I used to feel that.
I know that feeling.
Because of something that someone else did to me I felt like I was of less value than anyone else in the world. In my world. Even in my own bubble. Because I was not like everyone else-I was not as good as. I didn’t deserve as much, or the same, as those who were not like me. And they, not being like me, were more worthy.
I know many people who believe marriage is between a man and a woman only.
I’m okay with their beliefs.
I held those beliefs for most of my life. Not because I didn’t want same sex marriage. But because I didn’t contemplate same sex marriage. I never had to contemplate it. I had never formed my own ideas or opinions. I just accepted what I knew. Men asked women to marry. That’s all I knew.
As ridiculous as that may sound to some, it’s just what it was. I’m not a trail blazer. I’m not an activist. I existed in my bubble.
When the bubble burst…
Some things happened.
Years ago I watched a video of Ellen Degeneres approach people and ask them about same sex marriage. Many of them said they were against it. She listened to them. Then asked how her desire to marry someone of the same sex impacted their lives. None of them could give an answer that showed any impact on their life. To be honest and give disclosure, at the time, I was probably indifferent. Only because in all honesty it wasn’t on my radar. It didn’t occur to me that this was a problem. I’m being transparent here. I wasn’t choosing to be indifferent. I wasn’t surrounded by gay friends struggling. I wasn’t personally exposed. I was ignorant in the true sense of the word: uninformed, unlearned and unenlightened. But I remember my reaction to her question. Well Ellen, it doesn’t impact my life at all. And I remember smiling. Not with humor, but with understanding. It was probably the first time I really paid attention to the question, the concern, the unfairness, the inequality of it. I smiled at her calm, at her presence, at her humor, at her willing to ask and willing to discuss, at her willingness to try and make a difference with words. I don’t know how many people change their minds with words only. I didn’t really change my mind that day because I had had no opinion.
I became aware and formed an opinion.
I met “a” gay person.
I had “a” gay person come out to me.
I became aware that “gay” was not easy. Was not accepted. Was not “normal” by the world at large.
I learned of hiding one’s truth because of others.
I learned of hiding pain. And fear of causing or inflicting pain because of a person’s truth.
I learned of indifference. It doesn’t impact you/me so why care?
I learned of intolerance. People not accepted because the truth of who they are some how bothered the sensibilities and sensitivities of others. Even though a person’s truth had no impact on others who were bothered.
I learned of fear. Fear that other’s would know a secret. Fear that other’s would turn away or not understand. Or not care. Fear that how someone felt about you would change if they knew a truth, even though that truth didn’t change anything about your core existence and spirit.
I knew these things.
I got it.
And these are things I would never impose on another human being. I would not be the reason any other person experienced these things.
I don’t apologize for my bubble existence. It’s just what it was. My experiences put me in a bubble. Some of it was self protection. Some of it was ignorance. Some of it was a mix of life experience and coping mechanisms.
I’m still not an activist or a trail blazer. I’m just a human being who knows the impact and effect of hiding to protect others. To protect myself. Of feeling like I am not the same as everyone else – and where some may have the confidence to look at this and express “uniqueness” there was nothing unique about feeling less than.
If you’ve never felt less than, or like you had to hide your truths that hurt no one, you may not understand. And that’s okay too.
My thoughts on this don’t impact your life.
But they affect me greatly.
I want to exist in a manner that makes me a benefit to the world I’m in. My father always said leave a place better than what you found it. If I don’t leave behind hate, or indifference, or pain, or intolerance or fear when I leave then I’m okay with what I’m trying to do in life.
And one more thing. Even after reading this you have no idea what I think about same sex marriage. All you know is that I support the rights and equality of men and women. And all you know is that I will not be a part of intolerance, hate, or making anyone hide. I celebrate the joy and relief and acceptance.
I celebrate freedom to exist.
And that I am happy for anyone who is free.