You Don’t Have To Read This

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:

Humanity.

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 related.

I relate.

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.

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60 thoughts on “You Don’t Have To Read This

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    Beatufully stated, Colleen. I felt ‘less than’ for most of my life… so can relate to the way you have phrased this.Though not in a bubble, no matter how I tried 🙂

  2. bikebrown says:

    I too have always lived in my own bubble. I’ve always said I don’t worry/care how other people spend their own money, or what they do with other consenting adults. As long as they stayed out of my bubble I’m fine with their choices. I guess it’s time to come out and try to be more understanding of other’s issues/problems. To have a workable society we have to care about more than ourselves. Pop goes my bubble.

  3. We are learning new every day, if we wish to and are ready for this Colleen. I know that feeling very well too. I’m happy for the freedom to choose, no matter who we are.

  4. Victo Dolore says:

    Best write up I have seen on this yet. Bravo.

  5. Excellent post Colleen. It makes us all stop and think. I understand everything you said and can relate to every single thing. Some people were born with a hard road to hoe but hoe they did. I congratulate them for that! Really it isn’t about me, we or them, it’s about us. We’re all in it together.

  6. And I LOVE your HUMAN HEART, Colleen! Thank you. Thank you.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

  7. Well said. Growing up in the city, I don’t think there was ever anything in anyone being different that I questioned. It’s interesting to see someone evolve as you did. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. cvnadagroup2017 says:

    great pos

  9. msampson999 says:

    My thoughts on this are that you are portraying a big piece of your insecurities and how it can relate to the current events of gay rights. I like that this isn’t an “In Your Face” thing with whats going on. You’re okay with people having other beliefs. But you tie their oppression with yours and I think it comes across quite well. These two situations, although not entirely connected, you can find connections through emotions. You empathize with them. You understand. You can express this today because you understand the emotion.

  10. tric says:

    It is when we see a loved ones pain and realise how different their life is and even when ‘openly gay’ you see how much they hide every day that the blinkers come off. I celebrate this result. I know how huge it is to so many. I am also aware that this result will save lives.

  11. russtowne says:

    Thank you for your vulnerability, empathy, and love, Colleen. May you never feel “less than” to anyone again.

  12. niaaeryn says:

    Well said/written. 🙂

  13. Acceptance. Humanity.
    You’ve beautifully, courageously written about what most never even contemplate, our own ignorance and the bubbles in which we live, organically grown or created as insulation from one another. I know I didn’t have to read this. But I did. I wanted to. Thank you for writing it so that I could.

    • Thank you Carolyn. For reading when you didn’t have to. I never considered it may be courageous to write this. I hope other bubble dwellers can emerge. And I am continually working on my ignorance.

  14. April says:

    That’s why I like who you are. 🙂

  15. Fantastic post, Colleen. ❤ ❤ ❤
    Everyone should have the right to live his / her life to the best of their ability. No-one can tell anyone how to feel.

  16. ksbeth says:

    this is one amazing and beautiful post, colleen. here’s to all you’ve said here. i think many people aren’t against this for any reason other than this hadn’t fallen into their ‘personal bubble’ space before. you’ve put it so well – peace, beth

    • Thank you Beth. I think you’re right. And if they could stop and see how this does not affect their life at all… their bubble can remain intact, or they can expand it, merge it, or even burst out of it. But it doesn’t ‘have’ to touch it at all.

  17. reocochran says:

    I felt how much you poured into this, Colleen. You wanted the thinking part of us to listen. I certainly appreciate this very much. Emotions about caring about humanity also were thoughtfully considered. I am glad you did this. I have written about the Native American “two spirits,” the genius Alan Turing who invented the Enigma machine that “beat Hitler (who committed suicide due to persecution sadly), along with Bette Midler in the bath houses sharing her music with anyone who wants to listen.
    I am glad Ellen Degeres did this interviewing people in her direct, calm way. Great question and excellent impact. My son has lost 2 friends to suicide as young teens, my daughter 2 friends who were adults, and my brothers and I have lost 3 friends all due to their hopelessness and feeling disconnected (or bullied) due to WHO they wished to love. Not due to war or hunger but how people responded to their choices. Thank you for your post and message. Love ya, Colleen!

    • Robin I’m so sorry for the losses. How can the world at large tolerate such cruelty?

      I tried for three days to write this. Finally I stopped “trying” to write for a post, and wrote this to try and explain why supporting our friends and family, and complete strangers, is the right thing to do.

      There seems to be so many other things we can get angry about and put efforts in to. Hunger. Abuse. Things that we SHOULD be doing something about. Why is someone loving another human being something anyone is angry about?

      Thank you Robin. The love is returned!

  18. Personally, I don’t know any human (if they’re being honest with themselves) who wouldn’t relate at some point or another in their lives with what you wrote. It’s certainly true for me. Your beauty shines all the brighter in your honest communications. Makes us all feel a little more okay about being human. Certainly rests well with my heart. ❤

    • Thank you Paulette. Just thank you. Sometimes I worry what I’m trying to say gets muddled up with my words. And the feelings, the heart of it all, gets lost. Thank you for understanding. And thank you for your heart. ❤

  19. Jim McKeever says:

    Great stuff, Colleen … an open mind = an open heart.

  20. E. A. Barker says:

    The best writers are the ones that write for themselves.

  21. NotAPunkRocker says:

    What a beautiful, honest post, but then again I expect nothing less from a beautiful, honest friend. ❤

  22. Mustang.Koji says:

    A stunningly well written story, Chatter Master. And I also support rights…like the ones stated in our Bill of Rights. But I also believe our government passing more laws takes away our freedoms to “feel” what’s right in our own minds. Indeed, I feel government has reached into my life too far. Government is also inconsistent in how they apply said laws. How they are interpreted – or ignored – is in the mind of the trend setting government employee.

  23. markbialczak says:

    Tolerance. Freedom of choice. Be what you are without others’ judgments looming over you like an anvil in a Roadrunner cartoon. Yes, MBC. I agree with you.

  24. duncanr says:

    excellent post, colleen

    I have never reblogged someone else’s post (stole/plagiarised perhaps but not reblog) but there’s a shouty christian woman voicing off on youtube about the SC decision on same sex marriage, that you may have seen, which I’ve been meaning to address on madhatters

    rather than post my own rant in reply, however, I think I will just post a link directing readers here – your post is a perfect riposte to the views expressed in that vid

    • Thank you Duncan. I haven’t seen her video. I haven’t ‘seen’ too much hate from where I am. Not personally. Anyone who doesn’t agree with it has done so without spewing hate, just their opinion.

      I’m kinda scared to see her video. Hateful people give me the willies Duncan!!

      Thanks again for liking my words. It was the best I could come up with to try and explain my heart.

      • duncanr says:

        the frightening thing about ‘hateful’ people is how few of them realise that’s how they come across – so full are they of self-righteous belief that they – and only they – are privy to a supposed god’s views!

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