Thursday, March 28, 2013

DC, Philly and the Little Things

A couple of months ago we had the bright idea of taking a family road trip to see DC and Philly. Exploring America is cost efficient and really interesting. It let us do what we wanted, when we wanted on a budget. We had a ball. My favorite little thing-turned HUGE surprise-on our trip was a stop to visit Keith's older cousins in a affluent suburb of Philly. Their home was exquisite and their company divine, but what made the stop unforgettable was how this amazing couple - married over 40 years - manages to stay warm, romantic and playful. They gave us the gift of their blessing and reminded us that successful and lasting relationships are built on our ability to stay interested.

At a time like this when the Supreme Court is considering whether same sex couples should have the right to marry, I am encouraged by couples like the one we shared an evening with in Philly who understand the importance of love and partnership and how intolerance, ignorance, homophobia and hatred will never win over the power of love. Our family is proof of God's many blessings and mercies.

- Keep passin' the open windows...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sad, Ignorant and Painful…and that’s Family for You

It has been almost thirty years since my parents asked me to leave my house simply for being gay. Being gay wasn’t something I could change then and there is still no known cure for anyone’s hetero-, homo- or bi-sexuality. As a 15-year old who had never lived anywhere but in my comfy Christian home, the shock of surviving NYC streets was devastating, to say the least. I was forced to live with strangers, sometimes sleep in public places and work a full-time job after school, just to survive. I suffered unmentionable tragedies in the name of learning my lesson, I guess.

This story is NOT about blaming my parents and their ignorance at that time – God knows I forgave their inability to show God’s love to their own child – it is about highlighting important facts.

God’s love and support are undying. Through those terrible times on the streets of NYC, God protected me from the drug use that killed most of the people around me, he prevented me from being killed by some of the shady characters I was forced to go to bed with just to have a place to lay my head and he gave me the strength of character to push forward and get an education and do well for myself….well enough to, at times, help the very family who consistently has shown a disregard for me.  The prayers of those who cared and God’s love carried me through.

Recently, there have been a series of marches in the name of “protecting the family.” Some of my family members have taken to the streets to protest the rights of gay men and women. They allege that someone needs to stand-up for the rights of “traditional” families and that, somehow, my partner, our child and I (or the model we represent) pose a threat to the future of traditional families. To be clear, my family is NO different than any other family in America. We want what’s best for our son, we want love and success for our family and we want to be happy. How this threatens “traditional” families, I will never know. I am disgusted that folks who are otherwise logical human beings would walk in protest against my happiness while alleging to love and care about me and my family.

I have read and understand the bible. I also know that there are plenty of verses in the bible that the Christian church chooses to ignore today saying that many of those are dated or do not fit society today, yet many can’t seem to let go of the verse that speaks of “man laying with mankind.”

I’m not writing this to argue the bible…I don’t wish to toss around bible verses. I’m writing this because in 2013, after my treacherous struggle to get where I stand today, I am saddened by the betrayal and stabs to the heart delivered at the hands of the people I love the most.

Today, I will live in God’s true love. I forgive my family for their ignorance. I will practice God’s word and love them in spite of themselves. I will leave the pain in God’s all-knowing hands.

Keep passin’ the open windows…