It has been nearly 12 years since my brother Ken told me that he was gay. I will never forget that moment. I didn’t react as nicely as I would have liked. Although I was not hysterical, I remember uttering something like, “Can’t you just NOT be?” The look of disappointment on his face will never leave my memory. I so regret saying it. I hope that he forgives me.
I quickly came to my senses and have been able to completely and fully accept him just as he is. I’d say “warts” and all, but I just don’t think that homosexuality is considered to be a “wart”.
I remember the first equality sticker that I placed on my caIr. Ken asked me, “why do you have an equality sticker on your car?” Surprised by his question, I answered, “um, because I believe in equality”. He responded with, “Aren’t you afraid that people will think that you are gay?” Nope. I’m not afraid. Who cares?
I don’t know if Ken thought that his own sexual orientation was “bad” or something to be ashamed of or if he was afraid of hate crimes being committed against him. I hadn’t really thought abou it. I just liked the sticker, mostly.
I remember meeting with some old high school friends one summer. We were catching up on each other’s lives and someone asked about my brother. I think that some of them had heard about his “lifestyle” and wanted me to dish. I plainly told them that he’s doing great, has a great job and a great boyfriend. She said, “oh, he’s gay?” One of my other friends commented, “that’s ok, my brother is in prison”.
I told her that I’m not ashamed of my gay brother, but she should be afraid of hers. Really? There is no comparison. My brother in a long term monogomous relationship is somehow equal to a prison inmate?
This January, my brother took a big step. A huge step, actually. He asked his boyfriend Scott to marry him.
I never thought this would happen. Not necessarily because of the law or because it wouldn’t be accepted, but because I didn’t think that marriage was that important to him. I thought that as long as he and Scott knew what they had, that would be enough.
I was wrong. It’s not enough. And why should it be? Who doesn’t want to have the excitement of a proposal, the announcement to family and friends, the support from them as they publicly take their vows, making promises to one another. Those are exciting and once-in-a-lifetime things that everyone should get to experience…if they so choose.
There’s been much talk about the subject of equality in marriage lately. While many states honor same sex civil unions, they still do not recognize “marriage” between same sex couples. Some might say these are both the same things. But really, they’re not.
Marriage means that everyone is excited, happy, and supportive of your decision. They want to see you take the plunge. You want to have a spouse that you can offically call a spouse. It was important to me, why shouldn’t it be for gay individuals?
I’ve seen posts on facebook about how people that support “traditional marriage” are being called bigots and are now afraid to voice their opinions or beliefs on the subject. I’m sorry, but if your belief is that your “love” is better than someone else’s “love”….it DOES make you a bigot, doesn’t it?
I for one, am excited for my brother. I love him and I love Scott. They are perfect for each other and are truly happy together. I can’t wait to hop on a plane, fly to Boston, and witness them taking their vows. Good for them.