Marriage has always belonged to the people, which is why it was returned. It was always going to find its way back because we were never going to lay down our swords.

zealot (n.) a person who is fanatical and uncompromising
in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.

My son is authentically gay. It’s a description so fitting, which elicits all kinds of seeping emotion I must sweep from my face. When I found myself living in an ambivalent world he pulled me out. His issues became mine. I am ashamed to say they should have been mine sooner, because I am a lover. Invariably, I joined him in the ring. My heart was heavy when he came out and told me he could never marry. It was then that I became a victim and a perpetrator both, the mud-slinger and slingee (because I could not protect him). We even received blame and hatred for perceived failures within our own family. This diminished me to such furious anger that my responses came whispered, promised and wicked.

What is it that makes you so uncomfortable and so unhappy with the machinations afforded to you in your own life, zealot? Must you project and try to fix, attempt to assemble a life you would envy in another? We know it is fear. We know your energies would not be displaced into your neighbor without a personal stake. Your world is not going to end.

Yesterday, my son leapt into my room like an adolescent gazelle, then crouched down to hug me, screaming, “It passed! It passed!” I know this is his victory. It is also mine because I can now hand him off to the world, my worry lessened.

What does the parent of a gay child feel? Asea. I tackled this topic in 5 Steps to Supporting Your Son After He Comes Out of the Closet. What I should have written is this: there are no secrets. You only need to love him. You know how to do that. You have been parenting him his whole life. Keep doing it and triple the ingredients. Today, we wake to a new reality. He knows he has always been enough. I’m still not cutting the recipe.

I have raised my son and encouraged him to question, grow, innovate. No one else has been along on this journey, so you don’t get to suddenly restrict him to the definition of sub-human and condemn him to a life of hermitude. You do not get to construct the grind of his existence. Your assumption that you would ever have any part of it demonstrates an absolute misunderstanding of the definition of human rights…as belonging to humans.

Those who protest they are saving us from damnation if we turn to their church, let’s say at the end of the world one side of the population gets whisked into a giant dust pan headed for the inferno, while the rest fly up and hover around, their voices ringing out I told you so. So. What. You still do not get to take an individual’s choice away. What we believe. Who we love. Who we marry. If we marry. We still get to make mistakes, as do you. We still get to judge and research, and weigh life’s battles upon its scale.

Why are so many people in your face over this, and you are sick of it, zealot? Because you are not listening. You remember the question, “Why do I have to yell to get the attention of everyone in the house?” No one listens. We can’t whisper anymore. So a few brave souls paint their unicorn and prance around because being in a cage, and lauded as a freak is soul-draining. When released into the wild, what is the first thing an animal does after tentatively examining the new ground? They run far and fast. People of any orientation are beautiful, normal and oppressed. Not one person has been shuttled into a cage at this decision, no one has been hurt, shamed, or demeaned. Simply, zealot, you have been forced to share in the joy of marriage, to allow others to experience its bliss. Marriage has always belonged to the people, which is why it was returned. It was always going to find its way back because we were never going to lay down our swords. How you choose to marry, well, that decision is yours. Go to Vegas, head to church, kneel on crushed glass. You do you. This decision has no impact on your rights, freedoms, or where, or how you worship.

Even if you claim “icky” as a defense, this is the moment to exercise your right to turn the other cheek.

Not everyone loves and believes in your God. It’s why this is a human issue. Because at least we can all agree, whether gay, straight, pansexual, transexual, asexual, Christian, or atheist, we are all humans. The more introspective and empathetic among us also feel every human should be afforded the same rights. If this is where we have to start and build from, the human level, make no mistake, it is a start.

The way to healing of any kind is not to hush up the sufferer with shameful feelings, with hate mongering, with thrust and parries used to create ostracization. We facilitate healing by exposing our glorious torso with all its scars and wounds. We rush healing with love.

I don’t care who is attempting to knock you down, even if it is someone trying to love you, but getting it all wrong. When you say you are a victim, you are. The unicorns among us never folded, their voices shook the highest tower yesterday. Thankfully, they were brave enough for everyone in the room.

As a final flag-flying request, retire “Hate the sin, but love the sinner.” You, lover, are not a sinner. Even hearing such well-intentioned words become knife wounds. it doesn’t help we have a wondrous ability to recreate the echoes of voices. Let me be clear, you, implicitly, by your own feelings and uncontrollable urges, emotions and desires, you, as you are, naked, vulnerable, are a sinner is what you speak when you fuck up so royally with your sins and sinner loop.

You may think you are practicing tolerance, but you prolong hurt.

Try this instead. You are a miracle, a multi-faceted, courageous celebration, with wings of rainbows soaring in a life determined to nail you to the ground. Today, your voice is as relevant and real as it always was, flowing over the bodies of fallen soldiers, broken hearts and spirits sagging in unfathomable fatigue. You won. Even without official approval, even without the fight. You won. By being you. Whoever you are. Because we all win. Even you, zealot, struggling to free yourself from this scary, passionate hell. Don’t you get people only want to love and accept you, too? That is the unspoken mission: acceptance for one group means acceptance for all. It is why love wins every day.

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Original article appeared at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission.

Unedited Photo: Flickr/Waithamai

 

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