Tuesday, July 7, 2009

In search of equality - from North Carolina to Connecticut

A man tells the story of how he and his fiance got married, "The View From My Window".

Of the politely-spoken bigotry he faced:

"A very close and dear friend when listening to my rants about marriage equality and religious persecution told me I shouldn't take the actions of religion so personally. I verbally attacked her, we didn't speak for nearly a month and although she came to our wedding two weeks ago, I don't think I'll ever feel the closeness we once had. I still love her dearly, she is a good person, but our relationship was damaged. Other friends seemed so nonchalant and unconcerned. All of this led to my increasing frustration. Some were completely unaware of how what they were saying was hurting me even more. Like the very good friend who said she was, 'all for equal rights and equal benefits but felt that marriage was a religious institution and should not be open to same-sex couples.' She might as well have slapped me - it wouldn't have hurt as bad."....

"After placing the 'for sale' sign in the front yard, everyone wanted to know why we were moving. Telling them why, for marriage equality, actually solidified my decision to move. Barely a third of our friends and neighbors expressed congratulations for our upcoming marriage. Most said things like, 'Oh' or 'Well we are sorry to see you go,' never realizing that they were quietly revealing their hidden bigotry for the first time. It's that look on a person's face when their eyes dilate momentarily and they look like a deer in the headlights for about two seconds while their brain goes into overdrive trying to figure out how not to reveal their intolerance and disapproval. They can all happily vote away your rights in a private booth, but few have the courage to tell you that to your face. "

And of the joy after leaving it:

"But most important, is what I have not found. I have not found a single person who didn't eagerly congratulate us on our wedding. Even perfect strangers on the street smile brightly and say, 'Good for you! Congratulations!' The healing has started.

Nick and I are married now and I love him dearly. We left behind a lot in North Carolina. I miss the home we built together; I miss the community we helped to establish in our old neighborhood; and I miss our friends so much. But I would not trade my marriage nor my dignity to get it all back."

Leaving your old home and neighborhood is always hard in some way, but this story tells you that sometimes the sacrifice is small compared to the joys waiting on the other side.

No comments: