July 23, 2013

Reflections on 20 years

Today would have been the 20th wedding anniversary---

I reflect on it, not because I wish I was still married or because I miss all of that craziness that should have never happened, but because of how far I've come since I took a deep breath and decided I had to do something about it all or it was going to end up killing me.

Yes, back then I wanted the fairy tale, I wanted the family, the house with a white picket fence, kids and a dog--hearing from my religious leader at age 23 that getting married would give me a sexual outlet and do away with my feelings felt like the silver bullet I'd been looking for all along--yes it was naive of me to think that way--but even in 1993 there didn't seem to be any other viable alternative. I didn't know any out/open gay person, I didn't know of affirmation, evergreen (thank heavens) or other support groups, although they apparently existed back then--even so, the possibility exists that anyone who would have wanted to knock some sense into me would not have succeeded--I was that determined to make everyone happy--everyone but me--and prove that I could do this.

I struggled for years figuring out how to undo the mess I had created and how dragged my now ex-wife and two children into it all and realized over and over that no matter what I did it was going to be painful if not deadly. How could I say the words out-loud, how could I admit that the choices I had made back then caused more damage and kept increasing the misery day by day? How could I have done that to someone else? To myself? Just how? Sleepless nights were spent thinking about this, crazy days were spent worrying about that; days turned into months, months turned into years, when was the madness going to end?

Years later I very much realize that what didn't kill me did make me stronger, and surprise, it really got better---I have my two children who in spite of it all still want to have a relationship with me, love me and make me proud to be their dad; a relationship with a loving, caring partner who is my best friend and who motivates and encourages me to be a better person every day--something that I couldn't even wrap my head around a few years ago; I have caring friends who have been there for me in many ways in my deepest, darkest times.

My current life can probably only be explained as a combination of luck and blessings--and yet it is still product of the decision made 20 years ago so I really can't complain, it would be silly of me to say it was a mistake, I wouldn't be where I am had it not been for where I was on 7/23/1993.

It is still interesting how life makes one reflect...

July 01, 2013

What a week it has been!!

Last week was a whirlwind of activity. After it was announced on Tuesday that the Supreme Court was going to roll out all of their rulings on Wednesday things got crazy on social media. I could hardly sleep on Tuesday night and kept refreshing my web browsers for a while trying to make sense of it all. 

So in short (at least as far as my brain understands): DOMA is down, at least parts of it. Still kind of unclear if some or any of the federal benefits that are awarded to marriages translate to a couple living in a state where same-sex marriage is not recognized--some days it really depends on who is talking about it. Proposition 8 is dead and California gay marriages  are back and happening. 

Now comes another part of this. How do we make Equality Marriage possible in all 50 states. I keep thinking that it may actually be up to the courts--forget referendums, forget elections-if California's constitution can be challenged as to what defines a marriage, the same can certainly happen in the rest of the states that have done the same.One of my relatives went as far as to tell me on Facebook that Utah may not be the place for me to live. I think that's bunk--instead of running off somewhere else I want to stay here and fight for it in as much as I can, it is hard to tell exactly how right now, but that's what I believe.

I posted the following link with my own commentary:

"We have to work hard and make this happen. 
Yes, I could go and live/work to any other state that currently allows Marriage Equality but I am not going anywhere Utah...
I'm going to do what I can so that younger generations of kids and people
 (of any religion or cultural origin),
 are not afraid to come out and be themselves. 
If it takes 5 years, 10 years--however long it takes, bring it on!"

So here we go, what can we do? Who can I talk to? How is it going to happen? Those are just some of my thoughts. I know I can't do it all alone, but I can certainly try to contribute in my own way. So I say get out the boxing gloves, learn about activism and hang on for a wild ride, it's going to be interesting!