Sunday, April 19, 2009

Families are Forever: Part 2

So, last summer I wrote a pretty nasty blog about my family. While it was pretty honest and what I felt at the time, I decided it's just a bit much, even for me. :P I deleted it.

For those of you that are inclined to believe such things as "God works in mysterious ways," well I have a good one for you. To sum it up, my family is not close. While all of my siblings are relatively close with our parents, and growing up we were are all pretty close, since moving out, we all kind of went our own way. Well, after a good decade of all us us kind of doing our own thing, I think things are going to start changing.

I'm not sure if I had indicated earlier, but despite coming out to my parents a while ago, none of my siblings knew I was gay. And it was okay in my mind because we weren't' all that close anyway. I only ever talked to my oldest sister on the phone (maybe every couple of months), and other than that I never talked to the others. They didn't call me, I didn't call them, no emails were exchanged, nada. At Christmas, we would all see each other for no more than 2 days, and then be back to our own lives.

Well, last year before the election, I came out to my oldest sister. Then in early March I came out to my younger brother, then to my other sister, and finally about a week ago I came out to my older brother. Needless to say, they are all supportive (and not the phony Mormon supportive kind). Luckily, all of my siblings are smart enough to understand that people don't choose to be gay, and me marrying a woman is not the best thing to do. For once in my life, I can say I was so glad to have non-active siblings. While I probably used to view them as unhappy because they were not active in church, I no longer believe that. 

But anyway, the circumstances under which I came out to all of my siblings were different, but it was definitely the right time for each one of them. It goes without saying that we all have challenges in life, and none of my siblings have been able to confide in each other, and especially not me, the golden, returned missionary, BYU grad, loves-the-Church-sibling. All 4 of my siblings said the same thing after I came out to them. "Derrick, I feel closer to you right now that I ever have in my life."

Suddenly, my older brother who has NEVER called me that I can remember, called just to say hello and see what we were up to and to ask a question about his camera (we have the same one). Suddenly, my younger brother who likewise has never really called me (though I do get an email about every 8 months), starts texting me and telling me to call him. My other sister who I have drifted from in the past few years starts talking to me on g chat regularly, and phone calls with my oldest sister increase in frequency.

Hmm, if I had realized that me being gay would have brought us closer together, I would have gone gay a decade ago. =) All of my siblings are now asking when I am going to come visit with Max, and wanted me to send pics and info about a him. So Mom, in case you are still wondering why you have a gay son, you now have the answer, it is to bring your family back together. God works in mysterious ways...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wedding Invites

So my friend, Violet, and I frequently discuss political issues and issues related to gay rights at work over instant messenger. She is a hard-core Republican, evangelical Christian, who was born and raised in Texas. Get the picture?

I came out to her almost a year ago, and she has been surprisingly supportive at times. We have had MAJOR disagreements about gay marriage and just about every other political topic under the rainbow. She knows about Max and she knows that things are relatively serious between us. She got married last summer, and unfortunately, I was not able to make it to the wedding in Dallas. I regularly joke with her about when she is going to have a baby, and she asks me when Max and I are getting married.

Well, I think we have joked plenty about when I would be sending out the wedding invites and she is always making sure that she would be receiving one, and I think typically I have just kind of said yes. But the other day, I was honest with her. I told her that I would likely never invite her, knowing that she was actually opposed to my marriage.

Ooh, was she mad. She asked me why, and I probably did not answer that the right way. I told her because I have self-respect. I told her I would never invite somebody to my wedding that I knew was actually opposed to me marrying the person I love (instead of say, marrying a woman which is the "right" thing to do).

Since then, she has been trying to convince me that she is not opposed to me marrying Max or gay families in general.  Yet when I asked her if a proposition similar to Prop 8 was placed on the ballot in Virginia, where she is now living, she indicated that she would vote for it. I'm not going to lie, that's ridiculous to me. To say that you support me and want me to be happy, but then vote to invalidate gay families is, well, hypocritical. Maybe I am being too sensitive. But honestly, that is the same BS I get from a lot of my Mormon "friends." They want me to be happy but then they donate money and time to Prop 8. It's like they think I can't actually be happy and that they are doing me a favor by preventing me from destroying society anymore.

I just don't know what to say to her. I feel like she is sincere in saying that she wants me to be happy, but how am I supposed to buy that when she is opposed to gay marriage and gay rights in general? Not that it made her feel any better, but I assured her that I have way more "friends" that are not on the invitee list than are. (Oh, this might be a good time to disclose that Max and I are NOT currently planning a wedding, this is really just discussion).

So I just have to ask, how do others feel? I guess I just tire of all these "friends" who want me to be happy but then do everything they can to ensure that I am not allowed the same legal protections that they are. Am I being unreasonable for just being honest with these people in telling them that if I were to get married, I would not want them there? I mean, I would still consider them friends and even go visit them, but I just don't feel like I need that on what should be a special day for me, my family, and friends.