September 8, 2010
(Linda Liles, a Prop 8 Trial Tracker participant and community member, is on a roll. First, she wrote this heartfelt guest post about coming out to her mother. Then she followed it up with this compelling piece about the role of guilt in the social construction of discrimination against LGBT people. But this post could be her best yet. Enjoy. — Eden)
By Linda Liles
It’s not about the sex.
Well okay….it’s not just about the sex.
It’s certainly not only about the sex. But that’s all those who oppose us can think about.
They find out you’re gay and then they give you that look, and you just know they’re thinking about the sex.
I have to say, I find it amusing that they think they know what goes on in our bedrooms; and what’s even more hilarious is they think we don’t know what goes on in theirs.
But what really takes the cake is how similar our bedroom antics are.
The fact is, sex is as important in a same sex relationship as it is in an opposite sex relationship. It’s not more important; it’s not the only thing of importance; it’s just important.
But it’s not what makes us LGB or T.
That’s what they don’t get.
I have a very good friend who I have known for over 20 years. She was the first person I came out to; and though she wasn’t really surprised, and she’s very supportive, she just can’t quite understand it. She loves men! And to feel the same way about women is just inconceivable to her.
And the funny thing is I can understand that completely. Because I feel exactly the same way, only in reverse. Fortunately, my friend is willing to believe me when I tell her that, and we just laugh about it.
The problem is when they don’t believe you.
Those people are the ones who argue with you, like it’s something to be negotiated; they point out the harmful aspects of your ‘chosen lifestyle’; they tell you to ignore it.
They get angry with you. They turn their backs on you. They damn you.
They try to cure you.
Or they just look at you; and you can tell that they really are trying to be open-minded about it, but they just can’t comprehend it.
And those are the ones worth talking to.
So this is for those who can’t understand us, but are willing to try.
We feel the same way about our significant other as you feel about yours. That hum you feel whenever you’re around them…? We feel that way, too. That breathlessness when you look into their eyes…? Same here. That underlying joy you feel that is a constant no matter how crappy your day is…? Yep, we’ve got that, too. That desire to commit the rest of your life to that person? That feeling of finally being home when you’re with that person? That consuming love you feel for that person that exceeds anything you’ve ever felt for anyone else? That describes our feelings perfectly.
That willingness to spend months, even years apart while remaining faithful; that willingness to risk being rejected by your family; that willingness to face public ridicule and shame…? Well, I suppose that’s where we’re different.
Our love is just as intense, just as lasting, and just as dedicated as yours. And we want our commitment to be just as binding, just as permanent and just as celebrated as yours.
We are just like you.