Rainbow Rascal
Covering the Spectrum of "Wut?" from a Gay Perspective

No Delays! No Excuses!

Pam’s Houseblend linked to an interesting post by Nadine at Equality Florida Blog which asked, “Do we really mean it?”

I think many of us do. I know I do. I have known I was gay since I was 7 years old when I decided that Tommy from next door was going to be my husband. I didn’t quite know what that meant, but I knew that a “husband” was someone that you cared deeply about. Although our “relationship” lasted several months until Tommy’s parents moved away, taking the person that I cared about most deeply away from me forever. I would never be the same.

In the more than 30 years since that, I have been looked down upon by my own family, called faggot so many times I sometimes thought it was my name, threatened by rednecks, harrassed by Fred Phelps, told by my government that I can’t love who I love, told by my society that my relationship is immoral and not to be recognized, and I have been loved back by someone that I love. Is it easy? No, it’s very painful when, after 12 years, my “mother-in-law” speaks about me as “Tom’s buddy.” “What the fuck does that mean?,” I want to scream. Instead, I maintain a pleasant smile with the rage boiling deep inside so that the man for whom I care deeply can spend a short time with his elderly parents. (Tom is not Tommy grown up.)

“What could be worse than this,” you ask? My own community telling me that it’s not time for my right to love and be recognized. For more than 20 years, I have dreamed of the day when I no longer had to feel as if I was less than a person, somehow less worthy than the average people around me. I used to participate in the LGBT rights movement; back when Kansas and Missouri still had sodomy laws for which I could have been jailed or fined. Even then, the LGBT “leaders” insisted that we must be careful so that we don’t suffer any setbacks. Nearly 20 years later, I still hear “Wait, it’s not time yet.” “Wait, the court is stacked against us.” “Wait, it will be worth it when it comes.” Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

When will the waiting end?!? Another 20 years? Another 30 years? Will it end before I die? I ask myself. I ask my community. I ask my society. And the answer is always “wait.” It is no longer time to wait in my mind. Because waiting, as Martin Luther King, Jr described, means never. My community is afraid. I am afraid. Afraid as if I was still living my life in the closet. How long until the fear goes away? More waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting. How long until…More waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting. It’s not time yet they say.

Recently, I have a new question burning: What am I waiting for? Am I waiting for equal rights? Am I waiting for freedom? Am I waiting to die? I’m waiting for my government to live up to its standards, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. They contain the highest ideal: the notion that ALL men are created equal. The notion that everyone of us has the freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness. The notion that each of us is imbued with unalienable rights, rights that I do not have to ask for, rights that no one has to grant me, rights that just are for all of us.

The last 3 years have been challenging for me. I have been living separately from Tom while doing post-doctoral research in another state. We visit frequently, but it’s not the same as it was when we lived together. I’m looking for employment now so that we can be together again. It will be different this time. We are not married in the eyes of government, but that WILL. NOT. STOP. ME. from demanding that my love for him be honored. We exchanged rings years ago, that neither of us wore in public. NO MORE! When I introduced him, I would say Tom and leave the other person to figure out our relationship for themself. NO MORE! You see, even though I am “out,” Tom and I have been living in a glass closet of our own construction. NO MORE! We have never wanted to offend anyone with our relationship. Wait, what?!? What are you saying, Jim?!? “offend anyone with your relationship!?!” So you allow yourself to be offended, you allow people to view your relationship as less than it should be. NO MORE! You allow society to put you into this glass closet. Everyone knows but no one wants to “see it.” NO MORE!

Since first reading about The Dallas Principles, this knot has been building. It is a knot of anger, of rage, of disappointment…at and in myself! One of my instructors once said, “To be intimidated by someone, you must let them.” I didn’t get it then; I get it now! People don’t discriminate against me. I LET THEM! ME, I LET THEM! NO MORE! My government? I let it discriminate against me. The Declaration of Independence tells me: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” NO MORE! I will not consent to suffering discrimination any longer. Marriage is not legal in either of the states in which my husband and I live. I do NOT care! I will demand my sovereign right as a citizen of these United States to be treated equally with all other citizens. If this government recognizes relationships, I will force it to recognize mine. Every form, every questionnaire, every time someone asks me, I WILL reply that I AM married. No longer will I subjugate myself and my life to anything less than being equal. I. WILL. NOT. DO. IT!!!!

So, YES! I really mean “No Delays! No Excuses!” I will commit to living my life according to The Dallas Principles, beginning now, this very minute. When this is posted, I will begin a letter to all of my elected officials at the city, county, state, and federal levels. I will demand that they act NOW. “Wait” is no longer an acceptable answer. Now IS the time, the time for all of us to be treated equally.

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