Friday, November 6, 2009

Gay marriage, a 'final' word

I circulated my recent posts about gay marriage to many friends and received the following moving thoughts from my friend Wayne Y., a Canadian video artist who lives in Berlin:

"I read your blog posts on the Maine referendum results. Well, after California's referendum, it doesn't surprise me so much, I guess. Oddly enough, it reminds me of why I don't like YouTube: whenever I read the guestbook comments, I just get very depressed (and frustrated and angry) at the stupidity of people, with comments ranging from racism to homophobia to mawkish sentimentality.

The thing is, you and I are very much insulated from these people and we simply don't make friends with them. It's also why so many of us abandon the smaller places we grew up in. We gather in large cities just to reach critical mass so that we can form a viable community.

I think there's only one way to contact these people, and that's through family connections. I'm always startled whenever I hang out with my relatives, because there's nobody there that I'd naturally choose for a friend. Nonetheless, we do get along, and I even like them. I think it's important that they all know I'm gay (I came out when I was 17), and they've all met my hubby (he came to a big family wedding once). So they can't say they don't know any gay couples, and if they vote against gay marriage, they know exactly who they're hurting.

Demographically, it's actually quite important: I must have at least 25 relatives back home, and I'm the only gay one (well, I'm waiting for some of their kids to pass puberty, then we'll see...) That's one person helping to convince 25 people that "gay is good". If every one of us came out to all of our relatives, it could blanket the entire society.

So I don't think we all need to move back to small-town Maine to convince the homophobes. But if every one of us came out of the closet to our small-town relatives, that might actually help. We need to come out at every family gathering, and we need to convince our friends to do the same."

(thanks to Wayne Y for letting me excerpt from his email.....)

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