January 26 , 2004
written by Mary Elaine
To my dear friends – Gary and Bob,
I write to you in the hope that others may learn from my experience and become enlightened to your plight for the freedom to express love between one human being to another. Marriage should be for one and all under the proclamation of our institution.
I remember “back in the fifties”, about hearing stories about men having male lovers. I guess I never gave it much thought or judgment because in my Catholic upbringing conversations of this nature were not permitted. I must say that even though my mother was a devout Catholic, she never breathed a bad word about anyone. So I suppose that is where my non-judgmental thought processes was born.
During the sixties while living in Boston on Beacon Hill, I met many people living free lifestyles – different than my own roots. I remember this couple my friend and I used to frequently visit on “the hill” who were both gay (this word was having a rebirth from the thirties as I understand it). They liked to just hangout, play chess with a spot of tea and a bit of chitchat. I just perceived them as “the odd couple” My reasons for this, is that one was a man and the other a woman who were legally married and both strictly homosexual. I thought this odd but now that I look back it was a closet big enough for the both of them. They were friends – perhaps the best of friends covering for each other for the shame that society would bestow upon them. I just liked them both and that was that – should there be anything else that would prevent them from being my friends? I think not, for they made me feel welcome. That was my first exposure to the gay community.
Just a few of my thoughts on the early “gay community”: first I realize that in the past gay folks (and I detest stereotypes) gained an allegiance through a tight circle of others who were living the same lifestyle. The mainstream America was intolerant and down right mean to others that did not dance to their band. I could certainly understand this, as I was a “hippie” during that time so I got the same harassment, just related to a different concept. It is my hope that the barriers of the concept of them and us will dissipate in time though gaining knowledge and compassion for all human beings. My thoughts were and still are that human beings should embrace life as long as they are not hurting others. By hurting others, I don’t mean hurting someone else’s belief system – that’s all about ego for the most part. I mean causing physical or mental harm though unkind and violent acts. We as humans may not meet on all mental or physical levels but there are many universal levels and truths humans must relate to for the preservation of humanity. Just look around the world! I guess being a hopeless romantic my belief is that in time most of us will finally get it and choose the correct path in life. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of walking and sometimes running to catch up!
I am the mother of a gay male. I always knew in my heart that my son was different – well different in the way that I was raised. It used to scare me and not because of who he was but for the wrath of wickedness others might bestow upon him. There is a signal that goes off in a mother’s soul that defines danger. I used to imagine myself out there defending my son even if it meant death to me. That’s how far I would go to protect my son’s earthly well-being. It is innate and there is no getting around this. It took me a while to realize my son knew what he was up against and strong enough both mentally and physically to defend himself and his honor and he does it so well. As far as my family, and all others that I come in contact with, I am very proud of my son. I celebrate who he is – a wonderful person. Should he meet the mate of his dreams, I would give him a shower of celebration and my only hope would be that I would not be this “horrible mother-in-law”. Whoever loves my son, I love because that’s what makes me happy as a mother, my son’s well being. We are always mothers until the day we depart from this place we call home. Our children will always be our children no matter what their age. Good old mother earth. One does not need to bear a child to be a parent. I see a lot of great male parenting going on these days. It’s about time. Hats off to you guys raising children!
I think for the most part those against same-sex marriages are afraid of going forth into our new society. They are chained through their conception of religion, their own sexuality, parenthood and all the stereotypes past of what makes a good parent. Looking back from experience, maturity is the main ingredient for good parenting. I was young and at times selfish during my parenthood. It is easy for others to judge when not in the presence of those they judge. It is like a one-way conversation. Perhaps through education and mentoring the far right may meet someplace in the middle. It’s all about compromise.
Let it be said, change can only happen from within the structure of the system. I learned that the hard way. There is much work to be done and many votes to be had. It takes a large voice to be heard through the clatter of ignorance. Your site is a breath of fresh air. Thank you for sharing your naked honestly with your life, your love, your growth, and future hopes and dreams.
John Lennon said, “All we need is love”.
P.S. Again, thank you for inviting me to your wonderful wedding reception. You guys shared with all such a heartfelt presentation of your love and devotion. I had a blast! And I felt like I was part of the new dream – wow! What a rush.
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