So much has already been written on this subject. I have wondered what I could say that would be any different than what others have said. Here’s my take on the issue:
I have been in a relationship with a man for 23 years. He is my life partner, lover and best friend. We met when we were both going to a Young Men’s Rap Group at the Gay & Lesbian Center in Hollywood. He was 16 when I first met him and I was 20. We weren’t friends, so much as acquaintances. We didn’t start going out until about 5 years later. I had broken up with my old boyfriend and he asked a mutual friend for my number. The rest is history as they say.
Has it been all sunshine and rainbows? Absolutely not. We are two very different people from different backgrounds, not to mention the interracial dynamic too. But we have made it work because we love each other and know how to communicate with each other.
When gay marriage became available to us in 2008 (in California due to a court case), we were both taken aback at first. It was like “Wow! Didn’t see this coming!” We talked about getting married, and even argued about it. I wanted us to have a nice celebration with out friends and family, one that would take some planning and money. He was more open to the idea of just going to the courthouse. Plus there were issues with what it really meant, did there have to be something more to it, or was loving each other enough? And then what sort of spiritual component would there be to it.
Needless to say, time went by and we didn’t get married. We did work together for the “No on Prop. 8” campaign in California, by doing phone calls as well as neighborhood rallies. They kept telling us how close the race was, and how hard the religious right was fighting to pass it. These so-called “Christians” that we encountered during this time are some of the most hateful people I have ever had to deal with. It wasn’t in my head that we would lose. I thought it would be close, but we would ultimately win in our fight to keep gay marriage.
Now, here we are some 4 plus years later, and gay marriage has yet to return to California. When is this all going to end? The case has been tied up in courts all this time, and the gay community seems scared to put it on the ballot again for a vote.
I believe my partner and I will run to the courthouse when it becomes available again. We know that we missed our window, but so did many more couples. Those who have been together longer, those who have come out in the last 4 years and other long-term couples like us. When gay marriage became available, there wasn’t really time to celebrate as the right wingers were fighting against it even before the court ruling. Plus there are those who have died since 2008 too. It is so sad that they couldn’t get to marry their partner in their lifetime.
Twenty-three years is a long time. We deserve to be married. Two of my siblings marriages have gone bust, but we are still going strong. We have friends who always have new boyfriends, and those that sleep around. We are not them. We love and cherish each other. We laugh, and yeah, we make each other cry sometimes. We have had plenty of wonderful years together. I can’t imagine my life without him. We treat each other with respect and encourage each other in our lives. We try to bring out the best in each other. This relationship has been life-changing for us.
Rasheed, I love you. You are my husband no matter what the state or country says. Isn’t it time that we stop the legislation of hate?
Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including the Embrace the Weird line. They make great gifts for Valentine’s and birthdays.