Friday, May 30, 2008

There Are No "Buts" in Unconditional

I guess the best thing I can say is how fortunate we are to have a largely loving and supportive family. While there has certainly been friction and conflict over the years in various ways, things have, for the most part, worked themselves out over time. We may not always like each other, but we do always love each other and stand by each other. SweetPea and I are learning more and more each day about how true that is.

This is, unfortunately, not an entirely common thing among homosexuals. Too often, family members are not as loving and supportive of their gay relatives as our families have been.

We are well and truly blessed, on many levels.

Which is not to say, unfortunately, that every member of our family is as unconditionally accepting as all of that.

We have been having a problem with one particular family member that came to something of a head last night.

When we got married in 2005 2004* (you know... the real wedding), SweetPea's father said blatantly that he wouldn't be going. At the time, we chalked it up to his wife, thinking that he was deferring the decision to her.

Now, three four* years later, her father has, again, blatantly said he wouldn't be going.

You see, even though he loves her, and loves me, and loves our children, and accepts our relationship and the family that we've built together, he does not believe in gay marriage and, therefore, cannot see clear to supporting his daughter when she gets married.

Maybe it's the way I'm wired, but I just don't understand that train of thinking. I do not understand how you can love someone and love their partner and see that the relationship is good and that it makes the people you love happy but then believe, honestly believe, that these people whom you love are somehow less deserving of basic civil rights based on no reason other than the gender of the person they love.

Last night, in MonkeySee's school parking lot, after most everyone had loaded up and gone, SweetPea and her father had it out.

I have no idea what all was said. What I do know is what her father had the brass tacks to tell her last night.

SweetPea's father, the man that she refers to as her hero, the man the Monkeys call Opah, told his daughter that he believes that the fact that she and her brother are gay are his punishment for his sins and turning his back on god.

SweetPea and her brother, his only children, are, in his mind, the plague of locusts inflicted upon him for his sins.


I have to remind myself that I shouldn't be that surprised.

As much as I love him and respect him, I should not be surprised.

When you love someone, though, or, at least, when I love someone, I find it easier to overlook the negative. The things that maybe you should see and understand and accept as part of the package. It's easier to just think that some of those negative things are a fluke, or misinterpreted, or a product of a much younger and less mature person.

Like when he told his twelve year old daughter and nine year old son that it was their fault he and their mother were getting a divorce because the siblings fought too much.

And then all I can think is that this is a man who is unworthy of the love, respect and hero-worship that has been bestowed upon him by my wife.

This is a man that, I'm disappointed to have to say, I would rather my children not look up to or emulate.

I don't even know what to say about the fact that he would tell children that it was their fault their parents were divorcing or the fact that he views his children as a punishment, a cross to bear.

What I do know is that SweetPea and I are, otherwise, blessed and loved and supported in spades. There are so many people who love and support us, including a fair few who previously held negative ideas about homosexual relationships, that I don't even think I can count high enough to count them all.

If SweetPea's father prefers to allow himself to be blinded by his close-minded bigotry and hatred then that is his loss. It's his "hard cheese" to swallow.

Not ours.

I will mourn the loss of our relationship with him the way we believed that it was, and I will certainly miss that. But I, personally, am not interested in maintaining the same relationship with someone who has made it clear that he feels belittled by it.

And, to the best of my ability, I refuse to allow him any further opportunity for breaking my wife's heart.

* I am so good at remembering dates it's scary. < /sarcasm >

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