Hardly Gay Today

2 Jun

Blogging for LGBT Families at a time when I’m more curious about the secret language of Nine . . . when I’m squeezing every loving moment, every hug, every insight, every quip and observation about life, itself, from the next two days before Miss E scampers off to spend ten whole days at Camp Grandma . . . proves challenging. Now, I love that I can always run over to Mombian for that dose of same-gender-loving perspective I crave and I am Thrilled with a capital-T that she hosts this themed day every year.

I’m just not . . . feeling it today.

It isn’t that I don’t believe in LGBT families – and I don’t mean “believe” like you might believe in fairy dust or God or the roundness of this earth or anything else you can’t see, smell, or hold in two hands – on the contrary, I very much believe in this family I’ve made with my partner and our two girls, and the families around me on every side. But this is my life, my every day. Not much of it is gay.

I’m lucky that way. Where I live. Very, very lucky.

Don’t get me wrong. There are moments now and again when being gay is more than a blip on the screen.

I was angry when the Illinois legislature failed to call for a vote on marriage equality last week. When my partner and our eldest daughter arrived home, I was sitting at the dining room table scouring my Facebook feed and grumbling quietly. “They didn’t call the vote,” I said as they walked in – after a quick hello and the tiniest flash of a smile to greet them.

“I know,” they replied in tandem, one of them holding out the “knoooooww” a bit longer than the other, neither of them especially disturbed.

“That’s ridiculous,” I continued, prodding them into a conversation to match my mood.

My partner walked into the kitchen for a glass of ice water. “Well, what did you expect?” she called back to me.

That’s the thing. Despite all the busses and rallies and calls and tweets and posts and general hoopla, I never really expected to be married under the law. But I am a bit of a dreamer. I am. So I hoped they would call the vote and we would win and that . . . deflation . . . left me feeling glum.

I wanted to send my Honey roses and propose.

I wanted to celebrate our 11th anniversary next week with wedding bells chiming in our future.

Because I am just that old fashioned . . . A fact about myself I’m learning slowly as I age.

Yet, the absence of marriage hardly impacts my everyday life. Yes, it is annoying that I can’t claim my partner’s new prescription eyeglasses against my tax-protected medical spending account, and yes, it’s bothersome that I need a legally notarized document to say that my worldly assets should be passed along to ALL my girls in the event of my demise. But this isn’t something I puzzle over daily.

It isn’t something I puzzle over as much as I should.

I know the culture is shifting. I’ve witnessed the parents of Miss E’s classmates turning their Facebook profile images into symbols of support, one after another. It’s shocking to me how widespread this “show of support” has become. And it isn’t just show. Not by far. It’s real. I feel it in the way I’m seen on the playground before and after school – as a person first, and then as gay. This sequence has shifted over time. Because we know each other now.

I have great hope.

But I am not naïve.

None of us knows what the Supreme Court will decide, or how – if at all – the shape of our lives will change in the wake of their decision. What conversations will happen among my daughters’ friends? What new work will need to be done?

I am clear about one thing only: It will always be important to tell the stories of our lives – our struggles, our dreams, our hopes, our giggles, our every day — LGBT or otherwise. I know this to my bones.

Even though today, I don’t feel gay.

And I have nothing new or life-changing to say.

I’m just a mom whose daughter is scampering away for ten days and I will miss her.

Fiercely.

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13 Responses to “Hardly Gay Today”

  1. Susanne Fairfax June 2, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    Goosebumps. > I feel it in the way I’m seen on the playground before and after school – as a person first, and then as gay. >

    Susanne Fairfax Sent from my phone. Apologies for any typos or autocorrect shenanigans.

    • rrp69 June 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

      Thank you, my friend – I appreciate you every day – your friendship, and your writer’s eye. You are a big reason I am lucky to live where I live now.

  2. Shannon June 3, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    I love this, RoiAnn. I hope that you will always share your stories, LGBT related, and otherwise. I will be hear listening.

    • rrp69 June 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

      Thank you, Shannon! I will be listening to you, too – you made me cry so much with your girl’s new driver’s license post that I couldn’t see to type a comment. And you may not know this, but I’m not especially known for crying! Love your writing. Happy to be sharing – even virtually – this parenting journey with you.

  3. meridith June 3, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    Perfectly put. Most days I don’t feel like I’m a mother in a gay family. It doesn’t mean I want rights less or am less gay, it just means that this is normal. This is just like everyone else. This is exhaustion from hopes that are never really fulfilled. I hope Illinois gets its act together and fast because Virginia needs more examples. We’re going to have to drag it kicking and screaming into equality and I need to save up my gay energy for that!

    • rrp69 June 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

      Hoping. Crossing fingers and toes and strands of hair for us all.

      For me, marriage is so much about how we’re seen and how our families are seen, offering a little security so our young ones don’t have to work so hard to be who they are – our kids, and “our kids,” the LGBTQ youth who need to know they are whole as we are.

      Sending hugs to you in Virginia. Thank You for stopping by.

  4. Liz June 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    Here from Mombian and glad to have found your blog!

    You said: “I have nothing new or life-changing to say.” and I thought ohhhh but remember? Remember when we thought that to be a two-mom family and have it be safe for our kids would be life-changing? I still remember the first time I discovered Minnie Bruce Pratt and read her story, how her husband took her children.

    I KNOW we still have a long way to go, but there is so much magic for me in the ordinary.

    And yes, I am right there with you, wanting to be “married under the law” (my wife and I have a domestic partnership which sounds like we run a house cleaning business, but I’m not bitter, truly…just hopeful and a little bit impatient…I want our daughter to be the flower girl in our wedding when I can still pick out what dress she wears!).

    Thanks for this lovely post!

    • rrp69 June 6, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      Hopeful and impatient – yes – raising a glass to you and this sentiment.

      Yes, I remember Minnie Bruce Pratt – and marching on Washington in my Thelma and Louise t-shirt – and too many stories of parents losing their kids, employees losing their jobs, even now. There is so MUCH to do, which is why the days I hardly feel that my gayness is relevant to my life are rather shocking. And lovely. And reassuring. All together.

      So, yes – I hear you.

      And I was thrilled to find your blog, too. Thank you for your words, both on your blog and here.

      Happy Pride Month 🙂

  5. Rachael June 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    I understand wanting to be known as a person first and a lesbian last. It’s not who I am. I don’t advertise it. I get it, sweetie. I am glad you shared this.

    • rrp69 June 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

      Thanks! Funny, isn’t it? I spent so many years shouting from the rooftops, anticipating resistance, and now I just want to talk about how lovely my girls are most of the time. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts – and Happy Pride Month. I hope you celebrate by doing something that nourishes you and those you love.

  6. traceybecker June 5, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    I hear ya on missing the little one. Corinne will be gone for a week BY HERSELF at overnight camp, and this is the first time I’ve ever been away from her for more than a few nights. It’ll be weird to say the least…

    • rrp69 June 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

      Seriously. YES. But good for her and you, both. We’ve been working up to these ten days over the past few summers – we started at three days – but even though we’ve worked up to it, I find it’s still a shock to my system. Thank you for picking up the thread of my post. Lotsa love to you, and to your whole family.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Blogging for LGBT families Day: Master Post of Contributions – Mombian - June 3, 2013

    […] Are You the Babysitter? Hardly Gay Today […]

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