Tag Archives: gay

Mourning For ‘The What Ifs’

For almost 6 months now I have been single and have experienced everything from guilt, emotional pain, remorse, despair but yet I have slowly come to the realization that the overwhelming emotion I have been battling in my dreams, the strange ache in the pit of my stomach is not for the loss of a 26 year relationship, or a woman I once loved, but it is grief.

Grief and mourning for the children I will never get to hold, the little hands that wont reach up around my neck when they’re tired or afraid. Lately my sleep has been interspersed with mini movie reels of what I have always secretly yearned for but chose to not pursue for a myriad of reasons, not least that my ex didn’t want children, and in fact didn’t even like to be around little people.

It was not a decision I came to lightly. When we met I was 16 and never thought that I would be loved by anyone, never thought a same sex relationship would be tolerated in the tiny country village in which I live.
In my mind I always pictured an old fashioned brass weighing scale, where on one side there were kids, marriage, family life etc and on the other a same sex relationship with someone I loved, who loved me. Depending on my mood, the scales balance would shift daily.

It never occurred to me that I could have both, or that 10, 20 years later I could still have had both. The first few years of our relationship were spent hiding, trying to be safe and keep each other safe. Knowing that we had huge targets on our back, but it was the 2 of us against the world. We would be the ones to make it and show them all.

I’ve worked with and volunteered with children for as long as I can remember. A room full of little people at a Birthday party I delighted in. Folks telling me that I should be a Teacher or work with special needs kids as I seemed to have a talent or knack for it, while pleasing to hear, simply hurt. Each time it was mentioned I wanted to explain why these little kids were my pure joy, but I doubt anyone would have taken me seriously. I will never forget reading about Hans Christen Anderson, this amazing storyteller found his audience with children, quite by accident. He discovered they listened to him without judgement or mockery when he told his magical tales, and to them it didn’t matter that he suffering from a debilitating stammer. I can still recall the book in my hands, how the ink smelled, the picture of him sitting at a fountain with a gaggle of eager little people hanging on his every word, my tears fell silently onto the beautiful illustration, because in that instant it was as if they were writing about me.

It wasn’t because I had a talent with children, it was that they had patience for me. One goofy adult who would play their games, listen to their stories, answer their questions and never seen a frown or judgement when I stuttered or stumbled over a word or got too excited and couldn’t string 2 words together.

I used to daydream of a ‘normal’ life, the kind you would see in a 1950’s ad for the perfect home, white picket fence, you get the picture. Alas the reality was just the opposite, we had to live a life that was simply fraught with anxiety, stress and secrecy. Only now it has occurred to me that for almost all of our relationship the only safe place was inside our home, behind locked doors. The result of which was we were either so exhausted from the pretence that when we got home we collapsed and dozed in front of the tv or did ‘our’ own things or we forgot that it was safe to be close with each other, affectionate with each other.

Tonight I watched by new Great Niece coo and blow bubbles as my Sister held her. I adore this child, and love seeing her change daily and watch my Niece become the most amazing Mother, but it also causes me a little hurt, or pang of the ‘what ifs’.

I know that I could foster, volunteer in any number of ways, but for now I think I need to spend a little time working through this new found emotion that has manifested itself in dreams etc.

While I make peace with the choices I made, the decisions I felt were the correct ones at the time, I get to watch this new human being, grow, change and become everything she can be. My new start, new place to live will also be blessed with a ring side seat of being involved in this little ladies life and getting to watch her blossom.
I’ll also be able to tell her stories of her Mom growing up, how alike they are, and how at one of the lowest points in my life she taught me to revel in the little things. To enjoy the smiles, to blow bubbles and to sing silly songs because it makes us both happy.

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Filed under March 2013

Being Gay And Guilty Of Stereotyping

I had the pleasure of attending my friends Wedding Blessing. They were celebrating 33 wonderful years together and decided to renew their vows. I can honesty say I have never experienced anything quite like it nor do I think I ever will again.

wedding handsThe Service the was mostly organised by the Wife of the couple, her Husband was happy to be a statue and stand where he was bid. He would have stood there naked if it would have pleased his lovely wife.

There I am sitting in the pew, waiting for it all to begin and I noticed the Minister. He was an older Gentleman, small in stature but he had the most compelling voice. He introduced himself and welcomed my friRoman-Collarend and I to the Church. Turns out he is the reigning World Champion in Flower Arranging. Mac, as he introduced himself to us, never mentioned this, in fact had it not been mentioned in the Thank you speech, none of us would have been any the wiser.

As the Service continued, I should have been focussed on my friends but I couldn’t take my eyes of Mac. There was something just so familiar about him, I suspect he just had the gift of making everyone feel like a friend. At the end of the service my friend arrived over to us with Mac and another guy on her arm. The other guy, was the opposite of Mac, over 6ft tall, manicured nails, designer glasses, couture suit, aftershave that wafted around us, making me want to enquire its make. I shook hands with Mac again, adorned in his Ministerial Robes and turned to shake the hand of this handsome stranger and to my utter shock and disbelief as I’m shaking his hand, he’s introduced as Macs Husband.

As the reception continued, I found myself musing, if I had some internal notion that Ministers should be celibate, or must be straight. Maybe it was the fact I had looked at Mac, this small, elderly man and decided he had to have a typical Ministers wife at home, who would make sure his attire was neat and tidy and he had his glasses with him. Why shouldn’t he have a husband?
Why couldn’t or shouldn’t a Minster be gay?
Should the Flower arranging title have been a stereotypical clue?

As I started to munch through a ham sandwich, I wondered if there were other preconceived notions I had or held about other folks?
I like to think I am open and accepting of anyone, no matter race, creed, size or shape, but today I had written this enigmatic older Gentleman off as a retired Minster who must have a home maker wife. His Husband came over and sat at the table my friend and I were at.
What an interesting man. He talked with passion on many different topics. He made me laugh when he talked about Mac forgetting where he had left his reading glasses, only to discover they were on top of his head.

The tone of his voice, softened as he playfully teased Mac and you could easily hear that it was in jest and he was indeed proud of his Husbands many different achievements, his World Champion Status, his standing in the Church. They way they smiled at each other, the twinkle in each others eyes made me yearn for something similar.

For the first time since the end of my current relationship, when asked if I was with someone, I confirmed my single status. The words sounded so strange coming out of my mouth, but after they were said I actually felt more at ease. We spent the rest of the afternoon critiquing Celebrity outfits and decided we obviously had much better taste than they!

Two days have past and I still find myself reflecting to Mac and his delightful Husband. The incorrect assumptions I had made, the look of surprise I tried to hide when we were introduced.
How can I be outraged and pissed off when someone makes an incorrect assumption about me when I am just as guilty as they are?

My hope is that this chance encounter with a delightful new couple will teach me a valuable lesson. You truly cannot judge someone, based on a two second glance. I would have missed out on a delightful afternoon in their company.

So what did I learn?

Never judge a Minister by his job,
never assume you will suddenly have these gay spidey sense that will tingle and alert you to every other LGBT person in a 1 mile vicinity to me.

Oh yes, I almost forgot. I can say I am recently single without bursting into flames and complimenting a gay man on his aftershave ensures you a BFF for life.

 

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Filed under March 2013

Fun Sized Future Hero

As a family, we have been blessed with a new baby girl. She is my Great Niece, sleepingwhich still seems strange saying it, but stranger still she is my Twin Brothers first Grandchild.

My Bro and I have grown closer the older we get. His wife passed away almost 2 years ago, so this little lady has been something/one for them all to focus on. He is truly head over heels in love with this little girl. He was always a very hands on Dad, but I have a feeling he’s going to be a very attentive Grandpa as well.

When I look at my Bro, I still see a goofy kid that was a pain in my ass, who loves fast cars, UFC, Smokie And The Bandit Movies and has never met a flavour of ice cream he didn’t like!smokey
These things I remember with fondness but the things that I truly associate with this man now, revolve around the love of his life, his two girls and his new love this beautiful baby.  As a single Dad he never missed a step, he took each blow that came his way and even had the hard conversations, the embarrassing conversations. His children know he loves them unconditionally and that he would gladly take  bullet for them, or kill anyone that would be stupid enough to hurt them.  He works hard, and expects nothing but the same from the folks he surrounds himself with.

Watching this tall, hairy beast of a mountain man singing softly to his Granddaughter would melt the coldest heart. I know he misses his wife, they had been High School sweethearts. She passed leaving behind a 21 year old and a 14 year old. I know as proud as he is to hold his precious Granddaughter his heart his heavy and aching knowing how much his wife would have loved all of this, the build up, the excitement and ultimately the healthy arrival of a new life.

It occurred to me when this brand new little girl comes of age that she hopefully won’t have to face alot of the prejudices, that exist today. Everything from women being paid less for carrying out the same job as their male counterparts to having someone judge her character on which sex she chooses to sleep with.
I find myself chuckling as I type this, my mind racing with the ridiculous things that will be obsolete. The idea of her not having to fulfil the archaic roles that women notoriously have been pushed and moulded into makes me wonder how she will react to me when I share my ‘In My Day’ stories. She’ll be 18 and I’ll be 62. It will no longer matter whom she will chose to love as long as they’re a good person, treat her well and realises my Brother will inflict harm to anyone that causes her heartache.

I struggle to picture these changes. Will we ever have a time where people will just be people. A time when it wont matter about how much money you make or what car you drive. A time where there will not be world hunger, child abuse, starvation, the list goes on and on. I wonder will there still be Pandas, Elephants, Whales, Giraffes living in their natural habitats or will she only hear about these amazing creatures in books and listening to stories?

My youngest Niece is 16 and fiercely defends her family and extended family regardless of topic or choice. I hate that she has to defend me, but makes me proud and humble that she does so willingly. For her she doesn’t have a ‘Gay Aunt’, she simply has an Aunt who will let her away with most things, buys the cool gifts, stand in line over night with her for boy band tickets and an Aunt who will come pick her up whenever she calls, no questions asked or explanation needed.

Now she gets to be the ‘Funtime Aunt’ to this new little life. I watch her cradle her and sing her the latest One Direction songs or explain in depth to her about which one is the better looking and why. I wonder how many late night phone calls she’ll be woken up by, needing a ride home. How many times she’ll be the lender of money?, How many times she’ll roll her eyes while listening to the latest music sensation, or how many cuddles she’ll willingly offer up when needed or just because.

If I have done my job correctly this 3 week old little baby is going to be spoilt, indulged and know that when she feels the world is against her she always has someone that will be her cheer leader in her corner.  I suspect that I will still be called upon for the latest ‘clothes trend’ purchase, but if truth be told I love that at 16 she still wants to come hang out, watch the latest movies and dance along to the latest pop song. I love that she makes sure I have my meds with me while we’re out and even takes me to task when I don’t. She still wants to climb into bed beside me to watch Saturday morning cartoons while she munches through my cereal and spill orange juice on the bed.

superheroMy Great Niece has an amazing Aunt, who is going to be one of her heroes. I know because she’s already one of mine

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Filed under March 2013

Rainbows Are Now Offensive?

Congrats to America, all 50 States now have Equal Marriage. Pauses for reflection……..

marriage-equality-5

The new alert buzzed through to my Iphone and stunned I couldn’t believe what I was reading. My first thought should have been yay! or Way To go! etc etc instead all I could think was please, please LGBT folks stay safe until the gun toting buffoons have sobered up enough or have been corralled by their spouses.

I watched as my news feed on Facebook, exploded with rainbow colours on the profile pics. I sat back grinning like a demented lunatic as I watched family and friends add the rainbow pic to show their support, endorsement of Equality. In less than a month I have witnessed Ireland and now America agree Marriage Equality, I have seen history and I allowed myself to get a little caught up in the feel good factor. Then, as all good stories go BOOM! the other shoe fell….

One of my friends whom I know online and in realtime, decided to tell everyone that there wasn’t raibows on our profile pictures, instead these were broken crosses, and how we were all going to spent a torturous hereafter in Hell because we were gay. I have no issue with someone having a differing view to mine, an opposing opinion, afterall that’s how we grow, learn and evolve. This was different, this friend had spent the past 30 years living as a very out and loud, proud Lesbian. I had been the shoulder to cry on when heartbreak arrived, or rejoiced with her when she celebrated a 1 month anniversary or a 4 year one. Now here she was attacking the majority of her friends in the public forum of Facebook.

I watched alot of folks jump on her status and they were mostly eloquent and succinct, she however was not. I have rarely been hurt, dissappointed, shocked and pissed as fuck simultaneously. I texted her mirroring some of her comments back to her. Asking when she was having her tats removed, or asking why her Mother didn’t sell her off as the Bible said she could have when things were tough. Or should all footballers be made to wear gloves as dead pig skin is unclean and you shouldn’t touch it. The texting went on back and forth, she certainly had passion but the quotes and rheteric she was using was incorrect or a stretch at best.

Not once did I mentioned her past, her addictions, her sexual promiscuity, her failed marriage the list could go on and on. All I wanted from her was mutual respect, she can have her view and I can have mine, but opinions are like assholes, we all have them, but no one wants to see them hanging our as we walk around.

She decided that she would still love me, just not condone my marriage if and when it happens, even though this time last year she had a prominent part in it???
Funny thing is, not once did she ask me what I thought? What my views where? she just decided to sit in judgement of millions of folks around the world. That has to be a lonely place to be, on a judgemental, narrow platform.

I haven’t received a text from her since she realised my g/f had removed her from Facebook, she has zero tolerance for bigotry and hatred.
The law of the land changed, not God’s law, not her law. What is happening is that couples are now being afforded the same rights and privileges as everyone else. Families of gay couples are now safeguarded should something happen to either partner. Oh and the economy is due a huge boost from the pink pound, now being used for Weddings, Parties, dresses, suits etc etc

These are days of happiness, and a time to celebrate. We need to embrace the small victories, because they are few and far between. Having our own folks turn on us, is just horrendous.
Please, please just stop, take a second breath and think about what you say and how you say it. Opinions are great and welcomed, but condemnation and hatred is unacceptable. Even from reformed Lesbians who are offended by a Rainbow.

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Filed under March 2013