A Quick Thought on Love Winning

rainbowflagLast Friday marriage equality was declared law of the land and I am down with that. Not because I’m the marrying kind (thought if I do decide that I am the marrying kind and the kind I want to marry is a woman, then yes, I have a vested interest in this outcome in the future), but because I know that there are other people that are the marrying kind and I think they should have that civil right. I am all for it.

The reason I think I am so all for it and probably would be all for it even if I wasn’t a bisexual gal is because of my great-aunt and my childhood.

I have a great-aunt who is a lesbian and throughout my childhood she and her then-girlfriend were often present at family functions. These were happy occasions usually, filled with food and laughter and hugs. Wonderful, warm occurrences in my existence. Now, the children were never expressly told that my great-aunt was a lesbian (I was in my teens before I did that math and then got confirmation from my mother), but in my kid-brain I put her and her girlfriend together. They were always at the family functions together so in my head they were one entity, a team, a partnership. And I remember a lot of my cousins referring to them likewise.

The big thing about these family functions, though, was that even though it was not expressly stated to the children that my great-aunt was a lesbian, none of the adults treated her as anything but a beloved family member. She was never treated as an other or a less-than. She was never treated, at least in my memory, as a deviant or a disappointment. She was loved and respected and cherished and so was her girlfriend.

So to see people so dedicated to treating people like my great-aunt as other or less-than, to deny them a government contract that grants them a certain set of rights that are only granted to couples that enter into that contract, to see people that I share DNA with, my own blood, HER own blood, putting their religion and their adherence to a cherry-picked handbook above someone that they are told by that same handbook to love, is just fucking baffling to me. I don’t get it and I decided on Friday, once and for all, that I’m not going to get it and I don’t want to get it. I’m sorry you feel that way and I feel sorry for you because you feel that way. I’m sorry you choose self-righteousness and a promise of an afterlife by some super judgmental god over loving and protecting and relating to people in the here and now. But if that makes you happy (and considering how many folks are frothing at the mouth right now, it doesn’t seem to make them THAT  happy), then you do you.

But my great-aunt is not an other. She is not a less-than. I am not a less-than. That guy you don’t know marrying his partner of fifty years is not a less-than.

The way you cut your own humanity off like it’s some sort of defect, though, that’s pretty less-than.

Love wins.

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2013: Getting Louder

Electronic red megaphone on stand.

My goal for 2013 is to be louder.

 

I want to be louder about who I am and what I want and what I’m doing.

 

I want to be louder in my support of my friends and the really cool things they do and the cool people they are.

 

I want to be louder in my support of my family, too.

 

I want to be louder about needing help and support.

 

I want to be louder about being a writer.

 

I want to be louder about being a Rerun Junkie.

 

I want to be louder about being a bad fan.

 

I want to be louder about being a fat girl.

 

I want to be louder about being a fat girl belly dancing.

 

I want to be louder about my fashion sense.

 

I want to be louder about getting what I want.

 

I want to be louder about having a good time.

 

In short, I want 2013 to be one hell of a noisy year.

 

Kiss Me, I’m Not Irish

I’m not Irish. At least I’m pretty sure I’m not Irish.

I say this because St. Patrick’s Day is approaching and never will you meet so many people claiming Irish decent. I don’t know if it’s the green beer or the desire to be kissed, but suddenly everyone’s got a leprachaun hanging from their family tree.

So, yeah, I’m not Irish. At least I haven’t found any evidence to suggest that there’s any Irish in my family. I fully acknowledge that there are branches of my tree that haven’t been fully explored (and some that haven’t been well pruned or watered, but that’s another post for another day). Maybe I do have a few shamrocks in there. But until I see some evidence, I won’t presume anything for the sake of wearing green bowlers and Chicago dying their river a brighter shade of green.

From what I’m told by members of my family that had the tenacity to actually research branches of my family, I’m mostly Scottish and German. That’s on both sides, too. To simplify things I just say that I’m half-Scottish, half-German, though I know that there’s at least one Frenchman in there on my Dad’s side, and I’m not sure about part of my mother’s family.

My Dad’s family (those bearing the Haws name) crossed the ocean a long time ago. A long, long time ago. We’re talking the late 1600’s. As soon as Scotland heard that there was a new country open they put my family on the boat.

At least that’s one of the stories that’s told. The other popular story is that as sheep thieves, we had to leave to escape punishment (a similar story is told about why my family moved from Kentucky to Illinois: they don’t hang horse thieves in Illinois). No one really knows why my family immigrated since it happened so long ago. That story was lost to the erosion of time. 

I know that the family first came to Virginia before moving to Kentucky and finally Illinois. Living in the south during the time of slavery might lead some to fear that there are slave owners in their past. Not my family. I don’t think we’ve ever had a pot to piss in; I doubt they ever owned enough of anything to warrent owning a slave. I’m not entirely sure my family didn’t come over as indentured servants themselves.

On the other side, my mother’s side of the family (at least her dad’s side) hasn’t been in this country that long in comparison. Somehow a man from Scotland and a woman from Germany immigrated from their respective countries, met up in Ohio, got hitched, started a family, and eventually ended up in Illinois. Five generations later, here I am. It’s kind of wild to think that I’m not that far removed from the mother countries.

I’m not sure why that side of the family came to this country either. I’m guessing it was in search of a better life. That was the trend back in those days. I’m guessing they found one, though why anyone thought Central Illinois would be a good idea, I don’t know. It must have been a more happening place back then.

Scottish and German. That’s me. It’s not as sexy as being Irish, but I’m still proud of it.

It’s also a great excuse for my questionable taste in fashion. I mean, come on. Lederhosen and kilts.

I never had a chance.