Orlando. Another code word full of all the meaning that more than fifty lives—and hundreds of friends and family members and hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ+—can infuse. Honestly I have not known what to say, and the mistake I’ve made has been to say little or nothing.
There has been and will be much more analysis, political maneuvering and defending the right to bear arms and which ones to ban and on and on. There will be more murders by crazy people using all too powerful weapons. And there will be young kids (and people of all ages) who will be even more afraid to come out for fear of all this insanity.
It was not “Muslim terrorism,” but rather testosterone-fueled homophobia enabled and emboldened by NRA-hype and lack of mental health services. We are all a bit crazy and we all need a little help at times!
Two weeks ago we shared in an amazing wedding of my two sisters-in-law. They’d been together for thirty years and eight children and could never be legally married simply because they are two women.
And in those years there was so much more I will never know about because I don’t have to be afraid to kiss my wife in public or walk down the street holding hands. I did not have to spend tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to make sure my wife and I could both make decisions about our kids if, for instance, they ended up in the hospital or somehow I needed to prove I really was their parent. I never had to worry about whether I’d lose my job because of how I was born. On and on and on there are ways I’ll never know what it is like to live every day being LGBTQ+ in this culture of ours.
But the point is they were finally married in a glorious celebration of who they are surrounded by people who know them and love them. A rainbow of people, the full spectrum of life. My 96-1/2-year-old father-in-law led then down the aisle—one on each arm, supporting him. He’d given them his wedding ring which they had made into two rings saying “better to give this new life than bury it with me.” Another remarkable and courageous sister-in-law officiated the wedding welcoming all, overflowing with love. So many smiles and so much love, all simply because we share this amazing life with these two women.
There are, and always will be, many terrifying things in life, nearly all related to our fellow humans. And there is so much more about life to celebrate. But we need the courage to do so and we can find that courage and inspiration in each other. I so appreciate that friends have suggested this week that I find someone to hug and then speak out for life in whatever way possible. Thank you for taking time to share in these thoughts, inspired by my brave, loving family.