The short answer â€“ the American answer â€“ ought simply to be "Why wouldn't it be?"
The majority of people in this world are not gay or lesbian.Â I am a member of this majority, and if it's any consolation, I don't get it either.Â And, of course, I don't need to get it to know it's no skin off my nose if two people find love and affection â€“ whether it be for an hour or a lifetime.
In my youth, growing up in a relatively isolated mountain community, I was afraid of all sorts of things I didn't understand.Â This included racial minorities, poor people, rich people, the boogieman, Democrats (it was a highly Republican environment), and gay people.Â So I do understand the fearful environment that comes with innocence.Â Â I am however a forty-eight-year-old grownup now.Â
Around nineteen, I was asked "Why are you afraid of them" and I could not give an answer.Â There are no gay death squads, no gay gangs, no gay activist groups wanting me to stop doing any of the things I like to do.Â So, really, the only other reason I might fear gayness was that I might be afraid to think about it at all, lest I realize I was gay.
Now, I've thought about this â€“ whether I am gay â€“ because if I were gay, then a great deal of those things in my world that bother me might well be rectified through that revelation.Â
I mean think about it.Â
Let's assume you are a heterosexual man (or in gay speak "straight") and you lived in a bizarro world where there was great pressure on you to be gay (like "everyone" else), so much so that the thought of being straight actually frightened you.Â Your mom's sage advice would be to go play with that nice boy down the street who says he wants to be a doctor when he grows up.Â You date.Â You kiss.Â You neck. You go steady.Â But something just isn't right, and one day you come to the realization and blurt it out.
"God forgive me, but I'm straight!Â I should have known!Â Now the world makes sense!Â Sorry mom, but I like girls.Â I like the way they smell and the way they look over their shoulders and giggle.Â If my clothes even brush hers I tingle with desire and I just want to sweep her up in my arms and give her one of those big fresh-back-from-World-War-Two type kisses.Â And mom, guys just bug me, mom.Â I can't wait to get out of 6th period gym class and go find me some girls!Â I'm sorry.Â I'm so, so sorry mom, but if I go through with this engagement with Stephen, I won't be able to live.Â I'll kill myself.Â I will.Â If you love me mom, if you really do, you're going to have to deal with the fact that I'm straight."
So, out of respect for myself and my happiness on this Earth I thought pretty long and hard about it.Â Who am I really?Â Am I really white(?); yeah, pretty obvious there.Â Am I conservative(?); yeah, pretty much â€“ though that was a very good question to ask myself because it made me ask what I meant by "conservative".Â Am I straight?Â Â Am I at all attracted to other guys?Â Do they show up in speedos in my dreams?Â Does that guy have a nice butt?Â How about that guy, or that guy?Â Any guy!Â For the life of me, I couldn't see it.Â See above paragraph.
Hedir Antonia de Brito may have been just as committed a straight man as I.Â He met the woman of his dreams, a woman who had no problem with his using a wheelchair to get around.Â Think about that.Â How lucky he was.Â Â How lucky she was to find someone in this world to love and marry.Â This I can relate to.Â My wife uses a wheelchair to get around and when we decided to get married that was it.Â Not one person I knew saw anything wrong with our getting married.
See the second sentence from the top above.Â "Why wouldn't it be?"
Hedir Antonia de Brito was a citizen of Brazil, and because that country's government had trouble distinguishing between love and fertility, they were denied the right to marry.Â I guess they couldn't have kids. That's pretty much all I know about it.Â I don't know how it turned out and I don't want to know.Â It makes me sick, sick I tell you.Â
Janie and I probably could have had kids, but it never occurred to us to take a fertility test.Â With all due respect to those who think we must reproduce or that a person can't possibly be fulfilled or blessed without children, it was just too inconvenient.Â The person who handed us the marriage license application didn't ask.Â People do ask from time to time, and we shrug our shoulders and go "eh."Â If we had two lives to live, there would be kids in that other life, just for variety. But with this one life, kids are not in the cards, and we are as blessed and cursed as anyone else.
We choose to think life is good, and "wah-lah" - it is.Â Â It's that easy to shed the notion that there's something wrong with this life, this world.Â But that's a somewhat different topic.
Many Americans are, unfortunately, also stuck with this inability to distinguish love and companionship from the vestiges of the fertility cults of old.Â It's not unlike the one person who said to another, "What?Â She has her own bedroom?Â Your wife doesn't sleep with you?Â Is there no love in your marriage?"Â To which the second person responded, "You're confusing sleep with sex."
I don't know how to explain to someone dead set against accepting same-sex relationships as that age old, universally cherished thing called
With all the loneliness
that runs rampant these days,
you'd think we could welcome any and all expressions of affection.
And yet we do not.Â
That is embarrassing.Â
That is humiliating.Â Â
That is playground-bully weak if I ever saw it.
I'm not asking for tolerance of their gayness and lesbianism.Â As a person who values love and family and community, and a person with a clear spiritual sense of what is cherished and twisted in human nature, I say they deserve our respect.Â In this, I put patriotism and honor above all religious edicts that have ever been issued against them.Â You bet I do.