In the sixth (seventh?) grade, my best friend came out to me and one of our other friends. She was in love with a female friend of hers. She pined for her. She wanted nothing more than to be her girlfriend. This was obviously something that she had been struggling to confess for a long while.
This girl had been one of my best friends for years. She ended up at a different high school, and then at a college across the country, where she is still living and working and loving – and she also happens to be a lesbian. Facebook tells me these things. I’ve been happy to follow her over the past couple of years, to know that she’s working hard at an admirable job and living a fulfilling, giving life.
One of my dearest friends from college is a gay man. I’ve been his friend since he met his first official boyfriend; his first great love; his first great heartbreak; his first “this is the real deal.” We’ve been through a lot together over the years, have had some wonderfully fun times, and continue to maintain a solid friendship here in San Francisco. He is incredibly smart, hilarious, kind, and open-minded. One of his ex-boyfriends remains as a friend of mine to this day – he even came with me to the Bonnaroo Music Festival back in 2007.
Another one of my dearest friends from college is a gay man. He’s easily one of the most warm-hearted, hard-working, intelligent people I’ve ever known. The fact that he associates with me as a good friend makes me proud, makes me want to be a better person, as I admire him on so many levels. He inspires me, and many others.
And that is just scratching the surface. I have other friends from over the years that identify as gay – all wonderful, fun, lovely, intelligent, hard-working people, trying to make it in this world, just like me. The people we meet in our lifetimes ultimately shape us, make us who we are, inspire us to move forward. I’m proud of all the people who have shaped me, and continue to do so.
To many people in this country, my friends are second-class citizens. Maine, Virginia, my own home state of California . . . it makes me heart hurt.
Can this just be over now? Can these people who vote against gay marriage, with their ridiculously bigoted, close-minded views, just fucking get over it and move on? And if marriage is so goddamn sacred, why is divorce legal?