G is for “gay”

by mollykl

Gay marriage, gay in the military, gay in literature or just…gay.

Seriously, you’re against gay marriage? What the hell are you so afraid of? Some of the most committed couples I know are gay. My friends M and D, who WERE married, but are no longer thanks to the cowardly State of Oregon, are actually two of the few people in the world who I think define marriage and are an excellent example of it. Ditto for my friend C and her wife, now “domestic partner” thanks to the State of California, D.

But you think Newt Gingrich is an example of what marriage should be BECAUSE HE’S STRAIGHT?????!!! (Oh, did I mention there will be a lot of yelling in this post? Sorry.) The son of a bitch has been married 3 times. He, quite notoriously, argued with his first wife about divorce while she in the hospital undergoing treatment for cancer. Oh, and he openly admits to cheating on his second wife. Newt is, quite disgustingly, the absolute worst example of what marriage in America has become. C and D? They’ve been together for 23 years (I know this because they’ve been together the exact same amount of time that myself and my husband have been together). But God forbid you want to look to them as an example of what a true relationship should be? Seriously?

I’m married. Have been for going on 12 years. Have been with my husband for going on 23 years. You’re in love? You know that marriage is not the cure-all-and-all to a relationship? Welcome to the party. Someone being gay and married does not threaten what I have with my husband. If it threatens you, I feel sorry for you and your marriage, because it clearly isn’t built on solid ground.

Gay in the military? Sit down and let me tell you about an amazing man I knew in Portland. He was a customer. Nice guy, came in every week to get his coffee. Would sit and talk and I loved his stories. Military history is a thing with me, and while I’m most familiar with World War 2 I love hearing stories from Vietnam because that’s more my parent’s generation. He was combat helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Two tours of duty.

One Monday he came in and said he’d been to his high school reunion over the weekend. These were the people, he said, that tormented him in high school. As he put it, “They knew I was gay before I did”. They beat him up, they excluded him, they generally made him feel like crap.

And then the draft happened. He was called up, he went, he served. Two terms (Did I mention?) End. Of. Story.  Oh, but not quite. Because those guys that beat the crap out of him in high school? When THEY got called up, they ran. Hello Canada.

Now, read me correctly if you please. If you are a conscientious objector that is one thing, but these bastards already had proved they were not adverse to violence.  They were afraid. Oh. Guess what, so was my customer. But he did his duty and he was gay, so don’t tell me that having gays in the military will destroy that sense of brotherhood. Want to find all the men he perhaps pulled out of a sticky situation? Do you think they minded he was gay when he saving their collective asses?

Gay in literature? There’s a market. You feed the market – that’s common sense. Some people, alas, don’t listen to common sense. Kudos go out to Courtney Milan, a romance writer (who I’ll point out writes classic romance) who encouraged her blog readers and hopeful writers to NOT enter the More than Magic contest sponsored by the Romance Writers of America chapter, Romance Writers, Ink. , because they have changed the rules to refuse to accept same-sex entries in any category.

J.R Ward, the author of one of the book series I read (rather obsessively I might add),  recently announced at a signing that her next book would be about two male characters. Previously she’d said that they would get a paperback novella, because the industry, and possibly her publisher and readers, would not support a hardcover novel about gay characters. Well, her readers had something to say about that.  Qhuinn and Blay are getting their own book in 2013, much to delight of readers (including myself, because outside of Vishous -my absolute fave – Qhuinn is the reason I read the damn series.) Yeah, it’s a paramornal romance novel about gay characters, so what? They’re still CHARACTERS.  It’s not like I have that much in common with Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy, but I re-read that every year anyway. Because I relate to them. They are in love, they have problems, so does the rest of the world.

My general response when friends come out to me is…meh. Ok. Oh, that’s the big news? I thought you had a present for me. No seriously, where’s the present? Occasionally it’s, hmmm…really? Didn’t see that one coming.

It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that…I don’t care. I generally don’t care who my straight friends are sleeping with, so why would I care otherwise?

More importantly, why would you?