Okay, it’s confession time. I have fallen in love with the documentary “Bridegroom.” It’s truly terrible, what happens to this young, vibrant couple. And yet, it’s strangely beautiful to watch what becomes of it. I was raised to believe that we’re all different – and that, that is what makes us alike.
How I could relate (but not really)…
Growing up in a midwestern town, it’s easy to see the prejudices people hold deep inside themselves like a secret – even though it’s written all over their faces. When they see an interracial couple, a gay couple, a couple that is somehow different than what they themselves are. And in some ways, I suppose, I was aware of it, though I never really GOT it.
Being that my parents didn’t care what kind of person I dated as long as they were good to me, I’ve been happy to meet and date white men, black men, asian men and, yes, even men that were gay before admitting as much to me or to anyone else.
There was the occasional whisper – when you’d walk into a restaurant or a bar in a smaller town with someone whose skin is a different color than yours, holding hands with them. However, it never led to anything major: no giant brawls, no splitting of families, no radical changes that swept the planet. Life went on. Haters hated. After all, we can’t change the color of our skin, nor can we decide who to love – in a moment or over a lifetime. The heart is…well. Useless to reason with, for one thing.
And this prejudice? It is the closest I’ve ever been to the deeply rooted hatred that some people carry. I didn’t like it, but it wasn’t earth shattering for me- it didn’t change things because there was never a large enough event that occurred crying out for change. I was never threatened or beat up or screamed at. It all just…was.
Which brings me to…
I’m straight. I didn’t choose to be straight, I just am. Like…I am a dog lover and I am a writer and I am from the midwest.
Being a certain sexuality – it’s not a choice we’re given upon birth. It’s just who we are. It simply guts me to know that there still exists those who feel that being homosexual is a choice. I can’t imagine ever choosing to live through the hatred or the fear or the unfairness. Can you?
My hope is that one day, my grandchild or my great grandchild will be interviewing me for a school project about equality. And, at that time, I’ll have to tell them about when I was young – when a man and a man or a woman and a woman getting married wasn’t legal. And they’ll laugh and tell me how ridiculous that must have been and I’ll whole-heartedly agree.
That’s because it is ridiculous. You love who you love. And love is stronger than hate – it just is. Haven’t witnessed it yet? You will. One day.
Shane Bitney Crone, you are an amazing man. Keep fighting the good fight – I am with you 100%.