I have often felt a sort of kinship, a feeling of understanding and connection with lesbian and gay couples. The discrimination, the anger, the rudeness, the stares. I think I have a teeny bit of an understanding as to how that feels, and what it is like to be in a loving relationship that is not respected by the outside world.
In case you couldn't tell from our numerous pictures posted on my blog, Ethan and I are in an interracial relationship. Shocking, I know.
In the early days of our relationship, back when we first met in college, I thought nothing of the differences in skin color. Ethan was very sweet, oh-so-kind, intelligent and sensitive, and gorgeous to boot. What more was I looking for?? Having been raised in the boonies with almost no people with ethnicities other than my own, I had never formulated an opinion on who I would or wouldn't date.
After a few weeks, I remember talking on the phone to Davinie and mentioning his race. Not a big deal, just thought I should throw it out there. She was cool, didn't seem to think much of it, either.
Most of my family was pretty cool about things--they ALL are now. Some had concerns. Was I now becoming a part of the 'black community'? Would my kids be accepted in 'white society'?? I think it was mostly naivety and concern for me and my happiness. I am pretty confident now in the acceptance by my family of my relationship. If that makes any sense whatsoever.
Ethan and I have been together, somewhat off and on (bus mostly on) since 1995. That is fourteen years this fall. Now that my family has really gotten to know him, they love him and accept him and our relationship.
Okay, the back story. Got it???
Here in the Pacific NW, we are relatively sheltered. This area is known for tolerance and acceptance. I get funny looks sometimes when Ethan and I are out and about holding hands or presenting ourselves as a definite 'couple', but for the most part, people really don't care if we are interracially together.
Leaving this safety bubble is another thing. We have had obscenities screamed at us, rude gestures, serious anger directed our way. Why??? We were walking down a street, holding hands on vacation. This has happened in Las Vegas, it has happened in Reno, we had some issues in Miami.....
Anyway. I compare this to a homosexual couple. Screamed at for holding hands or kissing. Having people try to talk you out of your relationship. I could no more stop loving Ethan than I could cut my own leg off. He is my soulmate. We don't get to choose the skin color or eye color or shoe size or height of the one we fall in love with--you fall in love with someone's soul, and take the physical package that comes attached. I feel the same way about same-sex couples. Do you honestly think that this is a CHOICE?? That they CHOOSE to make their life more difficult by being in a same-sex relationship?? That they ENJOY being stared at and getting evil looks?? Really?? You think they do this for fun?? Doesn't sound like much fun to me. No one would choose the additional stressors that come with being gay/lesbian. This is who they are. This is how they are. Everyone is different. Everyone is born with their own uniqueness. Some differences are accepted, and some are not. I try my best to accept everyone as they are. I do not always succeed, but I do try. I think the world would be a much better place if we all at least TRIED.