Okay. I'm about to let you guys in on a huge secret to segue into something I'm passionate about. I'm leaving the comments open, and you can feel free to voice your opinions -- just do it nicely, please.
Here's my story.
When I was 17, I met D. Any of you old readers of mine will remember me talking about her a LOT. She quickly became my best friend in the entire world. We were closer than close...oh, we had so much fun together.
Nine months into our friendship, it evolved into a friends-with-benefits kind of thing. While I loved it and certainly enjoyed it, it also freaked me out -- because I self-identified as being straight.
After I turned 18, D. and I both realized that there was something more than just the physical part of our relationship. She asked me to be her girlfriend, and I said yes (and freaked out, because this wasn't anything I had ever thought I'd be doing).
Because we lived in Texas, and because the school we went to was ultra-conservative, and because her parents had made it clear that they would NOT approve of a girl-girl relationship (and keep us apart if we were in one -- they had suspected something was going on, but we lied and said nothing was going on), we kept everything secret.
Only our two best friends knew about D. and me. As time went on, I got more and more comfortable with the fact that I was in a relationship with a GIRL. I realized that honestly, I didn't care that she was a girl. I fell for her for who she was, not her gender.
Of course our relationship wasn't perfect. But I honestly can't express how happy we were together. For 2.5 years, we were madly in love. I couldn't believe how lucky I was, to be in a relationship with my best friend, my lover, my partner...we were so, so happy.
When I moved up to college, to DreamSchool -- it was excruciating. I cried so hard, leaving my girl, my best friend. Long distance was hell. Only seeing her every few months, with her in her senior year of high school and me in my freshman year of college, we were both busy beyond belief. But we were determined to stay together, and we were full of hope that she'd get into her own dream school, which was near my school.
She didn't get in.
After that, facing three more years of separation...we lost a bit of our spirit.
D. started pulling (almost undetectably at first) away from me. The long distance relationship had always been harder on her -- she was stuck at home, going through the hell of senior year, and I was in an amazing city far away in college. She just couldn't take the thought of three more years apart. I couldn't blame her.
At the beginning of this summer, our relationship ended. It didn't end well. I don't want to get into that here, but there was a lot of hurt and pain involved. This summer was the hardest of my life, losing not only my partner but my only best friend in the entire world. That's part of the reason I was so determined to come back to DreamSchool regardless of the financial implications -- I had to get out of Texas, away from the memories (oh god, there were so many), back up to the city and school I loved that was worlds apart from D.
Things are better, now.
I'm in a quasi-relationship-but-it's-not-really-a-relationship with a sweet, funny guy named Sean. I think about D. every day, but the hurt is less, the pain is less, the sadness is less. We haven't spoken in a few months. It was too hard to just be friends with her, without the (everything else) that we had. But oh, I hope she's doing wonderfully at college. And I hope that she's doing well, herself, emotionally.
I kept this secret from you all for a few reasons. One was that at the beginning of D.'s and my relationship, we were secret. And my parents and sister read my blog. So I couldn't reveal it here.
Also...I didn't want you all judging me. I was so scared that you would just because I happened to be head-over-heels for a person of my sex, even though I still self-identify as straight (I don't know if I'll ever be with a girl again. Right now, I'm happy with Sean).
I know this seems like it's coming out of left field. But here's where I'm going with this.
When D. and I were together, we did discuss our future together. Houses, kids...marriage.
When I was with D., had we stayed together, I would have wanted to marry her. Not civil union her, not domestic partnership her, marry her.
Marriage is something I've been dreaming about since I was a little girl. Why, just because the person I loved more than anything happened to be a girl, should that not have been allowed? I've said it before: social issues are of the utmost importance to me in politics. I vote for candidates based on social issues.
Same-sex marriage is a social issue. It's a civil right, people. Marriage is a CIVIL RIGHT. There is no difference between an interracial couple wanting to marry 40 years ago and a same-sex couple wanting to marry now.
You can no more choose your sexual orientation than you can choose your skin color.
It was hard to be in a relationship with a girl. I was almost ashamed of being with a girl, because of the majority of the country's opinions on same-sex relationships. We hid ourselves because of what other people would say.
We couldn't hold hands in public in Texas.
We couldn't put our relationship on Facebook (however trivial that sounds).
We couldn't be open.
I had taken that freedom for granted in the past. Now, I most certainly am not. But that doesn't change the fact that it's one of the worst feelings in the world to be afraid of showing who you love.
Everyone should have the right to be married.
To me, a civil union is a slap in the face. It's saying, "We support you and all, but you just can't have the same rights (or words) we straight people do."
Marriage is a civil right. According to the constitution, ALL MEN (and women) are created equal. We should ALL have the rights to marry who we want whether it's on a beach or in a church* or on the couch in our living room.
*while I support same-sex marriage being legalized everywhere, I also support the rights of religious institutions to decline to preform same-sex marriages if they so choose. That's why I think that regardless of your religious views on same-sex marriage, you should still support it -- you don't have to have same-sex marriages in your church, but you'd be giving basic civil rights to all people. Is that not the Christian thing to do?
I'm rather defeated by Maine's loss of same-sex marriage.
I hate that for all my LGBTQ friends, they can only get married in a handful of states. I hated that when I was with D., we had to talk about whether we preferred Massachusetts or Connecticut, instead of being able to get married in Texas where we both lived and where our families were.
Every little girl (or boy) should be able to grow up and have the wedding of their dreams and get married to whomever they choose.
Please, please, please...support LGBTQ rights and the right for everyone who wants to be married. Please help end sexual orientation discrimination (for the love of god, please, please don't use the word 'gay' as a derogatory slur). Help us get to a time when people aren't ostracized based on the gender of who they love.
Here's a petition to support same-sex marriages. Please, if you believe in civil rights for everybody, sign it.