11.04.2009

A secret. And a plea.

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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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.

Period.

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.

Please.

Here's a petition to support same-sex marriages. Please, if you believe in civil rights for everybody, sign it.

14 comments:

livinginagirlsworld said...

Nanny, this is a fantastic post. I'm so glad you hit publish. It is long, but in a good way. Thank you for sharing your personal story. I truly believe that hearing these types of stories will help some (not all) overcome their issues with this. If those lobbying against same-sex marriage actually knew and cared for someone who was of a different orientation than "straight" then maybe, just maybe, they would see that it makes a difference. Also, the fact that you state that you don't support churches being forced to perform ceremonies helps support your position. You don't want to shove YOUR beliefs down someone else's throat just like you don't like when others try to force their's down your throat.
(If only I were as eloquent and clear-headed about such things at your age! I admire you.)

jen said...

Love you, dearly.

More later, but so glad you published this.

MWAH

Tracy said...

What an honest and brave post. Bravo.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS!!!

As a native Texan, from a very liberal family, I have often felt VERY alone in my views on this subject.

Many of the most important people in my life now, and while I was growing up, are LGBTQ. I've spent my life watching them be ridiculed by others and denied basic civil rights. I've always felt like I was alone and fighting a losing battle when defending them and their rights.

I was removed from my 8th grade history class after I went to the administration when the teacher said "Hitler had one thing right. All gays should be shot," in a lecture. He was not fired, but I was removed because I refused to take part in his class. I cannot tell you how many boyfriends I dumped over the years after hearing them use "gay" as a derogatory slur.

I do not understand why so many people think that this is just a "lifestyle" choice.

Although I was very happy on my wedding day, I could not help but think about all of the important people in my life, many of which had been together since before I was born, who were not allowed the same experience.

I will never forget the day my uncle's partner of 22 years died. Although they had been together their entire adult lives, the hospital required permission from the family for my uncle to be by his bedside in ICU.

Thank you for your sharing your experience so eloquently, and for bringing a human "face" to this issue! For the 1st time in my life, I feel like I am no longer along and fighting a losing battle on this issue.

While I am an avid blog reader, I NEVER comment on blogs. But I couldn't sit here silently and not say thanks!

- Jenina

The Nanny said...

Everyone--thank you so much for your words of support.

Jenina--your comment brought me to tears. Thank you. Email me anytime, we'll talk. theonlinenannyATgmailDOTcom

Tracey said...

You know how I feel about this, girl. No time to post more but love that you posted this. I'll march in the parade beside you!

@headpantsnow said...

What a fabulous, eloquent, moving post. I wish more people who support LGBTQ rights would speak out. LOUDLY.

Anonymous said...

i found out about you and D. waaaay before you wanted me to and quite honestly, it took me a while to adjust to it.

but you two made me realize how much love can exist between two people... no matter what their genders may be.

i love you no matter what and will proudly stand by you in this cause.

love,
your sis

ps i'm beyond excited for you and this boy, whoever he is. i do believe i need to meet him and make sure he meets my sisterly approval.

Kait said...

I will never agree with you, but I will always be amazed by your passion. ♥

Stephany said...

This post was fantastic, Nanny! I was truly and deeply moved by it.

I have odd feelings on homosexuality. Don't laugh but I think the author Suzanne Brockmann, who writes romantic suspense fiction, got the wheels churning in my head. A lot of her stories follow the same characters and she wrote 3 books on a relationship between 2 males. It showed the evolution of their love and it really made me see that these people have the same feelings that straight people do. And who am I to tell them their feelings are less?

And I do support gay marriage. As a Christian woman, this might seem at odds with my beliefs but I can't deny this to anyone. Quite frankly, straight couples don't take marriage seriously enough (the "it's just a piece of paper" argument IRRITATES ME!) and I think it would be interesting to compare the divorce rates between the two.

Anyway, thanks for sharing this and I'm so happy you felt comfortable enough to talk about it!

Shavahn said...

Nanny,

Thank you so much for having the courage to write this. It must have been difficult for you to write and to publish. It hit especially close to home because my father is gay and has been in a relationship with men since I was 12.

It kills me every time I see something passed which prohibits gay marriage. With this country as "civilized" as it claims to be, you would think people could realize that we are doing something akin to denying interracial marriage. Beautiful post.

pithydithy said...

This was a brave, wonderful post. I was really struck by the thought that your family is reading it-- I hope that my own boys will be able to be so honest and open with me when they are grown. I think that it speaks volumes about a family that must be close and supportive.

As for your story. Love is love, isn't it? I'm sorry that you went through the trauma of the break up of your first love without feeling that you could write about it. I'm even more sorry that people in general are judged so harshly for something that just shouldn't be a big deal. And I'm a big supporter of LGBTQ rights and of gay marriage in particular. I was thrilled when our own legislature legalized it, and sad when Mainiacs did not. Keep talking about it. I hope that as people are increasingly open and honest, we can spread the word that, hey, nice people are gay. And regardless of whether someone is nice, I fully agree that marriage is a right that the government should not deny people based on the person that they happen to love.

Anonymous said...

This was on twitter this morning by PerezHilton....If all this money being raised to fight for and against gay marriage was pumped into education, America would be SUCH a better country! Good for you.....love is love.

Amanda said...

Well, I found this post a little later than I think you intended for it to be found. It never ceases to amaze me that someone else went through a very similar situation that I did - I identify as "straight" (but what is sexual identity, really?) and was in a two-year relationship with my girl best friend during my first two years of high school. Though I believe my relationship has a different emotional meaning than yours does to you because I am very detached from the relationship now, it just baffles me how you understand exactly what it felt like to be in a forbidden relationship, particularly in a conservative area (as I am from Orange County, CA). I love you, dearest...know that I am here for you whenever you want to talk. <3