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  • All of this talk about equality and all of the red that I am seeing today makes me feel so supported, not just for myself but for the human race in general. The fact that we can look, beyond ourselves, at the needs of others and say, “I want the best for you, let me lend a hand.” That is truly magical.

    Being gay has given me the opportunity to see real love. I am not only talking about romantic love. More so, it has allowed me to test the nature of love from my friends, family, coworkers, and strangers on the street. What do you do when your belief system is built around a certain ideal and yet your own child doesn’t fit into that box? What will you choose to do? Will you act in love or fear? Will you push an agenda or will you allow your child, your friend, your co-worker to experience life on their own terms? Even though we often think we own others, we don’t. I believe that giving humans true freedom to live the life they want will never cloud their soul, instead it will test them for who they really are.

    There is no doubt that my mere existence has caused the folks in my life whether it be for 10 seconds or 20 years, to question their motives, their actions, their love. Being gay has given me the gift of no secrets. It has given me the gift of raw, honest, hilarious, beautiful accept-us-for-exactly-who-we-are friendships. It has given me a take it or leave it attitude that allows me to accept my entire self without regret. It has allowed me to see my god in the most intimate, coolest form. It’s made me cheer for the underdog and given me the unique experience to choose which side I want to be on. Those sides are not defined by gay or straight. Instead, those lines are drawn by those that speak up and those that stand by the sideline and I try hard to remember this in any situation. I can’t wait to see the person I will be when I’m 40.

    The god that I know, loves me so much that god doesn’t care what I do. (Yeah, take a minute to take that in.) god needs nothing from me. god requires nothing from me. The god that I know is being acted out in our world every second and this includes the people yelling at each other outside of the supreme court building today in D.C. THAT is god: how we treat each other. If we really don’t understand that we are the arms and legs of something so massive and fantastic, then do we understand god at all? How do you treat your neighbor, your enemy, your family? THAT is love. THAT is god. God doesn’t lose any sleep if I sleep with a man tonight the same way god doesn’t lose any sleep if I have mac and cheese for dinner.

    Being gay allowed me to find my voice because it took me to the depths of all my fears: not being what everyone else wanted me to be, having to have an opinion different from others, being a leader instead of a follower, finding my own beliefs when it would have been so much easier to follow the beliefs of my family and peers… until suddenly, being what everyone wanted me to be, became the hard thing and being myself just felt so… easy.

    I actually don’t believe in legal-government-endorsed-marriage. I have never really understood why a government should be involved in something so sacred between 2 people. I consider marriage to be spiritual and not to be filled with paperwork and dangling carrots like health insurance and tax breaks. But I fight for the cause, because without it, gays will be the second class, they will be the flamboyant characters on TV without a real story line, they will be the punch line of the locker room in junior high schools.

    I believe in marriage equality because it will say loudly that gay people exist, that they are entitled to everything their peers are entitled to, and that above anything else, their love is not some secondhand attempt at turning unbiblical lust into love. I have over a decade of first hand experience that my romantic love is as real as it gets. Marriage is not partially feminine, or partially masculine. It’s marriage. It’s 2 people with whatever they bring to the table. I am not the guy or the girl in my relationship, I am just me. In regard to my straight friends and their romantic relationships, it’s rare that I find the 1950’s agenda of how marriage is "supposed to look." There are no roles, it's just... love. Beautiful, messy, silly, coloring-outside-the-lines love.

    I also believe that with the progress we make as a nation, we open the dialogue for younger generations. I found myself at 28, which is sad. So many years of feeling less than, not quite fitting, trying so hard to be something that was never within reach. I see a gay community that is broken (but I know it will find its way.) It is filled with drugs, sex, addiction, secrets, self-hate, and a chronic love for masochism as we look for the love of parents and friends that were all too quick to shame us, sweep us under the rug, fix us, not hear our stories, not see our tears, not like our passions or understand our actions. I also saw more than I cared to know in my 20’s including men in our community, in their 20’s, 30’s and much older with wives and babies and picket fences that are living a lie. Some of these men are friends of my friends and even as I’ve kept my mouth shut, I wonder how they get through their days, having a wife and children, and secret life on the side, right here in Indiana. I wonder if they are proud of themselves for making their men’s church group, their parents, and their god happy while their wives and children deal with an empty shell of a husband and father. I am not jealous of these men. Being brave is not always easy.

    Instead, I see a future where children talk to their parents and friends. I see a future where people take a deep breath and say, “Your path is not mine. I love you. Thank you for the privilege of hearing your story.” That simple phrasing can lead to so much for so many, if we just gave it a chance.
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