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Old 03-29-2013, 03:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A beautiful perspective

I receive a daily email newsletter from "The Box Turtle Bulletin."

This post in it really struck me as perfectly said. It moved me partially because when I was first coming out and even to some degree today that "kindness, dignity, and simple respect" is exactly what I hope for from people when they realize I am gay. I don't want to be treated special just with the same kindness, dignity and respect they would show anyone else in their lives. I realize that it still happens today but as someone whom is older and grew up in that forced isolation and closet full of shame this really touched me because it is true we were denied simple human dignity.

I am so thankful for those who came out of the closet before me because they paved the path for me making my journey out of the closet a bit easier. Over the past ten years or so it has been amazing to watch so many people in my generation finally come out of hiding. It is well past time. I think it has been one of the key things in helping change hearts and minds about equality because finally our friends, coworkers, neighbors, and families can see that gay people are us not some three headed monsters out to eat their children.

I am so thankful for Edie Windsor and the strength, courage and conviction she has shown. I hope she wins she deserves it.
Quote:
My Heart Broke a Little Today

Posted: 27 Mar 2013 10:10 AM PDT

83-year-old widow Edie Windsor is suing the government to strike down DOMA, and today was her day in front of the Supreme Court. She spoke on the sidewalk afterward about the heart attack she had not long after her wife Thea’s death and how the government had treated their relationship like it never existed.

What moved me most was her description of how she’d been closeted for so many years, and how she was so grateful today for the kindness in how the Justices treated her.

She was grateful for their kindness.

Take a moment to realize that for most of her life, this kindness — this civility and dignity and respect — was something she and Thea had no reason to expect. It breaks my heart with regret at what these women had to live through, and it breaks my heart with joy that this heroine has never let it overcome her. Edie Windsor has overcome, no matter what the Court decides.

This is a precious moment in the struggle for dignity. The dignity our elders were denied, the dignity they fought for and won, the dignity we feel today, and the dignity we’ll pass down to those who are now only kids, starting to wonder if they’re gay, and taking hope from the courage of this tiny 83-year-old lady.

Source link: Box Turtle Bulletin » My Heart Broke a Little Today
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks so much, Nan, such a bittersweet piece

My Grandmother (a.k.a. "The Lioness") back home was friends with.. uhmm.. half a lesbian couple, lol. She got along very well with this lady, Liz, who was well into her 70s..Grandmother didn't particularly get along with Liz's loooooong time girlfriend - life partner. However when said girlfriend passed away, Grandmother made a point of dropping by for tea at Liz's cottage every single Wednesday, armed with biscuits and fruitcake. They'd spend an hour looking at lithographs and photos. This went on for several years until Liz died and, eventually, Grandmother.

I still tear up when I think of Grandmother. I'm so proud of her. I'm not ashamed to admit that I inherited several aspects of her personality.

She was too prim to use "vulgar language", as she called it, but she did say to me several times: "Liz and Rene went through the War together and they lived through a war every day of their lives. Don't let the bloody ninnies down at the pub tell you otherwise."

To this day, I can't fathom these two old ladies bothering *anybody* at all, yet they were subjected to constant malicious gossip and the like.

I hope Edie Windsor can teach people a lesson or two about love. Honestly, am I the only one who feels that some people are absolutely heartless? How can you look at anybody in the eye when you are filled with hatred and prejudice? Do some people get high on watching others suffer?

Whatever happened to compassion? Ugh.

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Old 03-30-2013, 04:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I should add that this happened in rural, tiny village England. Liz and Rene (pronounced "Reen", it's "short" for Irene Oo) shacked up together in a cottage in their early 20s, during the War and basically spent their lives together. Grandmother and Rene met when they were doing volunteer fire-woman duties together; most of the men were at war, so the ladies took on many extra responsibilities to keep the country running.

The "ninnies" used to joke about surviving the war, only to find that their girls had all turned queer. They gossiped to no end and made very stupid comments. Though I'm not condoning their bonehead "jokes", they never seriously harassed these two ladies (ie not the type of violent harassment you see in other places). When Rene died, the entire village showed up for her funeral.

Anyway, I just wanted to share another "success" story of another very long term LGBT couple, in a rural setting no less. They were together for almost 60 years. They were never married.
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've just been hit with this perspective...... Here we have Liz and Irene, a loving couple who peacefully lived together for 60 years. I am betting that those they came in contact with we're treated with respect, love and acceptance. I bet people felt welcomed and cherished in their presence. ( I wish I had known them).

And then you have people like my own parents that have also been married for 60 years..... People that have verbally, emotionally and (sometimes) physically abused each other all those years..... people that love to hate, and without qualms spread their anger generously....People that are intolerant beyond description.....but at least they're "straight", right? ... At least it's a marriage between a "man and a woman", right?

Hogwash.

Thank you for the story nandm! Eddie and Thea....Liz and Irene..... My family of origin could learn a lesson from them.

( sorry for the little rant, guys)
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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LDT

I do think that it's important to remember that this is a transitional phase. We're still dealing with the remnants of the Victorian age and the normalcy of the early 20th century, via our grandparents and so on.

To be honest... I've often wondered if I'd be so interested in humanitarian causes in general had I not been born gay. Truthfully: probably not, but there's no way to tell of course. The LGBTs who finally feel relatively safe enough to step out of the closet are touching other people's lives... and views. A personal example is my mother, who ended up dissenting with her lifelong religion (always the drama queen, lol, she felt that she had to choose between her religious beliefs or embracing this side of my identity - I'm sure that the two can be reconciled, but my mum was unable to find a way to do it). So I do think that a little bit of compassion is in order, the prejudiced nincompoops out there were *also* "born" that way. Or raised that way, anyway. They can't change overnight, it takes patience and tolerance.

People are becoming increasingly aware that LGBTs make up for a good percentage of people *they* know. So now they pause and question their prejudices.

The good news is, the Generation X-ers and the Millennial generation both are much more tolerant and accepting.

Thea, Edie, Liz, Rene... and so many other unsung heroes.. we brave enough to start paving the way. Heck, several post here regularly! We have much to be grateful for.

You can't ignore 10-15% (or whatever %) of the general population. AND we can't neglect the needs of the entire population as a whole. Hopefully one day we'll find ourselves in more evolved times, where everybody will be free to express their nature, feelings and soul as they see fit. We're slowly getting there.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattcake
Honestly, am I the only one who feels that some people are absolutely heartless?
No, you are not the only one. Some people really and truly just have a rock where their heart is supposed to be.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattcake
Honestly, am I the only one who feels that some people are absolutely heartless?
No, you are not the only one. Some people really and truly just have a rock where their heart is supposed to be.

I know that you're right but I simply refuse to accept it.


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Old 03-31-2013, 10:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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By the way if anyone has not had a chance to see the movie about Edie and her partner yet it is well worth watching. A very moving story. It is called "Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement." It came out in 2009. I know it is available on Netflix instant watch.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattcake View Post
They were together for almost 60 years. They were never married.
I have to disagree! Maybe they didn't have a piece of paper or legal recognition, but they were most definitely married! What an ultimately sweet story.

These are the people I refer to when talking to folks about the whole gay marriage issue. Couples who are together 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 years--beats the heck out of some hetero marriage statistics!

I have friends who have been together somewhere around 35 years. I think the reason we can often stay together so long is because we have to face so much adversity that we create new and healthier ways to be in relationship. That's just my observation but I find it true over and over and over again.
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