Back in September of 2009, I made a smugly moralistic little post called, "My Two Dates".
The point of that post was to talk about a little event where I got asked if I would be interested in joining a couple for a little threesome action. I talked about how I learned a valuable lesson about misjudging people. And then at the end of it, in an attempt to whitewash the fact that I was still a judgmental prick, I said that I was not interested in hooking up with them. But I never really said why. And to be honest, at the time, I wasn't really all that sure myself. I did give some lame-ass excuse about how it would bring up some emotional baggage; as if I had any clue what I was talking about.
Well, truth be told, 6 months later, I found myself chained to the wall of their play room having a good time. This happened twice, on consecutive weekends.
Now, here are the reasons why I'm bringing all this up: 1) my conscience is getting the better of me. Since I had originally said I wasn't interested in doing something only to turn around and do it, I felt like I had some explaining to do. Not that anyone would have known either way, or that I needed to justify myself, I just needed to be honest. 2) I've finally come to terms with the core reason I was uninterested in hooking up in the first place and I've finally been able to put it all into words. That is to say, I sort of knew what it was I had been working out back then, but I hadn't fully understood until now what it was all about. 3) I feel rather smugly moralistic about it all, which, oddly enough, is what's motivating me to write this in the first place.
In the 6 months that followed our initial meeting back in August of 2009, I had managed to get over my fears and initial reservations for avoiding them. Many of my fears had mostly to do with just plain old self-esteem and insecurity. But my reservations or rather, my stated noninterest was rooted in the mindset of looking for my "One True Love". A belief that had been culled from the many, downright useless, beliefs regarding the purposes of sex, intimacy and relationships, which were all framed within the context of traditional religious ideals, namely, the Mormon kind. So, naturally, play time with a couple who have been together for 15 years wasn't going to get me into a relationship of that kind. Although, it could develop into some other kind of relationship, not that this one was, but whether it happened or not, it was not the goal anyway, I was simply not interested in doing anything unless it fit within the set of "values" that I been accustom to. So, I was willing to pass up an opportunity for some serious adult oriented fun.
I had grown up around the idea of the traditional Mormon polygamist family and I knew about Polyandry from studying all the many forms of BDSM relationship dynamics that embraced it. So, back in 2007 when I was first coming out, I was prepared to admit to my mom at the time, that I could not say that such arrangements would never happen and that I could see myself living in a nontraditional dynamic in the future. It was an attempt to plant a seed in her mind that the rules have changed; the expectations of normality must be adjusted. There is no "one right way" of defining a family. To my surprise, she added to that by telling me her understanding of family, which included even more combinations that I had never imagined. She was already ahead of the game.
However, I still held back. I still had my doubts if such things really were for me or not. I realized in the end that I was still in love with the idea of the perfect, white-picketed, fenced-in, nuclear family, that I had grown up to believe was the only way that was truly acceptable in society or at least in Mormon cultural society. To make matters worse, the gay marriage debate was raging in the media and I found myself caught up in the whirlwind, trying to prove to the world that gay people were normal, that they were just like everyone else. But, it was like going back into the closet all over again. I had a hard time figuring out how I was going to get the queer world that made sense to me, fit in with what everyone else expected the gay world should be. I wanted the freedom to live an honest life but not make others uncomfortable. I don't know how I was going to do that. I was trying to have it both ways. And in the end, the big question that I was not asking was, "why do I still try to garner their acceptance anyway?"
In all of this, the core issue to embrace was, if I'm going to live honestly and with any modicum of dignity and self-respect, I will stop trying so hard to live by their "rules". I am gay, but more than that, I am queer. There is no way I'm going to fit within the "rules" of the prevailing religious society's notion of the traditional, patriarchal family, no matter what I do. So, essentially, I get to decide what constitutes the "purpose" of sex within the context of my relationships and I get to decide what constitutes my own family. Whether it's comprised of a same-sex couple who fosters or adopts children, or whether it's comprised of several same-sex adults who all share partnership roles, or a partner and those that make up the "extended" family. There could even be a hierarchy just like in the traditional or historical sense but with different names, titles, and meanings. It doesn't matter. I get to define what family, friends and sex are within the context of my own values that work for me. And today there are millions out there, gay and non-gay, who happily and joyfully do just that.
So, as it stands, the gay marriage debate will continue, obviously, as many people will be seeking to be part of that normalcy and continue to fight for it. And that's OK. But I'm no longer interested in fighting. Because, truth be told, it's all a bunch of crap! It's not to say that I don't support it or I won't be part of it someday, I may get married, but in the end, I don't believe, considering the way I view and choose to live my life, that my family, whatever form it takes, will ever be treated with any sort of respect whether I'm married or not. Because the basic fact is, we, as queer folk, are not normal. We are different.
There is nothing wrong with being different. But, spending any more time trying to convince a religious society that can't abide difference is a complete waste of my life. And that is what most of the gay marriage political debating has been about, gay couples having to put up their best possible face to show the world just how normal they really are. This for me means compromising my self-expression, my integrity, my sanity, to appease those that can't or won't embrace what they don't understand. I'm not going to waste my time hiding and I'm done trying to change their minds.
We, queers, must make our own rules and live by them. And it's not by the norms of an authoritarian religious society that we are to be comparing ourselves. If we allow that, we are falling into the expectations of those who have never questioned why their normal familial traditions make them so bloody miserable. And we might as well be miserable right along with them. Sure, they will judge us by their standards, there is no way of getting around it, but they are in the wrong when they do. They are the ultimate hypocrites if they think their normality is applicable to us. And we are wrong if we try to get them to think our difference is not different.
The great automatons that comprise most of the religiously bound human race are lost in a sea of sameness. A lack of perspective and creativity in thought and reason, they have failed to embrace diversity, thus they have failed to embrace what's important. And sadly, they are trapped there, consumed by fear of things they are also afraid to understand.
I know I keep reiterating this but I want it made clear! It's not my place to fit within their reality, to erase my differences so that they can think I'm normal. The responsibility actually lies on them to broaden, allow and embrace the differences into their definition of normal. They mistakenly believe that to do that, they would have to compromise their core values, which they say they shouldn't have to do. Just like how I'm saying I shouldn't have to compromise mine for them. But what they must understand is that I'm not compelling them to live my life the way they are compelling me to live theirs. My core values are values I impose upon myself whereas their core values are values they want imposed on others.
I've been foolish in thinking I could measure up to their expectations because they seek and impose an unattainable perfection. And as they continue to do so, their definition of normal narrows, which makes their definition of perfection narrow. Thus, any possible embracement of difference becomes impossible. I've also been foolish in expecting them to look beyond their fears. I know how hard it is for them. I also know that they must make the effort on their own if they ever want to look beyond those fears. No one can do it for them! But I can't wait forever.
In essence, what I'm saying is, my search for acceptance from the Mormons has been put to rest. My ship has sailed. If they want to leave that "Great and Spacious Building" to get across the river now, they'll have to build one themselves. They have been given the tools, materials and the plans; all they need is the desire. Once they do, I'll be here ready to receive them.
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