(Editor’s note: Barb Hamp Weicksel of San Diego, whose blogs have appeared on San Diego Gay & Lesbian News and LGBTQ Nation, will now become a regular contributor on SDGLN’s Commentary pages. Her commentaries will appear on Tuesdays.)
We sometimes focus so much on the things that we don’t have, or think we don’t have, or the things that we want, we tend to lose focus on the things that we do have.
I was reminded over the holiday weekend about the things that we have in our lives that bring us joy and make us happy. Mainly; I was reminded about the gift of love.
Candie and Jenny, a lesbian couple whom my partner Susan and I just adore, called us to tell us they were engaged. With all the hate, intolerance and all the discrimination against them, these two women, these friends, fell in love and have decided to share their lives together.
In a country that is most certainly not gay-friendly, my friends have taken this leap of faith with one another and they do not want to live quietly together and pretend that it’s something other than what it is. They want to celebrate this love they have been most fortunate to find, and they want that love to be recognized and celebrated.
What is so wrong with people that they cannot or will not recognize love? What are they so afraid of? Is it because they can’t find that sort of lasting, all-encompassing love on their own so they don’t want anyone to have it? Is it that they hate what they don’t know?
I don’t for one moment believe that any loving God would not want us all to find love. To find someone to share this life with – someone to share the burdens and revel in the joy and just make the day-to-day things seem so much better than they really are. I don’t believe any loving God would tell people to pump millions and millions of dollars into a campaign of hate to keep people from having love in their life.
This is part of what this election is about in November. Love: Having it recognized, having it legalized, having it become part of the human condition.
If ever you needed to vote – this is the time. Republicans vow to strip away any chance the gay community has of being recognized as truly free and equal citizens of this United States of America. If you are a member of the gay community, the Republicans aren’t shying away from their disregard for you; they are quite clear on what they will most certainly take away from you. These little crumbs of respect and dignity that have been fought so hard for will disappear in a Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan world.
This election is about Candie and Jenny, who are choosing love in a world full of hate. It’s about you and me and the millions of us in the gay community who simply want to live our lives in the best possible way. We want to live openly and not be afraid of what might be lurking around the corner. We want and we deserve respect and all the rights that go with being a citizen of this United States.
Find your voting place, make sure you are registered, make sure your neighbors and friends are registered – volunteer to drive people to the polls – do what you can to make our small gains turn into big gains. Do what you can to make love be the answer – not ignorance, not intolerance, not Republicans and their platform of hate …
You must vote. You must do it for you – and for me – and yes, do it for Candie and Jenny who in spite of all the trash talk and platforms that come from the Republicans fell in love and have decided to not run and hide, and deserve a chance to make a “real” life in these United States of America.
Mostly, go vote because it is the absolute right thing to do.
Barb Hamp Weicksel was born in 1952 in Pennsylvania and moved to California in the early 1980s, where she met her partner Susan. They've been together some 30 years and share the love of Susan's four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her blog, Barb's Gift of Gab," can be found HERE.)