So, you'll never guess where I am right now (that is, if any of you are left... I know I've been neglectful). I'm not home, although I am in Ottawa. Right now, at this very moment I am writing to you from the home of... oh, I just realized I can't remember their names. I'm house sitting for some friends of a friend of mine. This, of course, is not all that interesting, except that this home I'm in right now is the home of two happily married lesbians and their darling little girl. At least, I think they're happy. They look happy in their pictures (but of course, doesn't everyone?), and my friend gave no indication that they might be otherwise.
I found myself looking around thier (beautiful!) home yesterday, to see how happily married lesbians live. Not snooping, at least, I don't think I snooped. I looked at books on bookshelves, and pictures on walls... CDs, DVDs, that kind of stuff. Nothing too dramatic, I'm afraid. They have a couple of seasons of The L Word on DVD, and quite a few Indigo Girls CDs. They also have two copies of Fumbling Towards Ecstacy by Sarah McLachlan, which is only interesting to me because I also have two copies of that particular CD, having once travelled far away from home only to discover that I had forgotten to bring it with me and rather than simply do without, I bought a new one. I do love that CD.
I don't have much to report about this, really. I like their home, it's very nice -- they're both obviously doing quite well financially. I can say that being in their home and seeing how -- for lack of a better word -- normal it is, I'm very glad that I can call them married without having to put quotes around that particular word. They are, in fact, truly married, and I think that's a good thing -- whatever the case may be for Christians and gay marriage, just being in their home has reaffirmed for me that I think it's a good thing that this couple has the same rights and status (as least as far as the law is concerned) as any other couple.
Anyway, I have meant to continue with documenting some of the experiences I had while travelling, but my life has kind of gotten in my way. It's nice to be home and among friends. I've managed to get some part time work, and for those of you who pray I would appreciate some prayers in that area. I still want to head back to Korea, but some cash right now would not go amiss. Actually, while I'm asking for prayer, you could pray for my health as well. Oh, I'm not sick or anything, but I have discovered that I will be needing surgery for something that is not all that serious but that needs to be rectified. This, of course, has put a slight wrench in my plans to be back in Korea by September, surgery wait times and recovery times being what they are... but it must be done. Heh, something else that makes me grateful to be Canadian... gay marriage and free health care! It's good to be home.
Anyway, I think I'll try and write out some what happened while I was in the US with my mom. So... as I mentioned I ended my "world tour" with a little time with my mother... unavoidable, it turned out. Well... unavoidable without starting a huge fight. We met in New York, went to two shows and headed over to Pennsylvania to visit one of my aunts (a great aunt, or cousin, or some such... one of those people I'm related to, but honestly, I'm not sure how).
You wouldn't think 'gay stuff' would come up while visiting with my aged aunt in her retirement community, but... well, it did. My aunt brought up the old governer of New Jersey -- the gay one (I don't know much about American politics, I'm afraid... at least not much about what isn't covered on The Daily Show). We were suddenly in the midst of a debate. Well, at least my mom seemed to think it was a debate, my aunt kept trying to change the subject, or at least end the conversation but my mom was determined to say her piece and be absolutely sure that her and my aunt were in agreement. It would have been funny to watch if it wasn't for the fact that... well, I'm gay, and my mom knows... although, as I said it seems she may have forgotten.
My mom brought up a conversation she'd had with a minister in Toronto who had included an invitation to the gay pride parade in his church buliten. Apparantly his response to my mom's question or why he would do that was "Well, there's not much about it in the Bible, and I think that there's not enough love in the world as it is."
Her face then was painted with an incredulous expression, "Not a lot??? What does he mean? It's so blatant!"
I did not challenge her on that for obvious reasons, but I really don't think she's thought about it that much.
My aunt then went on to try and explain that she has compassion for "those people", and to bring up another distant relative who had shown "those tendancies" from when he was "yea high". My mom jumped on that with an 'explanation' that included learning in the womb, being rejected (ie: if your mother wanted a boy and got a girl instead, then it's possible that your fetal spirit received that and when you are born you try to become what your mother wanted... I hope I'm explaining that right). And then she went on to cite a man at her church who 'used to be high up in the gay community' (what on earth does that mean???) who is now 'married and has children and is happy and everything!', who gave a talk at her church about how everyone he has ever counseled with 'that condition' has an issue with their father... poor fathering, abandoned, abused, etc... which, I'm sure is what is in her head as an explanation for me (if, indeed, she even remembers).
Then there was the weird part where my aunt and my mom were talking at complete cross purposes.
Mom: I think we need to just see things as God sees them.
Aunt: That's right.
Aunt: ... and I think God looks on us with love and compassion.
Mom: ...uh, well, I think God has said that somethings are wrong and are sin and we need to see it that way.
Aunt: ...well, I didn't say that I think it's right, I just think that we should have compassion.
Mom: Sin is sin. There isn't 'this sin' and 'that sin'. It's all sin.
Aunt: Exactly. We're no worse than they are. We all sin.
Mom: No, what I mean is that things are becoming hazy. It's not black and white anymore. It's all creamy and grey and there is no distinction.
Aunt: Well, it's not like I think they're doing right, I just think we need to have compassion and know that we all sin.
Mom: ... (she gave up somewhere around this point).
Of course, my mom is notorious for not realizing that people can disagree with her... expecially Christians. For her, the idea that there are Christians out there who don't believe that Bush was appointed by God to sit on the throne comes as a shock. (Heh, the political discussion between my Aunt -- who is an older black American lady... very very much a Democrat -- and my mom was hilarious! My aunt calling Bush a 'stupid, foolish man', and my mom going red in the face! Heehee!!!)
My mom tried a couple of times during our stay with my Aunt to get her to say something a little more condemning about gay people but my Aunt just wouldn't do it. She would go as far as "I think it's a sin, and I think it's wrong," and my mom would sigh in relief, but then my Aunt would continue with something like "but I don't think I understand everything. I think some people may disagree with me and I think that might be okay. I don't know everything." And my mom would scowl in frustration. During one of their conversations (during which I was quite mute) my Aunt told a story about an old doctor friend of hers who was completely homophobic and used to complain to her and her husband about a 'girly-boy' patient of his that he hated. He would come to my aunt's house and mimic this patient and say hateful things about him... and then the man died, and this doctor performed the autopsy and, to quote my aunt "wouldn't you know it... found a pair of ovaries in him! So, you see, we can't know everything. From that point on I decided it wasn't my place to judge any person for being that way."
My mom, of course, tried to dismiss this case as an anomaly, using the same argument that I've read in quite a few books on the Side B side of this argument... that we can't use anomalies as a reason to dismiss the law, and I admit that this argument has some merit, but what proponents of this argument fail to see is that those anomalies are actual people, with souls that are as valuable to God as any other soul. And to use an evangelical cliche, if that man with ovaries... or any one who is intersexed in anyway... had been the only man on earth, Christ still would have died for him. Which means that somehow, the Bible, the law, must apply to them. And to dismiss them from the argument completely is a cop out.
Anyway, once again, I hope to not abandon this blog for so long again. I haven't even gotten around to catching up on all of my blog buddies blogs (heh, say that 10 times fast!). That's a somewhat daunting task, but I'm determined to do it!
Mucho love to all of you!