Sunday, May 13, 2012

Conditional Love

On Star Trek: The Next Generation, season 5, an episode called "The Outcast," features Commander Riker falling for a member of a member of a race of nonsexual aliens.  First, Riker falls for someone on many episodes.   Second, it is amazing that Deanna Troi didn't just chop off his Trekticles.  Third, on this particular world, if you are too male or too female you are sent for brainwashing where you come out clean as a whistle, with no sexual/gender tendencies being shown.  I never forgot it because it was such a statement about life as we know it and because dang, Riker really would screw anything that moved with even a soup├žon of femininity.  Riker was appalled that his paramour was brainwashed to be less girly and Picard had to remind him of the Prime Directive and butt the hell out.

Last Sunday, Vice President Biden dropped the bomb that he supported gay marriage.  A couple of days later, President Obama revealed that he was, of course, in favor of gay marriage.  "Welcome to awareness, guys," said my coworkers with some disdain.  The speakers were gay men who are all in committed relationships. 

NC Gov. Beverly Perdue (D), courtesy AP
What came after the Obama and Biden admissions was the backchat about marriage between two people of the opposite sex is not a marriage and North Carolina making gay marriage unconstitutional (it was on the ballot, y'all, because elections take time to put together).   The latter is ghastly because people who thought themselves happy and unthreatened could move from there while other people will refuse to spend their vacation dollars there, straight and gay.  Their governor, Democrat Beverly Perdue, was against the ban and said it made North Carolina look like Mississippi.  (I am guessing Mississippi is displeased.)  The former is merely bullshit.

I was in theatre for many years (and if I could control my work schedule better,  I would audition for some community theatre project or other).  In theatre there are many gay men.  In my present line of work, there are many gay men.  Basically, I know a lot of gay men.  I am also friends with two women whom I met through the course of my life who happen to be lesbians.  What the gay men and the lesbians have in common is they want to meet someone special with whom they can share their lives and build a future together.  None of them wants to turn a straight person gay.  Like most sane people with open hearts, they just want companionship, togetherness, maybe raise a family, take vacations, grow old with one another, and experience a richness that comes only with true love and not being judged.

When all the backchatting from various conservatives hit the airwaves -- marriage is between and man and a woman, marriage is so you can have a family together -- I was startled by how pissed off I was because it is all so very conditional.

What the conservatives are saying boils down to this:  you can only have love if you are straight.  You can't experience the nuance of different levels of love between two people; forget about the joy of raising children or even a pet together; you shouldn't own property nor grow a garden;  you mustn't share a bank account; you're not allowed to nurse each other back to health when you are sick.  None of these if you are a gay couple.  It is the conservatives' own version of the Prime Directive.

It has been grinding through my head over and over that these rightwing nutjobs want love to be for straight people only, hoping that members of the gay, lesbian, and transgender community will remain at the edges of society, hidden from view and out of the mainstream consciousness.  They need to see that it is crazy and hateful to believe or even espouse those beliefs because one day they will have to admit they are wrong and that sexuality is not a choice and you like what you like and that love is something between two adults who love each other with no conditions attached.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely, nicely put. I can't remember where I read it recently, but an older, conservative gentleman was asked about the president's recent endorsement of same sex marriage. Clearly, the man had been raised as a conservative, religious person in a state known for that kind of people. But he answered that he didn't know what to think about it because he didn't know yet how his young grandchildren were going to turn out--meaning straight or gay. Now, that is unconditional love, to be willing to some day shed long held beliefs because of your grandchildren's not yet known sexual orientation.