Not Very Political
Posted by Zenaida
Not long ago, I was surprised by a friend’s announcement that his political views were “liberal.” I never would have guessed that this friend would be so pro-choice, pro-free health care, pro-immigration reform in his views being from Provo, UT. After having my assumptions thrown out the window, I asked what his opinion was of me. His label for me was “not very political.” (Please note that this discussion was prefaced by an acknowledgement of the uselessness of labels as they carry different meanings for different people, but that’s another post.)
I suppose he’s right. I don’t enjoy politics, and I would rather spend my time involved in music or other pursuits, but I was somewhat ashamed of this assessment. I still believe I am “not very political,” but I try to be a somewhat informed voter, and stay a little better on top of what’s going on around me. So, I couldn’t ignore California’s court decision to allow same-sex marriages. I was celebrating! I have dear friends who could potentially be affected by this, and I can only be excited at the prospect.
I cannot imagine what it must be like to love someone and have the opportunity to build a life together thwarted in so many directions. What must it to be like to have the person you are closest to on the other side of a hospital door, and be unable to have any decision-making power or even the ability to be in the same room with them because you have no legal ties. The system simply makes it difficult for people to care for each other in some of the most basic ways. Today, I was listening to NPR, and the story of Chris and Don was told. They were together for decades, and their solution to legal issues was for Chris to adopt Don.
Another exposure came from reading Carol Lyn Pearson’s book “Goodbye, I Love You.” This book opened a window into the struggle of a homosexual man forcing himself into a heterosexual marriage because his eternal salvation was at stake. I cried.
My own views on this issue were largely shaped by my parents’ views and the church’s view. It was never really much of an issue, because it did not affect me, or really anyone I knew personally…until I went to college. I made a close friend that struggled so profoundly because of the forced repression of homosexual tendencies. It was so difficult to see damaging choices made because of society’s inability to be accepting of a different lifestyle. There was no support system to encourage healthy relationships because the entire notion of anything homosexual was considered “sinful” or “abnormal.” I think it is too simplistic to simply toss out and bury a person’s entire biological/emotional set up.
My next exposure to a same-sex couple was a family with a very healthy relationship. I saw genuine care and concern in ways that I would want to incorporate into my own relationships, and I couldn’t help but toss out my own prejudices. Their family is large, and open. They are willing to to extend love and acceptance to so many people, without qualification. They are truly amazing.
So, I may not be very political, but I can’t help but want to be sure I show up to vote in November.