Don announced to me, “I’m getting a divorce.” Don worked for the printing company that printed the bank’s employee newsletter, which I was editor of. In addition to our serious professional relationship we had a very fun, casual friendship. He knew I was single and looking, and I knew he was married with three wonderful children. His news caught me by complete surprise.
A few months passed, and based on where we were in the newsletter production process, Don continued to stop by. I always inquired “How are you doing?” knowing that divorce is a nightmare. He always showed his cheerful side but one day he was smiling from ear to ear. “I met someone super special and I want to introduce you to each other,” he said. We set a date and time and picked a restaurant. When I arrived at the restaurant, Don was alone, sitting in a booth.
“So where is this she?” I asked.
“Have a seat,” said Don. “‘She’ is a ‘he.’”
It took the wind out of my sails. Not because he revealed he’s gay, but I lost my breath scanning through the decades in my mind in which he had had to live a lie.
Don moved in with his significant other shortly after. In subsequent visits to the bank, he would always tell me he was happier than ever.
We lost touch over the years because I, too, found my special someone, married him exchanging “I do’s,” and we moved away.
This took place in the late 1980’s.
Some 20-plus years later, slowly but surely same-sex couples are finally making strides. Obama’s banner for change is bittersweet; it should have happened a long time ago.
I am baffled by the anomoly in our society: Straight people have the freedom to marry and fair pretty pitifully while gay couples desperately want to commit forever and, in most states, can’t. Approximately 50% of heterosexual marriages end in divorce (and odds are worse for second and third marriages) and many more are miserably married. Homosexual couples, despite the obstacles they face — prejudice, bullying, discrimination, harassment, and more — seem to have a true grasp of everlasting love.
Marriage is not for everyone but if you want to marry you should be able to.
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