Tiff’s family is the elephant in the room for us. It exists there in the space between us. The untouchable, unknown place where the spiders live. Ya, so that’s Tiff’s family. I’m the confrontational type. The one who wants to understand why things are the way they are. Why aren’t we welcome? I showered, and brushed my teeth, I even remembered my deoderant. What? We aren’t welcome because we have sex with people of the same sex? Oh right! We don’t talk about sex, so why are we talking about it?
I don’t understand religious people. I probably never will. They are the most bigoted, judgmental people I have ever had the misfortune of meeting. You can’t have a rational conversation with them. It’s simply impossible. I have decided it’s because they aren’t rational.
So back to Tiff’s family. They hurt her. Constantly. I am amazed daily at the hurt they inflict and yet they call themselves pillars of society. They say they are leaders in their community. They hold high positions in their churches. They state they are protecting their children, their youth, by keeping us away from them.
I’m trying to understand, yet lately it feels more like trying to hold sand in your hands. It’s slipping through my fingers quickly. I’m trying to protect my children too. From hatred and bigotry and hurtful situations. I’m certainly not trying to protect them from love, acceptance and family. I want them to see that family is the one thing that lasts throughout their lives. I want them to see their mothers, their siblings will always be there for them. Yet, they see how Tiff’s family is and all of a sudden everything I’m working towards is gone.
Tiff is hurt. I’m angry. I want to protect her. It creates a dynamic that is chasing at our heels. We exist in this space of ignoring the issues regarding Tiff’s family. Sure, we talk. We have dialogues, but neither of us feel a resolve after talking. It just leaves this icky residue that cover and coats us.
Tonight we were invited by our very religious neighbors to their ward Christmas party. They know we are lesbians. They know that we have kids. Shit, they know my ex, as she only lives two blocks away. To put it bluntly, they know all my dirty laundry, probably better than I do. Yet, they invited us into their ward, into their church. They did so regardless of Dallin Oaks speech. They did so regardless of certain opinions regarding our lifestyle.
We went. Yes it was a little tense. I was hoping the ceiling wouldn’t cave in the whole time, Tiff was relieving all that torments her personally. Meanwhile the girls played with the other children, the neighbor’s kids that they know and play with all the time. People came, talked to us and made us feel welcome. Us, the flaming lesbian couple went into the local mormon church. We shared a meal, sang Christmas songs complete with chimes. There was a prayer. No I didn’t bow my head, and guess what? They didn’t kick me out! The girls sat on santa’s lap. They got a little present and were overjoyed. They didn’t feel different, or unwanted. In fact, I’m quite certain they didn’t even know that I was constantly watching to make sure they were treated well.
So, if my neighbors can welcome us, even into their place of worship, how is it that Tiff’s family can’t even welcome us to family events? Perhaps I’m so upset getting my point across eloquently is impossible.
To be blunt they are cruel. There is no nice way of saying it. They are judgmental, they are hurtful. They are everything their god says not to be. I live with the great pleasure of knowing that if there is a god I’m going to get to stand with them, and god is going to make them see that the ones that have truly lived by his supposed word are not the ones that think they do. I will grin and smile, and I hate to say it, I will GLOAT. I might just skip, jump and down and whistle a merry tune. Maybe, just maybe I’ll wipe the shit eating grin off my face long enough to walk away before I do all those things. Most likely not though.
I may be a lot of things. In fact I make a lot of mistakes. I fall down, usually flat on my face in shit. That’s fine. I learn, I grow, I change, I evolve. I do not live this life with the hope that a god will reward me for it somewhere else. My life now, right this second is my reward. I see a beautiful sky. I live at the base of gorgeous mountains. I feel pain, and joy. I am loved and I love. I can cry and laugh. I can smell my children, and hear them and feel their arms around me when we hug. That is all the reward I could ever hope for.
I could never disown my children because they are gay. Geez, perhaps I should say if they are straight? I could never turn them away and leave them to walk their path alone. I am here on this planet as their mother. How can I be a mother if I’m not a mother? Being a parent is fucking hard. Everyday is hard. It’s full of hard decisions. It’s the single most beautiful thing I will ever see or experience. It’s my heaven. I never want to lose it.
To all the parents who have turned their backs, shame on you. To all the siblings who have “issues” with it, shame on you. To every religious right person who spends their time telling me my fate, shame on you. I promise you all, I will not be laying on my death bed regretting my life. I will not die fearing that I will burn in eternal hell. I will go peacefully and quietly, surrounded by those I love and those that love me. Wanna know why? Because I never turned my back on someone in need of help. I never sent my children away because I disagree with their choices. I never spent my time telling others how to live. I lived. My life.