Gay Marriage for All

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Yesterday, Gay Marriage became legal.

Instead of letting my mind drift to thoughts of what my real legal wedding could look like one day (the flowers, the dresses, the food … ohh the food), yesterday’s outcome has transcended my mind into my own chronological path to who I am today, receiving this great news in our country.

I knew something was different 24 years ago.

Outsiders who just see me as a pretty-faced feminine woman seem to have trouble wrapping their head around how at the raw age of 6 years old, I knew I liked girls. I remember the moment like it was yesterday when the universe said, “yep, you like girls”.

Through grade school and up until my late teens, I struggled, I let religion hold me in a guilty and self-disgusted view of myself, I fell in love (well, not really love – more like infatuation) with my friends, I got hurt and I furiously attempted (and failed miserably) to hide myself under the guise of relationships with guys. It didn’t work. Whatever I tried, I still had to face my authentic self. Every damn time.

My early 20’s came around and I continued to self-medicate with meaningless relationships, partying and kept incredibly busy.  When I was 25, the universe and all its karma gave me my first real girlfriend. At the same time, my grandmother passed away, my brother went to rehab, months later he got cancer (he’s in remission now) and I faced my partying ways head on (this was a blessing in disguise).  Through all the mess, I found peace and renewal through my relationship and the confidence it slowly built. Day by day, I grew bolder and I learned to love myself, my real self.

One spring night, I gathered my close friends together in a dark bar in Houston and unleashed the words I once feared/hated/damned … “I’m gay”.  The long and quiet look of confusion, peace and smiles followed with a resounding “oh my god, it all makes sense”. This was the same reaction my brother had when I told him.

Coming out to my parents was the hardest, I wrote (edited, re-wrote, edited and re-wrote again) and slipped a lengthy letter into the guest bedroom nightstand drawer when I visited them one weekend in September.  I remember leaving that day, thinking it would be the last time they’d see me under a false mask that I quietly hid behind for 25 years.  Trying to find peace on my way back to my apartment was impossible.  With trembling fingers, I sent a text to my dad, “there’s something for you and mom in the nightstand drawer”. Later that evening he called and said when he received my text, he knew exactly what it was and exactly what I was going to say. The real connection to our parents is typically unveiled when unveiling.

My father knew I was gay (early on) and patiently let me decide when I would tell him and my mother.  My mother was a different story and still kind of is (it’s been 5 years), but I love her dearly and have learned patience and understanding through her own layers of acceptance with me.  She is lovely and will (hopefully) understand it and let it all fall into place when she sees me with my partner, who loves me just like my parents prayed and hoped for me to be loved.

Since my own coming out, my life has unraveled in the most beautiful ways because I found love for myself.

 I’ve fallen in love, fallen out of love, discovered a passion and talent for writing, started You.Are.Venus,  a product line and fallen in love with someone who I hope someday will become my wife with the nod of today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Today, I wonder what my other LGBTQ brothers and sisters are feeling. I’m hoping this day brings peace and joy for those who hid in denial, faced hate crimes, have passed on without hearing this news and those families who had once been denied respect and legal rights.

I am lucky to witness history, we all are.

– Bethany