Humans beings are walking paradoxes. For all our complications and intricacies, we seek something quite simple. We rise every morning seeking acceptance, admiration, and love. It is why we pursue fulfilling work, surround ourselves with a supportive network, and search for someone to love us unconditionally. Yes, these are simple notions, but human beings complicate matters. We add rules, dogma, and tradition. We rarely accept love at face value. Some people force themselves to the brink of tolerance, but never love and celebration.
I write this as a 33-year-old man in a loving, two-year, committed relationship with the partner and man of my dreams. By no means did the younger version of me envision this as my reality, but the teenage version of myself also knew a "traditional" relationship would never be mine. I waited a long time for this feeling. I waded through wedding after wedding and engagement after engagement tortured by what made me different. I cried over my apparent sin. I thought about taking my own life rather than living openly and honestly. I battled the expectation that I was supposed to marry the girl I dated in college. I knew in my heart of hearts that I would be living a lie, but society had its rules.
Slowly, over time, the battle became too much. I decided to be who I was always meant to be. I asked to be accepted. I asked to be loved unconditionally. I asked my family and friends to let me love who I wanted. I asked them to stand by my side and support my journey. As I summoned those moments of bravery, those who mattered didn't care and those that cared didn't matter. I lost friends. I disappointed family members. At the end of the day, none of that mattered. I found peace and set myself up for the possibility of falling in love. After years of agony, it finally happened.
Now, no one will ever make me apologize for it. People can accuse me and those who love as I do for leading the downfall of America. They can call our relationships wicked and immoral. They can claim I am going against the will of God. They can spit venom and yell things in public. They can make every attempt to create a bigger version of themselves by making us feel small, but they should do so knowing how completely normal our lives are.
Take Sunday, November 13th, as an example. We woke up around 10. I started watching Hulu. Brandon cooked pancakes. We watched some television together. Around noon, I started laundry, took out the recycling, and proceeded to get ready for the day. Brandon jumped on his piano. Around 2, I went to my Sunday movie. I got back around 5. Finished laundry and he cooked dinner. For the rest of the evening, we watched Netflix. Around 10:30, we went to bed. Most of our conversation was about our little brothers, Christmas carols, and buying a tree. We drifted off to sleep around 11:30. I know! Look at all the sinning!
Here is the thing, you will never make me apologize for this normal day. I am not ashamed of it and I am not afraid to share. I also want you to know I will never make you apologize for your love. I will celebrate it. I will like your photos. I will attend your weddings. I will offer counsel when you need it. I will be your friend, family, and admirer from afar. I will love with the love I want showed to me. I ask you to do the same. Just celebrate love.
Be good to each other,