Thursday, December 29, 2005

Defining Love

It’s difficult when you have to deal with shallow-minded people who have absolutely no tolerance for anything unfamiliar. Again, it’s all about ‘the unknown territories’; the fear of opening up to a new world, or learning about someone else’s lifestyle. Why should they? They’re comfortable in their walls of seclusion—not desiring knowledge of other lifestyles and cultures. And that’s “okay”.

Then you have the people who cross those lines. Those very thin lines of respect can be easily confused as ‘innocent questioning’ or ‘remarks’. Most of the time, it’s not so innocent, due to their approach.

Madelene and I have been known to be the itinerant bar hoppers back in the day---okay, okay, we still are. We love talking to everyone and anyone. Most people I meet at the bar are men, and they’re just so interesting to talk to. We never get ‘weirded out' or feel awkward when men approach us, because if you’re sitting at a bar, you have to realize that it’s a social setting. If you’re not looking to converse with anyone, then get a table. That’s my theory behind that one.

I never forgot the time, Madelene and I were sitting at a bar having a drink talking, when someone taps me on the shoulder.

“Debbie?”
“Yes?”
I turned around, and it was an old boyfriend I dated back in high school.
“Oh my God! Anthony! How are you?” I said, as I hugged him & introduced him to Madelene. Anthony was with his brother, and it was so nice to see them again. We talked about old times, and reminisced about the good ol’ days.

A few drinks later and a couple of shots down, the inevitable question lures in the air.
“So are you dating anyone?”
“Yeah, I am…and you?”
Thinking that would settle the weird, ‘You’re a lesbian!!!’ shocker.
“No. Single…So, does this guy treat you good?”
“Yes…I’m happy.”
“So what does he do?”
“Sells cars.”
“Oh yeah? So how did you meet him?”

This was going back and forth like a bad tennis game, except the ball didn’t drop so quickly. I had to end this volley—now. Madelene just sat there entertained with the anticipation of my next answer. I think she was actually enjoying the torture I was being put under. I’m not quite ‘open’ willingly to certain people, because I know their point of views with certain lifestyles, and Anthony was an ‘old fashioned’ type of guy who wouldn’t be so open-minded. At this point, he was being intrusive asking way too many questions about ‘my boyfriend’.

“Anthony, this is my girlfriend Madelene.”
“Yeah, you introduced me to her Deb—have another shot!”
“No. Anthony, we’re dating.”
“Huh?”
“I’m gay.”
“You can’t be.”
“I am.”
“We dated though.”
“I know.”

He looked straight ahead, with this blank stare on his face. It almost looked as if he was going to cry. It wasn’t as if I was the love of his life or anything, we only dated a few weeks back in high school, so I didn’t think this was going to be such a heart breaking event here.

His silent censure had me concerned. It wasn’t a normal response. The loud silence became almost unnerving. He turned his back and began speaking to his brother.
“Well that’s just disgusting.” He said to his brother who was sitting at the end of the bar.
“How can do girls be together? That’s ungodly and an abomination in God’s eyes!” He said louder, knowing that I heard every word.
“What a shame, and such a pretty girl too, you know?” Now he was talking about me as if I wasn’t there at all.

“What’s a shame is that I dated you! That’s the shameful part of my life Anthony.” I said, as I picked up my jacket to head to the other side of the bar. There was nothing shameful about my scenario. Here I sat, with this beautiful woman—which was unavailable to all men. He sat there, with his brother, criticizing my life. It was actually sad to see his response.

On another note, let’s head back to ‘the family life’ at home. When my mother finally accepted my lifestyle, she always gave me these words of wisdom.

“Debbie, never, ever, ever, start looking like a ‘dyke’. Always look feminine and keep up with your appearance.”

Ah, the words of an accepting mother. It was the first step of her accepting me—of course with stipulations. I had to look like a girl if I wanted to play with the other lesbians. Lovely.

There have been plenty of times where I would speak to men or women, who would simply say, “Why? You can get any man you want!” I love that remark most of all. That one is actually flattering, because I know in fact; I can’t get any man I want. It sounds a bit pretentious; nevertheless, flattering.

“I wish I could get any woman I want! Now that would be a better scenario!” I always respond. Their eyes widen as I open them up to a new world.
“But you’re such a pretty girl, that’s a shame.” Then it goes back to that ‘shameful’ part. Is it a matter of them being ashamed of me? Or do they think that I’m embarrassed by my lifestyle? I don’t quite understand their statements.

Now the best ‘reaction’ that I love so dear, is the one where a man is interested in me, and then goes for that execrable suggestion.

“Well you haven’t found the right man.” With one eyebrow raised up high...(Ugh)

Oh—you have to love that one. I’ve found plenty of men that are beautiful, intelligent, funny and loving. To me, my preference goes beyond gender. It’s all about the person inside. Who’s to say years down the road if I were to be single again, that I wouldn’t date a man? It’s possible. Anything is possible. Right now, at the present time, my heart belongs to Madelene. She’s a woman, and she’s an incredible one. She is the ‘right’ woman for me.

Here’s another look at ignorant judgments. One of my best friends, who I grew up with, comes from a Jewish background. Jessica’s parents are very strict upon who she dates. Our families were very close for many years. Jessica is only allowed to date “Jewish men”. It’s a tradition. I’ve heard of this before, and that’s okay—as long as that person is happy with their choice. She informed me that she just got engaged too. I was so happy for her. We lost touch for almost a year, and when I met up with her again, she invited me over to her house. Her mother answered the door, and asked me to come in.

The first words out of her mother’s mouth were, “You know Jessie’s engaged, right?” I immediately looked into her eyes, and saw disapproval right away. I sensed it. The tension in her voice was alarming.

“Yeah, I’m so happy for her.”
“Yeah well, wasn’t what we expected, but I guess she’s happy.”

This started to confuse me. I didn’t understand why she was saying this. I never met Jessica’s fiancĂ©, but she sounded so happy. I saw Jessica’s eyes when she told me she was engaged. I saw happiness.

“Well, you do know he’s black, right?”
“Oh. Well, he treats her good, right?”
“Well, yeah, but that’s not the point.”
She said, as her eyes were impossible to make contact with.
“They’re both in love, right?”
“Yeah Deb, but that’s not the point.”
“Then what’s the point?”
“He’s black Deb. What if you came home telling your Italian father that you were engaged to a black man?”
“Mrs. G—I’m engaged to a woman. I think he has enough of his own battles to deal with.”


Once I said that, her eyes made immediate eye contact. She stared at me. Her eyes were almost glistening. In that very instance, she hugged me. She never really hugged me ‘sincerely’ before. It was always an ‘air kiss’ and a fake hug. This hug was one that said, “Thank you. Thank you...” I’ll never forget that. She realized that you didn’t have to get married to that perfect mate with the big house and the white picket fence. You marry “the person” you love.

I found the true meaning of what love is. If you have this--then nothing else matters. I found this in the first Corinthians...

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. ~1 Corinthians 13:4-7

69 comments:

Fred said...

Great post. A guy who worked for me came into my office one day, looking very nervous. He asked if he could close the door. He then told me in a shaking voice that he was gay. I reponded with something like, "Cool. Are you having any problems here at work that need my attention?" (I don't know if that was the right response, but I had no issues with him nor did I have any idea that he was gay, either.)

I think he thought I was going to throw him out or something, but I was more amazed at his nervousness. We've been good friends ever since.

Shannon said...

WOW very powerful post.. I don't really know where to begin. I don't think anyone should judge anyone...life is short so people need to relax. Live life the way you want to.. you are the only one in control of your happiness. Love is endless. limitless.. and your heart loves when it wants to love. People are naturally afraid of change... all you can do is be happy with yourself and the choices you have made ( no matter what they are)... I would hang out with you in a heartbeat!! Your true friends will always be there.. and whoever is not, you shouldn't want in your life anyways.. great post as always.

Wenchy said...

This is my favourite post you have ever written.

Lisa said...

Deb,

The relationship between you and Madelene is beautiful. That's all I see when I read your posts or see your pictures. I don't see two women, two men or one of each. I see two PEOPLE that have a deep love and respect for eachother. How blessed you are to have that in your life.
There is nothing shameful in loving someone. Ever.

nuff said.

{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}

The Stevo in H-Town said...

Don't care how MUCH money someone haz, WHO they fall in love with or whatever...The SMILE on their face iz the only legit barometer for a "successful" person...and I think THAT's an ireffutable statement...

Genna said...

Deb,

You are so brave.

This was an amazing post. Being a girl that has almost always dated outside my own race, I can relate to it in many ways.

Its a shame that people have to be so judgemental. It pushes love away. And what's worse is when that behavior comes from someone that is supposed to love you. Love is unconditional.

"The worst prison would be a closed heart."

You are who you are and don't let anyone make you feel bad because of it. Let them live their own life.

I am so glad that we have you in our lives!! Most of us not only accept you for the way you live your life, but we also love you for it. :)

Mehitebel said...

I don’t think I would have the strength to not knock that guy’s lights out. How dare he say that your lifestyle is disgusting? I bet you anything he was just jealous. It’s obvious he was trying to get the inner scoop on who you were dating.
I came out but I’m more discreet than you. You’re brave. I am more in the closet because I just got out of a 5 yr relationship with a man that was going nowhere. I read your blog and you inspire me so much. It makes me think wow, there are people out there that understand me. I know you don’t know me, but I feel like you take the words right out of my mouth, especially your political posts. You’re amazing! Thank you so much for making my life seem okay.

Big Mama said...

Wow! This is the first time I stop in and such a powerful thought provoking post. You are a great writer and I will be adding you to my favorite bloggers real soon. You seem to have it all together. I want more people to stop being so ignorant and just accept all people and all things.

Think outside the box people. Love is love and that is that!

kathi said...

I love everything about you. Your mind, your heart and your spirit. I'm also jealous of the same things too. I'm just glad that you came into my life.

green said...

~deb.

This is an amazing post.

And I've got to tell you that when I first stumbled onto your blog and found out you were a lesbian and so open about it, I wa a bit intimidated. Didn't know what to make of you. But I'm glad to say that you have altered my view of your chosen lifestyle. And I'm proud to say I know you even if it's only thru bloggerland.

Keep up the great, inspiring posts...

~Deb said...

Thank you for all kind words. No, I’m not brave, nor do I have it together. I think through experience of handling people and the way they react, I have come to terms that a lot of people just won’t ‘accept’ certain things. That’s okay. I just wish they were a bit more tactful about their approach. I can’t change people and how they think, but I really believe that if we change our ‘response’ to their negative reactions, it may dawn on them that there are people in this world that are different from them.

Love “is” love---no matter if your significant other is white, black, Asian, from a different religion and/or the same gender… Too much emphasis on love is placed upon outward appearances in society. Shouldn’t it be placed upon your heart and “who” you choose to love?

It’s a shame that there are so many close-minded people out in the world. Let’s just be grateful that the ones who are open to different cultures & lifestyles are comfortable in their own skin. The people who criticize you for being with someone who is ‘different’ from you-—are insecure. Never let anyone make you feel bad about who you love.

Mike said...

I'm goig to echo the sentiment in here....great post!

I 'likes' ya just the way you are...or any way you want to be.

Always a pleasure to come here and read your posts...well thoughtout and articulate.

Have a great New Year!!

Chloe' Gardner said...

Deb,

That was such a moving post. It just shows the amount of ingorance that is still in the world. It hurts me that you and many others have to go through being shamed and persecuted for being YOU, being HUMAN, the way GOD made you.

I'm so glad you're able to hold your head high and be who you are! My favorite answer to those who condem my gay/lesbian friends is- "That's the way God made the, and God makes no mistakes" :0). Love is love in his eyes.

~Deb said...

One of my favorite scriptures in the bible is:

"How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father and mother, 'Why was I born? Why did you make me this way?'” –Isaiah 45:10

Rex Venom said...

Love.
A great high and a powerful hurt.
But, man, what a ride.
Rock on!

Grace said...

Great post Deb! I missed your beautiful stories during the few days that I was away :) Glad to be back!

barman said...

You have broadend my mind so much in the short time I have been reading your posts. I felt so uncomfortable the first time I approached you in email worring I would say or do the wrong thing. That has all changed and you have helped me grow.

I am so sorry to hear about how rude Anthony was but I am sure it was to patch up his own ego. That is not an excuse.

I have known a few people that happen to be gay. While that is not my lifestyle, I am OK with their lifestyle. As long as they respect me for what I am I respect them in kind.

I so would love to meet you two but alas I am afraid I may want to play 20 questions, I am terrible that way. I so love to learn about objects and places and people and cultures and lifestyles and, and, and. I am always very curious, sometimes to a fault.

Anyway I am so glad I fist stumbled upon your blog. You always give me so much to think about and I so enjoy your writing.

I Hate the King said...

Join the boycott!!! Ddot sucks!!!

DZER said...

great post hon.

and I just have to say I love the "lovehands" pic on top.

but the words were even better.

yrautca said...

This Anthony dude sounds like a jackass.

I admit that it is intriguing to read your blog especially as it pertains to a homosexual lifestyle. America today as a whole is a homophobic society. I have been hit on by two guys since I moved to Seattle and I was not offended. I turned them down politely.

Basically there are various misconceptions, such as, homosexuality is kinky sex, all they do is kinky stuff, oh two women kissing is so sexy etc etc. You have been with your GF for 12 years so it is a genuine relationship. Most of us can never comprehend that homosexuals can also have proper relationships based on love.

My final comment would be that perhaps as a society we need to get to a place where a homosexual does not define his/her life on their sexuality, where being gay or being straight is beside the point, where when you tell me you are a lesbian, I wonder why you would even bring that up. Thats just me.

Jon said...

As always, you have the best posts... Then you throw in some cool pictures including one of you and Miss M. My Christmas is complete.

You are an amazing person. Thanks for all the inspiration and getting to know you this year. I am really looking forward to '06.

{{{{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}}}

Danielle said...

you are SOOOOOOOO RIGHT about LOVE.

mal said...

wow...great post! poor Andy just does not get it. He was ready to make another run at you and "NO" did not work on him.

Deadly Female said...

...preference goes beyond gender. It’s all about the person inside...

Deb, as ever, you are so very right.

And you know I'm a non-Bible sort of person, but the passage from Corinthians is one of my favourite passages, from anything, ever. Thanks for sharing it again xx

SignGurl said...

You are truly amazing, Deb! Thanks, as always, for your refreshing honesty.

Happy New Year!

~Deb said...

Yrautca pointed something out that I feel very strongly about. The last comment that Yrautca made was based upon gay & lesbians making their ‘lifestyle’ who they are…They create this uncomfortable environment for their friends and family by constantly reminding them that they’re gay. “I’m gay! I’m gay!” Okay—we get the picture. If that’s not enough, again in a previous post, they do the ‘advertising’; the pink triangles dangling from a rear view mirror, the rainbow bumper stickers shouting at the car behind them, “GAY PRIDE!” And again—I wonder if straight people wore “STRAIGHT PRIDE” t-shirts and bumper stickers, would this offend the gay community? I would love to see the results of that one.

So, no. I don’t go around with a huge megaphone displaying my sexuality, however, if someone keeps asking me about my ‘boyfriend’ constantly---ask, and I will tell. I’m not going to hide who I am, but I won’t make it the top of my conversation—just as any heterosexual wouldn’t make ‘being straight’ the main topic.

Great point! Thanks guys! :)

Laura said...

that's an awesome post, deb! i really like the story about jessica's mom...that's really cool. you just be you, deb. that's what it's all about. :)

Fred said...

Oh, and Happy New Year, Deb.

Jillian said...

Awesome post Deb!

Happy New Year!

reviseandresubmit said...

Your honesty is really refreshing, Deb. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I have a feeling you've just found yourself a new 'regular'.

TheSugarV said...

Very nice post. I feel disappointment for people like that. You would imagine in this day and age that people would think things out and not just act on what is socially accepted. My wife and I live in a lesbian neighborhood. At first I was a little taken aback by seeing girls holding hands, kissing etc. It wasn't that I disapproved, because it didn't bother me. It was more that I was not accustom to seeing that. Now that we have lived in the neighborhood for over two years I don’t see anything different. In fact I see a lot of love that is expressed between mother, girlfriend, children, and families in general. To me love is an emotion that is easily distinguishable, and recognizable. Not to be poetic, but to me it is a serene lake with no waves.

Genna said...

Deb,

I STILL think you are brave and strong. It is not always easy to go against what society feels is ideal. Look at how many people live their life in fear that people will "know" that they are different? I think many of the people that probably disagree with your lifestyle have some sort of phobia about being normal. That they themselves are insecure that they are strange and JUMP at the idea that someone is "more strange" than they feel they are secretly.

This week went I went to the comedy show, I went with one of my dear friends that is a lesbian. Sure enough, the last comedian how to focus in on me, because he judged us to be a couple. I didn't defend myself. I didn't get angry. Yes, I was a little embarrassed, but hey, that is easy for me. But it was just a little sample of how she must feel, judged and labeled, instantly.

I know I am not gay (I like men too much!) and I really didn't care what they thought of me.

Let's remember the old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." I wish that were always true.

~Deb said...

When I go out and see people—straight or gay displaying ‘too much’ affection, that’s uncalled for really (in my own opinion.) I’m not talking about holding hands, I’m talking about those people who *need a room*, but they choose to do these unsightly things in public. Gay or straight---it’s disrespectful and it’s offensive to a lot of people. I’m not one for ‘in your face’ kind of behavior.

Genna, sometimes words hurt more than a physical pain. We can always say, “Sticks and stones…” But the truth is, our tongue is the most dangerous weapon we have. We can tear down someone as quickly as build them back up again. We just have to make a conscious effort to make a positive affect in someone’s life.

Words are everything.

SHELTONSFAMILY said...

Well being a married catholic man. I feel compelled to be careful with what I say. However, in my opinion, I really couldnt care who is with who. I know many striaght, many Bi, and many gay people. I know my faith (religion) is publicly against such beliefs, but my heart tells me that your heart should be your guide. If what is right for you is this, than if it is not harming or hurting or causeing damage(except to the ego), then it is right. However I must say you are way hot, and I can understand why men who are limited already might be upset that there is one less chance now. But, that is there problem. Live you life, and live it for you. Why do people always feel compelled to do what others expect of them?

Who knows, however read my blog and towards the bottom I have written about this a little bit.

God be with you, God be with your spouse, and may love feel your life.

and to the people of religion this is what I have to say.
this is my personal quote
"It is written in the very book that you use to place your own judgments, "that men should not judge, judgment shall come from the father." and more importantly it goes in the first laws of man, to love your neighbor, it does not say love your neighbor if they are like you. But simply "love your neigbor" just because someone is different does not make them wrong.
If you like the color blue and your spouse like yellow, would you treat your spouse as you do others with different beliefs."
The beauty in life is there are more facets than any diamond could contain, and like a diamond it should be enjoyed not criticized.

Well enough of my ramblings.

Thank you for your time,

God bless you all,

If you have something to say email me.

RMSSHELTON@YAHOO.com
or look at my blog
http://RMSHELTONBOOK.BLOGSPOT.COM/
http://SHELTONSFAMILY.BLOGSPOT.COM/

Lisa said...

Deb,

I LOVE that you share your life with us. I love that your relationship is a part of that. The stories you share are the same things that we all go through in relationships.
I guess I'm sort of shocked that there is still so much stereotyping where you live. I live in the bible belt and like to try and tell myself that it's different elsewhere..that there's light at the end of the tunnel of prejudice, and it saddens me to hear that it's not true. That the east coast isn't the mecca of enlightenment I wanted it to be. :-(
I guess I just don't get it. What's the big deal with everyone elses sexuality?
I'm a heterosexual female and my rule of thumb is: don't ask other people questions that I don't want to answer about myself. Gay or straight.Sometimes that might be an issue, since I'm a pretty straight forward kind of gal, so I have to even temper THAT criteria by recognizing that some people are more reserved.
What I do or don't share about myself and my sexuality should be left up to me.
I don't want to tell a stranger what I do in bed.
I don't want to discuss my sex life with everyone I meet.
I don't want to have to explain why I married my husband, what attracts me to him.
I don't want to be asked why I'm NOT a lesbian, or told how I just haven't found the right girl yet. I don't want to try and explain to someone when I knew I was heterosexual.
Just like I'm not attracted to every man I meet, I don't presume that every lesbian I meet is attracted to me. And if perchance they are, I handle it just as I would a man that I'm not available to. Gracefully, unless pushed to do otherwise.
I'm not sexually inhibited, I'm not shy, I don't have a problem talking about sex...when I chose to. But basically I don't think it's anyone elses business unless I want it to be, in which case, I'll let them know.

I think that everyone has those exact same rights.

Maybe I'm missing something?

I don't understand why it has to be so complicated...or maybe I'm just simple minded....

Lisa said...

~steps quietly off her soapbox and slinks away...

sorry for the novel Deb

~Deb said...

Thank you so much Shelton & Lisa for sharing that with me.

It all goes back to ‘judgments’. People will judge all the time. If you rely on only people’s judgments, you will always be disappointed. We’re human, let’s face it.

Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. For others will treat you as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, it will be used to measure how you are judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, “Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,” when you can’t see past the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. ~Matthew 7:5

The same issue in religion stems back to the Old Testament. Now if you live by the rules of the Old Testament, then it even says that eating shellfish is an abomination in God’s eyes.

The penalty for homosexual acts is death to both parties. They have committed a detestable act and are guilty of a capital offense. ~Leviticus 20:30

Immorality is one thing… But to love someone else is another. Anyone who is immoral and has sex with anyone due to its pleasure can be viewed at in another light. To be intimate with someone you love and care about takes on a whole new meaning. I felt years of guilt for being intimate with the person I was in love with. It’s a horrible way to live. Hopefully by you seeing my views, you can release some of that guilt that has been stored up by judgmental people, and let it go—to God. I want to add a scripture of the book of Leviticus to you. Some of it is very shocking. There are sins in here that I didn’t even know of. The Jewish people rely on the Old Testament because they do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, they believe he was just a man who claimed he was, or just a prophet. The New Testament is what we should rely on, because it’s our freedom. Take a look at this:

As for marine animals, you may eat whatever has both fins and scales, whether taken from fresh water or salt water. You may not, however, eat marine animals that do not have both fins and scales. (shellfish) You are to detest them, and they will always be forbidden to you. You must never eat their meat or even touch their dead bodies. I repeat, any marine animal that does not have both fins and scales is strictly forbidden to you. ~Leviticus 11:9-12

So basically what this scripture is saying to us is that we can never eat shrimp or lobster. We cannot enjoy clams, mussels or scallops. Interesting, isn’t it? This is considered to be just as “bad” as being a homosexual. My grandfather and father owned a fish market in NYC for years. I was so used to eating this way because my father would bring home seafood twice a week. We grew up on shellfish, and many people in this world eat shellfish regularly. I know many people enjoy eating ostrich, but in

Leviticus 13:16- it clearly states that eating ostrich is considered detestable to all of us.

So then, are we ‘all’ going to hell?

In my faith and “beliefs" as a Christian, I do believe that God “forgives all of us”. He died on the cross for our sins, making us clean. That’s the price He paid for us. He knew we would all be inadequate, whether we lie, gossip, have premarital sex or even live a homosexual lifestyle. God uses us in mysterious ways and He also uses people who you would least expect to bring you a message.

My faith in Jesus is huge, so when someone judges me and says, “Oh that’s a sin!” But what about the little white lie of telling your wife that she looks great in that dress, when in fact, it looked awful. A lie is a lie…a sin is a sin. We’re not perfect, but we can live in ‘love’.

Wenchy said...

Hey babe -

Just wanted to wish you well for 2006...

Happy New Year!!

Leesa said...

I agree this is a powerful post. I had a friend who had two boyfriends, and both turned out to be gay. I bit different because both were long-time, meet the parents boyfriends. It shook her to her core, and she doubted herself.

Loved your second story, how you connected with someone else and made them see things differently.

My word verification of offbyz, like "off boys." Oh, am I weird today.

DSMars said...

People need to feel good about themselves. Some even have a need to feel like they are better than others. Many of those who fall into the later category, achieve that by finding fault with anyone they can. They often use religion as an excuse to lift themselves above humanity. Many religious leaders play to that in order to bolster their congregations and therefore bolster their offerings. Church is big business. Make no mistakes about that.

Too many people can not differentiate between their belief in God and their membership in a church or religion. Jesus, in one of his parables, warned us against all of this. I cannot remember the exact passage, but it went something like this:

A Pharisee and a tax collector are both in the temple praying. The Pharisee is praying loudly so that all can hear and thanking God for making him better than sinners like the tax collector. The tax collector is humble and prays quietly asking God for mercy because he knows he is a sinner. Jesus then says that God is more likely to receive into heaven the humble tax collector than the self righteous pharisee.

I think that Jesus was trying to warn us against being over zealous in our religious convictions because we are all sinners in the eyes of God. After all we are only human. I think there is also a message warning about organized religion and the true motivations of religious leaders.

DSMars said...

I think much of the gay pride issue comes from heterosexuals unconsciously commenting on the physical attributes of people they see or making remarks like, "I'd like to...with him/her." I think sometimes the "gay pride" is a rebellion against these behaviors of heterosexuals. These kinds of comments are rude no matter who they are made about or who makes them. People should be looked upon as people and not something to be had, conquered or posessed.

As far as the public display of affection, in many cases it is used as a means to mark one's territory. I have seen many times people will start to paw on their mates when they perceive that someone in checking them out. It's just as much an insecurity issue as it is an issue of not having the class to keep those kinds of behaviors out of the public eye.

Next time some guy tells you that you haven't met the right man, tell him that perhaps HE hasn't met the right man.

Casually Me said...

Ahhh, the power to judge. I'm so glad that the rest of the world has their shit together, that they are so perfect that they can judge who you can and cannot be in love with. Married couples that don't like each other, people that marry for money, comfort, or even spite. People that don't know how to love, that are just going through the motions, because that's what is expected of them. I think there has been one perfect son, and even that guy turned water into wine, while cool..it might not have been the perfect thing to do. So few people find happiness in this world, if you have found it who among us can judge, or be anything but happy for you, with a just a smidge of jealousy? Good for you . God has blessed you like he has precious few on this planet. Relish the moment, feel blessed, you have the world by the proverbial balls, just don't let go, just don't let go.....

kathi said...

"proverial balls"...sorry, that made me laugh. And I'm sober...gotta fix that!

Saur♥Kraut said...

(((Deb))), What a fabulous post. Of course, I have friends who are gay and know exactly where you're coming from. Your story reminded me of this one:

My friend, Kelly, is a gorgeous blond with creamy white skin. She was a cheerleader and the typical "Prom Queen" type. When she went away to college, she met a wonderful guy on the football team and dated him seriously for years. So what was the problem for some people? He was black.

Do you know that she had white guys come up to her and ask her "you're too pretty! Don't you know you could do better than that?"!!! She would look them up and down, and then say icily "Apparently not."

green said...

dsmars: that's a really good parable. You can find it in Luke 18:9-14.

Tom Serafini, Actor to the Stars! said...

You said you could get any mand you want? You couldn't get me, bub. I would make you dance, baby. Dance with a quarter pound of Genoa Salami sliced thin in one hand and loaf of steamy hot Italian bread in the other and a sign on your forehead that says somethinglike, I Brake For Olives. Then maybe. Then again we probably are related which makes the whole thing kinda creepy.

The Lesbian Integrity Test: If you as a lesbian find Angelina Jolie sexually enticing, you are not a lesbian. You are a frustrated hetero housewife looking for attention.

Lisa said...

Hello again my Dear,

Please have a Happy New Years. I'm wishing you and your loved ones a year filled with all things good.

You are one of the many reasons I'm looking forward to the coming year. So glad to have met you through here. :-)

oxox Lisa

~Deb said...

Tom, scroll up on my blog and see that I wrote I CAN'T get any man I want. Phonix would be most appropriate right now Tawwmy!

I'm still scratching my head over the "proverial balls"...

Thank you everyone for sharing your story and comments!

Please have a happy and safe New Year.

Tawwmy----read carefully----Happy New Year. (MUAH) xxoo

Top cat said...

Your message of Love is a good one Deb.
I've come to realize over the years that love between two people is a special gift whether that means two women, two men or a man and a woman.
I think if two people are willing to make the commitment by getting married it should be recognized by the State, so property, health care, benefits can be shared legally.

I think too many people focus on the sexual part of being gay than looking at the whole person.

I'm sorry you have to "deal" with people like the former dating guy, I don't know if I could handle it time after time like you do.

Anyway, just wanted to comment(cause I WANTED to)(wink).

HAPPY NEW YEAR DEB&MADELENE

Topcat

Buffy said...

I love the way a lot of 'christians' feel so comfortable passing judgment and throwing about hellfire and damnation based on the 'abomination' line. They seem to forget the bit on 'judge not' .... straight from the mouth of Christ himself. How anyone can use the bible to judge someone else in such a horrific manner ....argh. The scorner is also an abomination Jack! God is love. Its really not that difficult.

~Deb said...

You just made my New Year's guys!

HAPPY NEW YEAR'S!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you...so much!

marcy_peanut said...

Deb: The Truth of the Bible lies in the empty spaces between the words; in the silence that envelops the heart when we stop to listen to the love that dwells there (in our case, Jesus). Beautiful post.

I've been doing this AMAZING meditative type of practice during this retreat where I go on line for short periods of time and make sure not to react to anyone's comments, whether they're cast in a positive or negative light. It's helped me a bit to step back. It' s a terrific practice, cause, you know, after last week's conflict on that political blog, I never want to fall prey to my limited ego and leave such vengeance filled remarks. It's ridiculous. As if my opinion really means anything to anyone, anyway (it shouldn't).



BTW: Do you know how to keep a jackass in suspense?

sage said...

I found your post is very moving sprinkled liberally with laughter and grace. Have a blessed New Year.

Tom Serafini, Actor to the Stars! said...

Can't get any man? Oh oh ohhhhhh, sorry about that.

I'd still make you dance though, cuz! Wooohooo

And reeealllyy, Bub, I beg to differ, I think you could have any man or woman with relative ease. Madeline's a lucky goil in a lot of ways.

Play safe tonight, kid.

DSMars said...

You're right, green. Thanks, that's the story exactly.

Luke 18:9-14

[9] To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: [10] "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. [11] The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men -- robbers, evildoers, adulterers -- or even like this tax collector. [12] I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

[13] "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

[14] "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Walking Contradiction said...

That is so awesome you found your love, have you too ever thought about getting married?????


ENJOY you new year together!!!!

Walking Contradiction said...

two not too....

Liquidplastic said...

My goodness Deb, I love this story, I love this Blog ... and I can only smile at the mother. Of course your explanation of her joy is quite different from mines, but I am just an outsider looking in.

You did yourself proud with this one, and I think women are indeed beautiful! I am one, am I not? :-)

Love knows no boundaries --- and neither does ignorant. Good for the first and bad for the latter. You keep on keeping on and enjoying your life and love -- It's wonderful for to love, period!

Thanks for dropping in, I really appreciated your visit.

Rose said...

That was so touching....Happy New Years...continue to spread love

LisaBinDaCity said...

What a beautiful post Deb. Please don't ever silence your voice.

Happy New Year to you and yours dear.

Maverick said...

hi deb,

was browsing thru when i came upon ur post... it really brought out ur point of view very well. am from india and here too we have a society that is conservative. its just recently that a lot of issues considered as social taboos have started finding acceptance. ur post made a lot of sense even if my words arent exactly doing justice to that.

i guess being in love is a special feeling... so congrats and just keep following ur heart :-)

@>--
maverick.

p.s: wish u and madelene a very happy new year.

Geoffrey Hirschfeld said...

As usual, I am a day late and a buck short on the ability to comment on something, but this post is amazing Deb. Simply amazing.

I love your retort of "I wish that I could have any woman I want"-that is just a riot.

I do have to say, however, that God made you who you are, and that as He indeed made you as a lesbian, than why should this be considered a sin? Isn't the fact that you have found your sweetness matter of fact enough that we believe in a living, loving God who just wants us to be happy?As the scripture says, "I knew you when you were in your mother's womb", isn't it logical to think that maybe Christianity's aversion to homosexuality was a response to the culture(s) that they were trying to circumvent(ie Greek), especially as the Greek system of learning was partially based on the mentor system of men and boys? And as the Bible was an oral tradition for many, many years, do you ever think that this addition may have occured in a reactionary manouver to the teaching methodology of the time, a methodology it was looking to circumvent with the spirituality and piety of a newly established faith in the risen Christ? I have thought about this, and you are actually the first person I have ever really shared this with...your ideas.

At any rate, you are who you are, as I am who I am. The fact of the matter is that you have Madeline, a love that is amazing and fullfilling. Love is where you find it, and it pisses me off to hear men like Schlomo Anthony say that sort of crap. I have even had a TOTAL crush on a lipstick lesbian(she looked like a young Jackie O, was amazingly cool, and I was totally oblivious), and when I found out, I was happy I didn't make a pass at her, and am still glad that she and I got to really know each other. Her Sig Other was pretty dammed cool too! The point that I am trying to make is that if people cannot accept somebody else's happiness, then how can they accept their own happiness, as it is contingent on the world around them being just perfect for their existance? They can't, and they will die empty because they cannot see the forest from the trees.

Sad for him, happy for you. Hugs for the nouvelle annee!

~Deb said...

Wow. I'm overwhelmed by these insightful comments--in fact--I should stop therapy and just rely on you all! (I know--keep the therapy sessions Deb!)

Thank you everyone...

I appreciate every one of you who took the time out to share your opinions and point of views.

And Geoffrey--I just love you for your wisdom and understanding---but most of all, your respect.

Walking Contradiction said...

Happy New Year!!!!

Chrissie said...

really good post :) Happy new year

Nabeel said...

awww i love the hand gestures .. pretty cool

~Deb said...

Thanks Walking....Happy New Year to you too!

Thanks Chrissie! Wishing you a Happy New Year too!

Nabeel: Hand gestures? Hmm...Maybe I should read my own post again. :) Not sure what that meant.

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