There are these two stories I want to tell, both of which happened on May 9th of this year.
See, I’ve intentionally waited for a while to write about the passing of NC Amendment One. I was hoping to find some peace. A place where my emotions and feelings were settled and I could pinpoint one feeling that overwhelmed all of the others. I feel like I have been broken up with. For better or worse, North Carolina and I were in a relationship, and the passing of Amendment One has caused all of the chaotic emotions that a painful breakup might cause – made worse by the fact that NC is now an ex I can’t avoid.
I am angry. I am heartbroken. I am so sad for North Carolina, which doesn’t know what it is losing. I am frustrated. I am feeling a little worthless in the eyes of my home state. See, NC Amendment one writes into the constitution the fact that my future marriage and the marriages of countless friends don’t really count for anything. They are shams. They are less than. Amendment one declares that marriage is between one man and one woman. It was a day of radical rejection for many people.
But there is this other story that happened that day. There’s a story of radical insecurity and radical love that happened as well. It goes like this. One of my brothers is getting married. Because I am who I am and I look like what I look like, I wrote to this brother asking if I should wear long sleeves to the wedding in spite of its being in July. I know that it is likely to be a more conservative wedding crowd, and they may not be used to someone who looks like I look. I don’t want to offend anyone, and to be honest, I’m always a little insecure about how I look on formal occasions. So I wrote to this brother and I asked what I should do and here is the answer I got: Come and be yourself. I wouldn’t want it any other way. If other people are uncomfortable, they’ll live. We live through enough shit in this world — at my wedding, you can be you, whatever that looks like on that day! My sibling knows that people will probably stare at me. He knows that he will have to field questions about who I am and why I look like I look. He doesn’t care. He wouldn’t have me any other way.
I almost cried. In the midst of Amendment One being passed, in the midst of rejection and hatred in my home state, my brother reached out to me with this radical love that still amazes me. People quote the bible in their arguments for the passing of Amendment One. They cite the laws of G…d and the biblical mandate.
I have no idea what they are talking about. I felt G..d that day. I felt the love that I believe G…d has for all of us. It wasn’t in the protection of marriage. It wasn’t in the hatred and rejection that was written into the constitution that day. It was in the kindness of a sibling who wouldn’t have me any other way than the way G…d made me. It was in the radical love that my brother holds for me, and his knowledge that I am a creature of G…d no different than he is. It breaks my heart that I found it in Virginia and not in my own home.