A Spoonful of Sugar (Love and Marriage)

October 02, 2012

I was never told that advocating and “getting involved” would be so tedious and mind-shatteringly boring. It’s like getting stuck in a ping-pong game from hell, with your opponent bettering you at each step while you constantly have to play catch-up! I find myself thinking that there are better things I could be doing with my time.

But even with my baggage of apathetic weariness, I am as committed as ever to creating and providing a society where I am respected, cherished and valued for who and what I am. Not taking away from the academic focus on culture, performance, and identity, I have begun to listen to my own truths, and to gleam wisdom from my own experience, sometimes with startling results.

I have finally found a peace with myself. This peace comes from letting go of a church that just didn’t get me. These last ten years of endless search for a faith community no longer seems as important or as hasty as before. I realise now that, as important as it is, my search for a faith community was really a search for myself.

Could it be that I have finally come home and found that I was here all the time?

I feel blessed by family and friends, the opportunities I have been afforded, the travels and adventures I have had, and always, the constant hope and expectation that life will continue to offer me even more.

Perhaps I will find the holy grail of existence, meet someone, have a long-term, lasting, loving relationship, and fall in love. This act of love would cement my ability and capacity to move beyond my own needs and desires, and make way for someone else’s hopes and fears. It would finally confirm to me, and to the world, that I have a huge heart with a capacity to love and to be loved. In truth, I would just be like everyone else.

But my society has made me suspicious of love. I eye it warily as another construct heaped on humanity to promote the power of a few over the many. Because with love, you have to buy the sweets, and you have to buy a house, and of course, you have to get married.

Take this into account, along with an instilled hatred for all things queer that dates back to my childhood, and it is no wonder I am bitter. But I have every right to feel so.

Marriage was never in the equation while I was growing up. It was and still is denied to me and people like me. This spilled out into my idea of love and marriage, making me believe that was only for the perfect and not for queer little men and women (and all that lies within). My adult self finds it difficult to discard notions from childhood, to break the bonds of decades of being told what I can do and what I cannot.

Of course, I am wiser now in life and know that this is all part of the ping-pong game, that hopelessness is just what my opponent wants. Just sit and take your medicine like a good man.

But lately I have been taking my medicine with a spoonful of sugar. I have finally begun to realise the many options open to me and to us all. What is needed is bravery and a boldness to take a risk. Indeed, to do otherwise would be to deny the glory and grace of G-d that dwells within.

We are great learners but make even better teachers. Our lessons are not from manuals but instead are woven into the fabric of our lives.

We value, cherish, desire, need, and above all, are worthy of love regardless what society states. So, folks, don’t be afraid of taking your medicine. Just try to make sure that you have a spoonful of sugar near by. (by Patrick Ryan)

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