On our first date, you may have thought it was oddly endearing that I explained the Stonewall riots in detail and railed against anti-gay Texan politicians. Over romantic candlelight, you held my hand gently as I criticized the Pope and quoted homophobic lines from his last three speeches. To my surprise, you stayed for dessert, looked into my eyes and simply listened. I can't remember what I ranted about during the peach cobbler.
Miraculously, hundreds of dinners later, you still listen to me. Sometimes softly nodding and sometimes screaming in unison against the realities of injustice. I love you for this but I can't help but wonder -- what would we have time to talk about if being ourselves was universally accepted? If we didn't have to fight? If we didn't hold our breath every time "Christians" debated what we're allowed to do and where we're allowed to go to the bathroom?
What would we do with all the extra time? Would we take up gardening? Probably not. But we could. We'd have the option.
Remember that time when we were walking in the mall and a guy yelled right in our faces because we were holding hands? For months after that, whenever we held hands, I felt this tug on my heart, a twinge of anger, a surge of adrenalin, bracing myself for it to happen again. It was such a small thing in comparison to what other people have gone through, and even that broke my heart. It's horrific that something as simple and sacred as holding your hand would make me worry about our safety.
I can't help but wonder -- what would holding your hand feel like if I never had to wonder?
Don't get me wrong, I love being gay. Especially with you. If I wasn't gay when I met you, I would choose to be gay in a second. There's just no way around it.
And I know I am privileged in many ways. I am/we are lucky. Still, pieces of our lives are stolen without our consent, because we are forced to pause. To stop and read article after article after article, poring over legislation and resolutions about how our love may put us in danger.
We sign petitions and come out over and over again and worry about our LGBTQ friends in other countries and ask and ask and ask people to not get tired of caring because we are tired as hell.
It's not that I don't want to care. I just don't want to care about THIS.
Our love story should be about celebration, not avoidance of tragedy. Because we are far more than that. I just want to know what it's like to not have our relationship be the target of political or religious ammunition. I want to stop defending our existence.
We could use that extra time to do whatever we wanted. How glorious it would be to eat Kraft dinner at midnight with nothing interesting to talk about! How wonderful to open our newsfeed and be bored by the lack of controversy then watch Netflix together!
How beautiful it would be to hold your hand and never wonder.
But until then..thank you.
For being next to me for the desperate sighs and the 2am tap-tap-tap typing of letters to editors. For being next to me for all of the victories and rainbow colored picket signs and lesbian activist potlucks.
Maybe one day we'll get all of that time back, but in the meantime, I'll take whatever time I can have with you.