During the 70s, I came out of the closet and began the typical trek to gay bars and the promiscuous sexual conduct that came with it. This was what gay people did back then; they went to bars and had lots of sex with multiple partners. It was before AIDS in the 80s and it was all about fun. Lovers; at least among gay men, didn’t last. I must have had a dozen lovers in the first couple of years of my coming out. I’d be committed to someone until either I or them got to feeling like we were missing out on something.
I have to admit, I never ever believed that gays in this country or anywhere for that matter, would see the day come that we’d have the opportunity to marry the one we loved. Being gay was only about having sex and partying heavily, experimenting with drugs and seeing if you could freak out straight people (heterosexual people that is).
Now I’m middle-aged and I don’t go out to gay bars anymore and I don’t even have gay friends because I have no social life, whatsoever. I just didn’t want to follow the same path that so many older gay men followed; continuing the same promiscuous conduct they did when they were young and attractive but then becoming known among young gays as a troll. You may not hear that word “troll” but it would be whispered about you behind your back.
Now gay marriage has become a reality and gays are getting married and committing themselves to love and long-term relationships. Already seven states allow gay marriage, with the state of Washington being the latest, which just passed a bill in the senate allowing gay marriage which will now go to the house and is expected to pass. This comes along with Proposition 8, the ban on gay marriage passed back in 2008 by California voters, now being overturned by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling doesn’t go into effect right away and allows opponents to take it to a higher court, possibly even the U.S. Supreme Court. The most important thing here is that it’s moving in the right direction.
It’s finally dawning on us older gays that gay people can finally join the mainstream of society and fall in love and stay in love, with an actual paper making it entirely legal. We still have a long ways to go but we’re getting there.
Unlike many conservatives fear, gay marriage will not have any negative effect on marriage or society as a whole. Gays are just like anyone else and they’ll get married and they’ll get divorced, the same as everyone. It will have much more of an effect on gay culture and the gay society than it will ever have on society as a whole. As the decades roll by and gay marriage finally is legalized by our federal government, gay people will begin to have something more to hold onto than just the gay bars and the sleazy bathhouses they’ve attended to for so long.
Sure, gay bars will still be there and there will still be a promiscuous gay crowd, especially with gay men, just as there is in heterosexual society, but there will emerge a new group of gay people from the bowels of the gay community and that will be those who desire to live a normal life and a desire to love someone until death do us part. It won’t be perfect as even heterosexual relationships are not perfect, but it will give hope to gay people that they can have something more than just the bars and the sex and the drugs.
I have every bit of confidence that gay marriage will be legalized nationwide before too many years go by and before I grow too old and die. Unfortunately, I’m so beyond having a relationship for my own life but I’m overjoyed for my younger gay brothers and sisters. Of course even some of the older gay people who’ve already been in a committed relationship for years; they can all find contentment and happiness they’ve sought for all their lives.
I also believe that Barack Obama is the right man to be president for another four years because I believe that he will help the gay community to move forward even further by pushing to legalize gay marriage federally. He’s already admitted that he’s still evolving as far as gay marriage and if he wins a second term, he’ll no longer be under the pressure of facing reelection, which will make him free to stand up for gay marriage, if and when he evolves completely.
All I can say is, I wish I could have been born later and could be young and looking forward to falling in love and finding the same happiness that so many heterosexuals have experienced since the beginning of time and just now, gay men and lesbians are beginning to experience. God Speed my brothers and sisters, as you move forward to a better future.
- The Best Testimony From Washington State’s Gay Marriage Hearing (buzzfeed.com)
- Comment: Learning from Gay Marriage : The New Yorker (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
- Californians not allowed to vote against gay marriage (geneveith.com)
- Daniel Radcliffe: ‘Gay People Should Have Equality Everywhere’ (justjared.buzznet.com)
- Washington governor hails ‘major step’ as state approves gay marriage bill (guardian.co.uk)
- “I don’t know if I want to be here [if gay marriage passes],” by Republican State Senator Jay Rodne of North Bend (slog.thestranger.com)
- Washington set to become seventh state to approve gay marriage (telegraph.co.uk)