I never sent this letter, but figured it was time to put it out here.
Mom and Dad,
To answer the “important” questions you almost always seem to bring up at the time I am leaving from your presence:
About being gay:
Whether you like it or not, this is what I am. “Being gay” is not a “phase” I’m going through. Regardless of what you may hear—or may hope for—it is not an “illness” that can be “cured.” If there was some “magic pill” that was available which would change me into something else, I would not take it—this is who I am.
It took me many years to sort through everything that was put before me to figure out who and what I am. I don’t expect it to be any easier for you to understand either.
Robert and I are “married.” Even though legal marriage between same-sex couples is currently unsanctioned by the State of Arkansas we still use the term to describe our relationship. We are married to each other at heart, and have been married for eight years as of July 1st. Robert and I consider the relationship we share equal to that of what anyone who is married represents.
We have had to go out of our way to take the legal steps that are available to ensure the “rights” our relationship would have if it were like any other marriage: Robert and I have legally binding Power of Attorney over one another which allow us to make legal and financial decisions for, and in lieu of, the other; we have a binding Declaration to Physicians—legal papers we carry with us requiring medical facilities to allow the other one of us to make medical decisions in the event we are unable to ourselves; and we have legally binding Wills to dispose of our interests as we wish in the event something tragic happens to one, or both, of us. We needed to have these legal documents for several reasons: the first being taken together these documents make up for what is mostly taken for granted to any legally married couple; the second reason is that anyone with any sense of responsibility should do these things—no one should leave it up to the State to attempt to make these decisions; and lastly—to us the most “tragic” reason—we both think our families would more than likely interfere in our affairs in an attempt to claim all that Robert and I have worked so hard to build together—as a couple.
I already have three children. Legally they are not mine. However, Robert and I do see them as our children—and I have been there for them for the last eight years of their lives—doing all the things that any parent would.
I know you probably can’t (or won’t) understand this. In all honestly I really don’t expect you to either. To me it is more than aggravating to have you repeatedly asking me these same questions—most of which I have expressed the answers in the past. That’s one of the biggest reasons I don’t come to visit. Imagine having your life questioned every time you came to visit.
Until next time...