Life

hello August

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The month of figs and warm sunsets and bats and starry evenings and fireflies and thunderstorms and peaches and obscene amounts of sweat and virgos and blueberries and the smell of cut grass and leos and cow walks and morning hikes and sunflowers and palo verde beetles and double rainbows and birthdays and squeezing every last drop out of summer.

Life

Everything is (finally) so Gay

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And it’s kind of amazing.

I went for a hike yesterday morning, so I was away for many hours of the initial celebration. A friend texted me when they released the decision, so I wasn’t completely taken by surprise when I returned to the internet where everything, literally everything, was covered in rainbows.

My wife and I married in 2012 without any of the legal bits. If you’d asked me then to make a gander as to when I thought marriage would be opened up to everyone, regardless of sex, I would have said seven years, five if we were being super optimistic. But only a year later, it was legalized in Minnesota, the state we wed (and again, legally). Last year, in Arizona, the state we live. And now, everywhere. A round of applause for 2015, guys.

I still wonder if we should have waited. But then I remind myself that that’s nonsense: we couldn’t have known then. As I told Dr Lady and my family, it’s not fair to ask us to plan our lives around the whims of the majority and the courts. Now here we are, married for three years, legal for one in our own state, and now legal everywhere.

This means a lot for us, for everyone. It means we don’t have to narrow our job search to just certain states. It means when we have a kid, we won’t have to jump through more and more legal hoops in case we move. It means we can travel with that kid wherever, and not have to worry about hospitals or other stupid things. It means the United States is finally catching up to the world in at least one small, but still important, way.

It also means we’re not done. Not by a long shot. Homeless LGBTQ youth still need protection. Heck, LGBTQ youth in general are still vulnerable in many places. Transphobia is still very alive and very deadly. Racism is still imbedded in our system and culture and LGBTQ of color have their own problems that we need to address.

This is all beautiful and wonderful and the show of support from every corner has been heartwarming. Over the past fifteen, ten, five years I’ve watched so many friends and family come to accept that being gay is just another way of experiencing life. But in the back of my mind, I can already hear people brushing their hands of our issues, of related issues, and saying we’re done here. I sincerely hope that’s not the case.

For this weekend, anyway, I will choose to believe it’s not and bask in the rainbow-hued love.

Life

An Open Letter to the French Language

Ciao bella!

Wait, no –

Salut!

Ça va? I hope you’re doing all right. It’s… well, it’s been a while. When was it we last saw each other? Oh yeah… for a month in high school. Although that short time together helped change my mind about you, it wasn’t enough, and the intervening years only widened the gap between us.

I thought we’d never see each other again, frankly. I flirted with Greek and Hebrew, had a fling with Russian (which I ended when she reminded me too much of you), went steady with German and finally got serious with Latin. I have to be honest, German and Latin really spoiled me – I got to pronounce every vowel and consonant. And the rules! I always knew where I stood with them. They were predictable, reliable, and – yes – a little harsh.

But linguistics poisoned me against you. Even though I know no single language is better than any other, I still ridiculed your tendency to eat your vowels and drop your consonants. I saw these linguistic proclivities not as the creative and enterprising innovations that they are, but as a sign of your laziness and decline. After all, you used to pronounce all those letters and syllables. Back in the 1400s.

As I grew up and more or less officially moved in with English, I thought less and less of you. After all, I wasn’t even seeing German any more, why would I try to reconnect with you?

Then we visited Brussels. I – erroneously – thought I could get by with my German. Technically, Belgium is a trilingual country, and I was on speaking terms with two out of three. Unfortunately, I didn’t do my due diligence until a few weeks before our trip, whereupon I discovered my error – Brussels is predominantly French-speaking. But I didn’t even want to talk to you, let alone catch up, so I fumbled through our trip, feeling awkward and clueless and lost at every step.

I returned to English feeling chastised and confused. My feelings for you weren’t what I had expected. I found myself increasingly annoyed at my own inability to understand you, and I grew angry with myself for not even giving you a chance. But no! It was your fault for being so ornery! I couldn’t be wrong. If you would just pronounce all your consonants, maybe I could understand you. Maybe if you just met me half way…

We fought. For the first time, and the last. I didn’t want to recognize my feelings for you. I didn’t want to admit I was wrong. But soon it became too obvious. All this time, you had waited for me. All this time, I demanded you meet me in the middle while I kept taking steps back. When I was refusing to even try to understand you, how could I expect you to change for me?

You know, we always cling the hardest when we’re about to let go.

This is all to say: je suis désolée. J’ai tort.

Can we try this again? Start at the beginning? I know we can’t pretend the rest didn’t happen, but I’m willing to give it a chance. I can’t promise I won’t trip on your elisions, or slip into a German accent, or bemoan your vowel choices, but I can promise to respect you. You are your own, beautiful language, with unique morphemes, a high density of final-consonant deletion, and a bizarre fixation on cows. You deserve to be taken seriously.

How about it?

Me

P.S. Duolingo has been amazing at helping me understand you better. I'm glad you two are friends.