I smiled a great deal this weekend what with Maria Bello’s New York Times essay about relationships (click here) and Tom Daley’s YouTube release about his male lover (click here) and the ways in which the increase of such open, honest approaches to life and questions as to why we are even discussing such things – meaning we soon won’t be – have just validated a world view of which I have dreamed and long predicted would ULTIMATELY be the case.
Although it’s happening much faster than I had dared hope.
I am right so often it is – frankly – terrifying.
As a child I had this recurring dream in which the world was gender-free. I don’t know precisely how this world-view planted itself in my brain, but I am grateful for whatever happy concatenation of occurrences was responsible for the result. Although I was not always so.
I was entering the fourth grade when the Catholic church determined that its riches were not vast enough to continue supporting Saint Peter’s, the small parochial school I attended. I was torn out of the sheltered, protected near quarantine of my private Secret Garden-ish existence and thrust into a public school life for which I was far too sensitive and trusting. It was not long before I was abused for and disabused of my core understanding that everyone loved everyone else and wished the best for them. I felt betrayed. Betrayed by the world, betrayed by those who had lied to me, or, rather, hidden from me the truths of the world.
One of the first shocks was when a particularly nasty little girl who I – being the sheltered Catholic boy who thus far had been in training to grow into the first American Pope – didn’t recognize as “nasty” asked me to draw a naked woman and man. I did. Both exactly the same.
I had no idea. I had never thought about it. I mean, I lived in a house entirely absent of male influence save for an older brother who – during his rare time at home – stayed locked in his room smoking, wailing tunelessly on an electric guitar turned so loud the house vibrated, and, I realized years later, masturbating to his Playboy and Hustler collection.
But, I knew nothing. And nasty little girl made sure everyone knew I knew nothing. At the time my sexual ignorance seemed an insurmountable obstacle – but, trust me, I surmounted and mounted and re-mounted and – well, I got past it.
Luckily, however, in my head and heart, in the place where Love and Light are generated – the place of the soul – I NEVER changed from that gender-neutral kid who believed the world should be (and somehow, at heart, WAS) a place where all that mattered was LOVE and gender was a non-issue.
And it’s happening. Now, we have a long way to go – I get that. And I am not saying that there aren’t some people (me included) who are sexually attracted pretty much exclusively to only one gender. Okay. BUT I AM SAYING – we have tried for too long and too hard and too disastrously and hypocritically to DEFINE relationships by gender and whether or not the relationships are sexual and on and on with labels and lies and ridiculous lines that need NOT be drawn.
I have had primary relationships with people to whom I was not at all sexually attracted. I have been abandoned by and had my heart broken in ways that were far more devastating than those rifts romantic by family members and “friends”. I have been attracted to people who were not the least bit interested in someone of my gender and who – because of our spiritual light love connection – ended up becoming physical with me. And on and on and on …
And I have been BLESSED by all of these relationships and loves because of my childhood belief – and, yes, I would be less than open and honest if I didn’t admit that at times – also – I was CURSED by them. Yes, at times, it has been difficult in this world in which we live to CONTINUE believing in the near-Utopian possibility of Love & Light where what matters is not gender or age or class or race or religion or any other label – but, rather – THE SPIRITUAL CONNECTIONS BETWEEN PEOPLE – and however we explore them, we explore them – without judging. And yes, that belief – its blessing and curse – has made me the sometimes bi-polar, depressed crazy man I can be – BUT NOT BECAUSE OF THE BELIEF – the BELIEF is not wrong; LOVE is not wrong – I get tired and cranky and pissy and nasty and dark and upset because it is sometimes FREAKING EXHAUSTING dealing with the jackholes who do NOT get that LOVE IS LOVE.
But, thanks to people like Maria Bello and Tom Daley (and all the others who have come before, NOT ignoring, but for today, Maria and Tom)… I am happy HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY that the coming generations of ME will have an easier time LOVING. And the future Maria and Tom’s of the world will not NEED to make statements.
LOVE WILL BE LOVE. Wow, Utopia approaches.