Yesterday was a dark day for me. The news that Proposition 8 passed was devastating. It was at that moment that I realized that it is not just a rights issue for me, I want you to accept who I am. I can't help that I am a gay man, nor do I want to. I have been in a loving relationship for five years with my husband Pieter. We are approaching our third wedding anniversary. We were legally married on June 17, 2008. Pieter and I both work in the community. We support many charities and attend their events. We come home from our days and cook dinner and watch TV. We are very similar to most heterosexual couples. It amazes me that there are people trying to take away the very thing that we are using to assimilate into a heterosexual culture.
Imagine for a minute what it would be like to come home and see advertisements on TV saying what a terrible person you are. That children need to be protected from you.
Imagine what it would be like to wake up and find that 1/2 of your state hates you.
Imagine what it would be like to walk out into the world every day using a fine tuned sonar to test who will accept you, who hates you, who will turn you away because of their faith, and who you you should trust as real friends.
This is my life every day. I go out into the world knowing that I have to assess with each person the degree to which I can be myself. It is not any easy road. I trusted that our world was slowly accepting us. Seeing that 52% of California feels differently was beyond frightening. My heart is deeply saddened.
My only regret is that I trusted Californians with my well being. I shouldn't have been so complacent, assuming that everything was going to be okay. I should have been paying closer attention. I should have been more proactive. Well, I am ready to fight this fight. There are over 18,000 gay and lesbian couples that were married in California this year. Why would you want to take that from us.
I ask you all to dig deep down and think of how that would feel to hear that you can't be with the one you love. I am asking you to accept me for who I am.
Writer Anne Lamott writes, "Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."
With love, Peter