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Today, my daughter and I had lunch with the niece of an ex-husband. We had lost touch and hadn’t seen each other in around seventeen years. When she was a teenager, I knew her as a nephew. How ironic is that? Kelly now lives as female and has for many years. I was struck by how respectfully she referred to Lee. While I and even Lee, refer to him often as “her,” and he still goes by his female name in most settings, Kelly consistently referred to him as “he” and “Lee.” I suppose it will take Lee himself staking that claim and requesting that others respect  his wishes.

It’s also ironic that we just returned from a visit to Lee’s hometown. While respectful of our relationship, his parents still refer to him and think of him as their daughter. We ran into an old church youth pastor who called my husband “Princess.” Now, that was weird. I suspect though, that were Lee to make that request of his family, at least his parents would comply. Maybe I am assuming too much, but they love their child.

While there, we also had dinner with several other family members including Lee’s cousin who is a Lesbian. She has been in a committed relationship with her partner for over a dozen years. They own a house and business together. During the dinner conversation, she began to tell a story of a recent event. In the telling , she referred to her partner as her “friend.” Lee said on the way home, “It’s no wonder we have come no farther when we devalue ourselves and those we love to that extreme so that someone else will not feel uncomfortable.”

As another note for the day, one might wonder what is in the water where Lee is from. Remember, his brother is gay. So is this cousin. There are seven cousins on that side of the family, three of which are LGBT. That’s almost half of that generation of that family. Yet, if truly 15% of the population is  and always has been, then three out of every twenty people are gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans-gender. Three out of every extended family. Three out of every school classroom. I would hope the children in those classrooms are kinder. I hope their parents are less fearful. I hope their families are more loving.

I saw at my long-lost niece’s house, the “Milk” DVD sitting on top of the television. Kelly, Lee, his brother and his cousin are all no less hero’s than Harvey Milk. They have paved the way for the next generation, who paves the way for the generation that follows behind them.

As a final note, the highlight of our trip was meeting Lee’s new nephew. He is eleven weeks old and so incredibly adorable. The family ooh’s and ahh’s over him and clearly, the world of many now revolve around this beautiful baby. He has so many people who love him already. I hope those people continue to love him, no matter what. Should he be apart of that 15%, I know his road will be at least a little easier. If he is part of the 85%, his path will surely be a little kinder.


September 29, 2010 Posted by | The Gay Me | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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