Sunday, May 24, 2015

One Step Forward

Two young ladies from India who work in Hyderabad got married in San Fransisco - to each other. Gay or lesbian marriages are not legal in India. The young ladies have been a couple for 8 years now and this simply was their way of letting the world know they are committed to one another. 

I read the news and had mixed feelings. I am ashamed to have to admit it, but for a moment I thought this was a let down for the Indian community. Then I stopped to reprimand myself. Let down? Did I somehow harbor the idea that the Indian community is superior and so ‘such things’ do not happen within our community? Was that the level of my acceptance of gay and lesbian relationships? Was it because I was distant from it?

I am almost 60 and have seen so many revolutionary changes and have prided myself for being a well-read, educated, compassionate, accepting person. I have often said, “I am spiritual.” “I believe in kindness over rightness.” I have consciously lived my life trying to be a better person everyday.

Today is one such day when I have to consciously examine myself and my values to expel the bigotry I demonstrated when I heard about the two young women who chose to honor love! I was raised at a time in a place where the word gay only meant happy and the word lesbian was not on my vocabulary radar. As I aged and moved around the world and was exposed to the reality of love and relationships the word gay went from being a ‘bad’ word to a controversial one and eventually a word that meant love! I believed that is where I was till I read the news and realized that my ‘acceptance’ of the word and the people who celebrate same sex relationships was really just a limited tolerance. 

Thank you Shwetha and Smruthi, today you have helped me close the circle and expand my horizons of acceptance! Today I congratulate the two of you and wish you joy and togetherness always. I am a married woman and am aware of the ups and downs that two people living together face and overcome. It takes effort, an open heart, an acceptance and tons of love especially during the low times - from both. It requires each to recognize the strength and the weakness of the other and to always hold each other up. Marriage is about being tied together and yet being individuals. A committed relationship is a dance that is both dynamic and explosive and yet flows like dancers on stage - within boundaries and yet free, sometimes intertwined and sometimes dancing at a distance on the same stage! There are no half measures between two people who have promised to remain successfully committed - you are all in or you do not belong together. 

One more step towards being a more accepting person - well done Basabi, even if I say so myself. 

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