This morning the United States Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as discriminatory towards homosexual. They also punted the California Prop 8 Appeal back to the state but that has fewer relevancies to me. This has been an amazing day to be an American, for the first time in a very long time I feel proud of something my government has done.
Except for Scalia he is a fucking monster.
I have been watching the slow progress of this case from the initial levels all of the way to the SCOTUS. It has held my interest like the best episodes of the X-Files or Lost. But I have chosen to remain silent until now, it is usually against my policy to engage in political or religious debates online.
They serve little purpose.
Some of you may be asking yourself, “Why are you writing about this Josh? What does this have to do with you and your freewheeling life?”
Just in case I have yet to make this clear in all of my interactions over the last year allow me to repeat this loud and clear so there is no mistake.
… Ahem …
Hi, my name is Josh Hilden and I am a Bisexual American happily married to the love of my life. An amazing woman named Karen.
I have covered a lot of this in my series of Journal Essays entitled “A Cautious Descent into Respectability” last year so I am not going to go over the details again. But I will give you an abbreviated rundown.
I have known I liked fellas and girls since I was about 6. My first girl kiss was at 5 and my first boy kiss was at 6. I kept all of this to myself until I was 16 and tried to kill myself when the opening salvos of my continuing war with Bi-Polar disorder were fired. I told my therapist, one of my best friends, my father, and my mother. The parental units did not handle it well. I have “Dated” fellas in the past and I had one serious boyfriend. I loved him as much as you can love someone at 17. I kept it all to myself for many years.
Let me put that is perspective for you. That was in 1993, do you really think in those years I was too anxious to “Out” myself? Call me a coward if you want but I was already short, fat, geeky, and blind in one eye. I don’t think there was any need to hear the word “Faggot” slung at me as well.
I was ready to settle for a safe relationship with a girl when I met Karen. A relationship with her was far from safe, nine years older than me with three kids it was a scary proposition for a 19 year old boy. It was a leap of faith.
I have never regretted taking that leap.
Going on 18 years of being together and 17 years of marriage I am happier and more fulfilled now than at any other time in my life. I am pushing against the wall of my 40th year and for the first time the very idea of the second half of my life doesn’t scare me. It excites me and inspires me to new heights of creativity.
So I have been asked many variations of this question, “Josh, you live a normal life. Why do you need to tell people that you find some guys attractive?”
My answer is always a variation of, “Because you felt the need to ask me that question.” This has not been fun and there have been painful consequences.
I have been disowned by family members.
I have been told I should be ashamed of myself for sharing who I am.
I have lost friends.
It has hurt my wife that I kept from her for so many years. Although in the end our journey has been strengthened rather than damaged. But it kills me that she felt pain.
This is who I am.
This is who I have always been.
I refuse to be ashamed.
I refuse to hide.
Today the government of the United States of America took the first truly substantive step toward full equality for those of us who look like everyone else and are hated for wanting what the heart wants. We hurt no one. We ask only for the same rights as every other American.
Today I take a few moments to remember the boy who made me happy when I was younger and to praise the woman who loves me unconditionally. I am stronger for being open about who I am, not WHAT I am because what I am is the same thing the rest of you are.
I am a person.