Sep 22, 2014

The End.

I shut down this blog temporarily, while I decided what to do with it. But I felt that I owed myself, and anyone who cared, one last post. Because I believe in honesty over fantasies, and I think this will bring me some closure.

I'd like to start a new blog one day, once I get things sorted and figure out what's next in my life.

The dreaded words... Katrina and I broke up.

I haven't blogged since June, so you may have suspected from my silence that something was amiss.

I both knew it was coming, and yet was in complete denial. I don't like to give up on things and I was pouring all of myself into this relationship. The simplest explanation: we both had needs that were not being met in this relationship. God knows we had given it enough time to be sure of this. But in the end, I wasn't everything she needed or wanted. And on my end, I realized I was settling for less than I deserved. She wasn't 100% into me--she didn't want to talk about marriage or kids or a future, and she couldn't love me completely the way I needed her too.

Unfortunately, instead of us coming to this conclusion in a perfectly open and honest conversation, we had to suffer some complications and turmoil. And then she made a series of choices that hurt me deeply and ensured that we could not be together any more.

I know I will forgive her someday, after I've had time to heal. And after we've both grown from this and moved on. Something better is out there for both of us, and I'm excited and hopeful for the future. I hope that someday we are friends again--and I believe that we will get there.

My goal in sharing this is not to tell you to despair of love. Just be honest with yourself. Katrina was a wonderful part of my life, and I regret nothing from our relationship. I loved her with everything I had, and it didn't work out in the end. I can only believe that that is because there is someone else out there for me, who will love me completely and want me--head, body, heart and soul.

I am thankful for good friends, my family, and my fluffy cats in the meantime.

I will continue to risk my heart. I will continue to love, knowing that I may well be hurt again some day. But I risk everything in the search of finding someone to love and be loved by. Isn't that the point, truly, of living in this world?

If and when I begin blogging again, I will post the link here. Until then, if you'd like to continue to share my life with me, please connect with me on twitter (I'm migrating to a new account): @ruthemoo, and instagram @ruthemoo

Thank you for being a beautiful part of my journey. This may be the end of this story, but I truly believe my life is just beginning.

I wish you all the happiness and love in the world. And cats, all the cats.

Jun 26, 2014

State of Mine

Yesterday was surreal. When I woke up, I did not expect that hours later, there would be gay couples legally marrying in my state.

Indiana is a smallish, fairly conservative state in the midwestern USA. Back in February, our legislature was debating whether or not to have hoosiers (Indiana folk) vote on an amendment to our constitution that would officially define marriage as a man and a woman in our law. We already had a statute ban of gay marriage, but they were pushing to get it "carved in stone". There was disagreement on the wording, and whether or not to prohibit civil unions as well, so the amendment was temporarily pushed back on the agenda. 

In the meantime, several gay couples, most of whom were legally married in other states (although their marriage wasn't recognized here in their home state) were challenging the statute banning gay marriage in court. Their cases progressed until they ended up in front of a federal court judge, and, surprise surprise, he found that it was unconstitutional to prohibit these couples from marrying, or having their marriage recognized in their own state.

I have seen this happen in so many states before us, but I didn't think it'd actually happen here. And now.

And so, almost immediately after the judge declared his ruling, just like that, couples were lining up at county clerk offices filling out their paperwork and conducting short wedding ceremonies on the spot. UN. REAL. Excitement, lines forming, confusion and shock in some of the smaller Indiana counties who weren't ready to jump on board. Only a little over 30 hours later, hundreds of couples have married, and most of the counties have started issuing licenses.

Indiana was even added into the Wikipedia article about gay marriage in the US as the 20th state where it is legal to marry!

Local businesses and supporters cheered the happy couples, and overall there's just been this amazing, supportive feeling. I am overwhelmed... and kind of in shock and disbelief. Katrina & I enjoyed a celebratory date night last night, and as we were getting ready to come home when--I kid you not--we looked up into the sky to see a RAINBOW.

dinner at Delicia (she's pretty darn cute...)
rainbow cupcakes at the Flying Cupcake

There are, of course, some very unhappy people with this turn of events. And the government of Indiana will be appealing the ruling and trying to get a "stay" on it until then (meaning that same-sex marriage licenses would be on hold until after the appeals process). They may end up delaying it, but we are not going back now. Twenty states and counting, and likely that another case will end up before the Supreme court again as soon as next year... and this time they won't be able to avoid the question of: "does denying an individual the freedom to marry violate their 14th amendment constitutional rights?"

People are struggling to come up with legitimate arguments against marriage equality. It's hard to imagine the highest court in the land disagreeing with all of the judges ruling on these cases.

So, although there may be some rain on our parades, we see only the rainbows. We will joyously celebrate the victory of equality in our little state (alongside Utah, who also celebrated a victory yesterday!) and look forward to a future when this will all be history.

I will leave you with a link to an absolutely stunning Indianapolis lesbian wedding from a local photographer's blog. Enjoy!

*UPDATE* The Indiana attorney general was granted a "stay" 2 days after gay marriages began, putting them temporarily to a halt until after appeals process. Poopheads.

Jun 17, 2014

The Commitment: Some Thoughts on (Gay) Marriage

Wedding season is upon us. I don't know about you, but this summer includes no less than 5 weddings for Katrina & I to attend.

With my job, I see all the ins-and-outs of the wedding industry. The good, the bad, and the horribly wasteful, self-indulgent and ugly. Couples getting married for all the wrong reasons. Brides throwing fits over their centerpieces or ice sculptures. Grooms so completely uninvolved the bride might as well be marrying herself. Family's fighting, drama escalating, and people going into massive debt all for a big show.

That's the very negative view of it all. And on top of that, same-sex couples fighting for equality in the states where they live and love (19 states with legal gay marriage and counting!)

You would think that with all of that, I would hate weddings. You would think I'd resent marriage because I am unable to marry in the state I call home.

But I don't.

While I admit the wedding industry has gone off the deep end a bit, and while I find the fight for equality frustrating, I see through it all and feel hope. I still value marriage - I think that commitment matters. And the wedding itself is a way to share and celebrate your commitment with those closest to you.

I don't know how many weddings I've been to over my lifetime. But recently I attended my first gay wedding. Two friends of ours, also from Indiana, decided to do a destination wedding in CA where they could legally marry. It was a small group, not more than 20 guests, at a quiet resort, with a simple ceremony, a dinner afterwards--beautiful words, many tears of joy, and lots of laughter. Nothing big or pretentious. Just two beautiful brides, very much in love and content to say their vows in front of a few friends and family members.

I don't know if I've ever witnessed so much love. And god, did I cry like a baby. This is what weddings should be about. This is love. This is worth fighting for.

Katrina & I did some wood-burning artwork for the brides.

A few weeks ago I read "The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage and My Family" by Dan Savage (sex columnist and podcast host). An excellent book--it's a very honest look at what it means to commit your life to someone in marriage. Written in 2004 when George Bush is re-elected for a second term, Massachusetts is still the lone state where same-sex couples can marry, and the future of marriage equality is looking very grim.

In a nearly 10-year relationship with the love of his life, whom he has adopted a son with, Savage has reached a point in his life where he's genuinely considering marriage for the first time. His writing is personal and truthful, as he takes us along for this ride of whether or not to make "the commitment", as a gay man and father of a six-year-old. He explores what marriage has always meant in the past for his family and for mankind in general, he contemplates the why behind traditions, ceremonies and signed pieces of paper. It had me laughing, crying and thinking. It had me reflecting how much has changed for the U.S. in the 10 years since he wrote this.

I'd recommend this book to anyone truly, whether you're considering marriage or a skeptic of it, debating gay marriage (for or against), or simply just looking to become a more empathetic human, it's a great read.

"So when are you two getting married?" Katrina and I got asked the question repeatedly throughout the wedding weekend with our friends. For some reason we were the target couple, everyone was overflowing with happiness at the wedding, and happy weddings just make you want more happy weddings I guess.

I have different responses to this question, varying from "we'll see..." with a smile to a more serious response that might involve legality of marriage in Indiana, Katrina's internal struggle with labels and acceptance (she's not completely "out"). The truth? I would like that, someday. Katrina's not there yet. For now, I am content to just be together.

I don't care about a wedding, I don't care about "being married". It's not about any of that for me. It's about her. It's about making that commitment to each other. It's about going through life, bonded to this irreplaceable person you've found, treated by the world not just as two individuals, but an unbreakable pair. Marriages demand respect in our society. Making those vows still has significance. You are recognized as not just "a lover", but as family, the closest possible family, to the person you love the most. You are two halves of a whole.

P.S. If you're finding yourself involved or interested in the bible/homosexuality/morality of gay marriage debate, I recommend checking out this message from a Southern Baptist pastor, Danny Cortez, to his congregation. It is very genuine and thought-provoking, well said and worth the 60 minutes it takes to listen to it:

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