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When God made me

When God made me he must have laughed
Him, and the angels too
He made me short and rather plain
not lamb, but mutton stew
But he gave me brains and intellect
and a strange bouquet of talent
Blonde hair, blue eyes an upturned nose
and a temper, sometimes violent
He put me on a rocky road, swirling in a storm
but he gave me love and hope and joy
that today still keeps me warm
I realise now, that this small life
has really been a test
to find my faults, my fears, the ways
that I can do my best
So don’t despair, take heed of me
and put your soul to rest
I’m living proof, that when he laughed, he laughed at me, and got it off His chest

By Barbara Thompson

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Love, noun

“an intense feeling of deep affection”Oxford Dictionary

What would happen if the law was passed that two people of the same sex could marry? Would there be natural disaster? Would our way of life be under threat? Would terrorism reign with buildings being bombed by rainbows or radio stations hijacked and forced to play Barbara Streisand? What would happen in our heterosexual lives that we feel so strongly and somehow justified in saying that two people cannot marry regardless of their love and commitment to one another – what right do we have to judge or decide and really, why do we care so much?

My parents married each other and stayed that way for 17 years until they went their separate ways, from what I can gather and remember most of those years were not happy ones. My mum was lesbian you see, but in her generation it wasn’t acceptable either. So, she hid it, she got married had three children (thanks mum) and pretended I suppose. When I was 10 years old my mum left. She had met a woman whom she had fallen in love with and took the risk – was this selfish, I don’t know but from where I sat at 10 years of age it seemed to make sense. Mum told me she was leaving and she was in love with a woman, I remember saying to her that as long as she was happy, that was all that mattered – for some reason it didn’t feel “wrong” or awful it just was simply what she wanted.

As I mentioned previously, my parents were not “picket fence parents” they were real people with real lives and in reality so many of the people around us had the same parents, the same lives. Some marriages stayed together through all kinds of misery, some flourished and grew into beautiful unions, some broke up and went their separate ways – the only difference with mine parents is that my mum left my dad for another woman. I will be honest, the impact on my dad was significant, he was devastated by this rejection and much more so by the fact that there was another woman and so it took him a long time to come to terms with his pain and to gain his confidence but eventually he did and he and my mum became friends, I don’t believe her sexuality was something he stood in judgement of. For my sisters and I the impact was significant too, but it had nothing to do with my mum’s sexuality it had to do with family.

Being gay was not easy for my mum, there are so many preconceived ideas about what gay men and woman are like. I never had a sense that people looked at my mum and thought “she must be a dyke” she looked like other mums, actually that’s not true, my mum was little and stylish with her own identity, she was gorgeous. She wasn’t an exhibitionist and shied away from intimacy in public, just like many other people. My mum would have fought for gay rights if there was a call but she wasn’t flamboyant, she wasn’t an activist she was simply a woman living her life and trying to find her happiness. My mum had two partners in her life after my dad, the first was for 11 years and the next was until my mum died. She loved them both dearly and they loved her. My mum didn’t think of getting married or not, again, it was the times, but this didn’t lessen her commitment or her love for her partner and if she had wanted to marry, my sisters, my father and I would have supported her because love, as they say, “knows no boundaries”.

I watched a segment of Q&A a couple of nights ago, the final question from the audience was directed at Joe Hockey and Penny Wong, the question to Joe was on lines of “What makes you think that you and your wife would make better parents that Penny and Sophie”, he hesitated and answered with some trepidation, giving no real reason other than what I interpret to “because I say so”. Penny’s response was simply along the lines of “there is not much to say to that really”. How sad that she has to justify her love and the love of their daughter.

As I have mentioned in my previous post Dear Mum, my mum struggled with her demons, she found it hard being a mother, many woman do, this has no relation to a women’s sexuality it is simply a fact of life. Sometimes we are “born to it” and sometimes we have to “work at it”, mum was in the latter but she loved us so much and if anything that love left her with the burden of guilt because she wasn’t living up to the expectation that society had placed on her to fit into the framework of being a “mother”. Society’s judgement, fear and hate only made her life harder, if there had of been more acceptance, more compassion and empathy, maybe, just maybe her life could have been happier, healthier, longer, maybe she would have forgiven herself.

I find it sad that we expend so much energy on issues like gay marriage when there is destruction, hate, poverty, famine and devastation all around the world. Love should be celebrated, regardless of the form it takes, love should be honoured and treasured and set high on a pedestal. Maybe if we loved a little more we could find it in our hearts to be brave enough to give the gift of acceptance and through acceptance maybe we could find unity.

Added: This is the YouTube clip from Q&A on the question of equality and Gay Marriage

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