Every morning, Analisa, a petite two year old girl, the daughter of my best friend Jewels, would push open the door to my room, sneak in, climb onto and over an upholstered rocking chair to get onto my bed. Her goal was to cover me and my blanket with as many of her brother's orange, green and yellow dinosaurs as possible. If turning me into a human version of dinosaur mountain did not wake me up, Analisa would crawl closer to my head, put her tiny little hand on my face and say "wake up," in the sweetest, softest little voice. Some mornings she would even sing, " Twinkle, twinkle, little star," in an attempt to get me up. When her plans did not work after several tries, she would eventually get frustrated, smack me on the face, and say in a stern tone, " Wake up. I'm hungry. Fix me breakfast."
Naturally, I would open my eyes, smile at her, throw the covers over Analisa's head and tickle her silly until her laughter filled up the room. Then I would get up, make up my bed, make up her bed, get her dressed, go downstairs and fix her breakfast while my best friend took her brother to school. The maid loved me because I have a tendency to cook and clean up my dishes at the same time, so there is not much of a mess left behind to pick up afterwards. While Analisa was eating her breakfast, I would whip up a protein shake, run upstairs and get dressed. Then together, after breakfast was done, little Analisa and I would go walk their family dog, a loveable Corgie.
By time Jewels would return home, there was nothing for her to do, because it was already done.
" You know hun. I love that I don't have to ask you to do anything. It just comes naturally, you make a great lesbian housewife. If only I could get my husband of seven years to do the same thing. Can you train him for me?"
I laughed, as the term " lesbian housewife " became our inside joke anytime I would cook lunch, dinner or take the kids out to the Park, the Aquarium, the Movie or just go grocery shopping for the family. Luckily, the maids did all the cleaning.
My domestic training I assured her is because I was raised by a single mother, so I understand what it takes to run a household efficiently. The fact that I have five sisters, five nephews and two nieces qualifies me as a "5 Star General of Baby Bootcamp."
Her husband would often chime in with humor from time to time, asking if, "I could go on a lesbian date night with my best friend so he could work late or hang out with the boys after work."
We joked about how "threesome couples" might actually work out temporarily as the 'guest star' probably relieves some of the pressure off the relationship and can take one partner away when they get on each others nerves. The only problem is it would never work out for us personally, because none of us are into adultry or attracted to each other beyond the boundaries of friendship. I love them both dearly though, they are very much family to me so being a 'swinging couple' is just not an option.
Jewels and her husband were a couple for thirteen years before they got married, she refused to have any children with him until he sealed the deal with a ring and a wedding. Now they have been happily together for twenty years. They are a beautiful, healthy family, nothing like the disposable relationships of our modern day society. The irony is, some would deem it more socially exceptable for us to be "swingers" or a "polyamourous" family over me, individually just living my life in a married, monogamous, gay relationship.
The scary part is the " lesbian lover on the side " is currently a hot trend in heterosexual marriages across the country. What makes a lesbian lover on the side different than a swinger, is that a swinger will have a sexual relationship with the couple, both the man and the woman. A lesbian lover on the side belongs, in essence, only to the wife. She is the " surrogate husband " for when the husband is not around, i.e. working, on a business trip, off screwing his mistress or boyfriend she doesn't know about. Don't ask me why, but I can count on my fingers and toes the amount of women who hit on me, and then inform me after the fact that they don't tell the men in their life about their secret life. I think these particular women believe somewhere in the twisted logic that is their mind, if they are having sex with a woman, having a man or a boyfriend on the side makes their "gayness" or "bi-sexuality" more socially acceptable. Go figure, the duality and lying in a relationship is confusing even to me. It all breaks down trust. I cannot get into this lifestyle either simply because I am not the type to settle for second place. If I could, I would be a very kept and wealthy woman by now. Second place in my opinion, gay or straight, is for people who are desperate to settle for less than what they are worth.
When I seriously consider the dynamics of my best friends family life, I wonder if this is now going to be a real possibility for the gay community, to have the same level of recognition and respect as our heterosexual friends? When you are a lesbian, unlike my heterosexual girlfriends I don't spend my time wishing to meet a rich man to marry, to be taken care of, to have a white wedding, or tuck the dream of a white picket fence, children, a house and a dog into my Prada bag. Just the ability to get married to someone I love and have my marriage recognized and respected in every state across the country, in the land I pay taxes in, in the country I love, is my dream.
I believe in love but if heterosexual marriage were analyzed as a business, in my opinion, men often get the better end of the deal. Married Men, not only get the wife, they also get; the maid, the chef, the mother, the pamperer, the house manager, the financial manager, the taxi cab driver, the child care provider, the part-time school tutor, the seductress, the juggler of 1001 hats when he is unavailable, and also... the lover. I cannot tell you how many men I have known to take all the above for granted when it comes to their wives. They come home from work, tune out via sports on television, porn videos or playing online video games, without being present to their wife's needs until dinner is served or sex is involved. It's an interesting dynamic to watch from afar, because if it were a business, the female would be the CEO just based on consistent effort and hard work of running the family household, while a few husband's might get demoted or even fired for unequal effort and participation. Personally, I would just like the opportunity to take marriage for granted, or not.
When you are gay, because our marriages or "civil unions" are only recognized on a state level, luxuries as these cannot be taken for granted. We have to work so hard for the same level of recognition of our partnerships, that it does not seem fair for people to take their heterosexual marriages for granted or their ability to get married so easily. Divorces should be much more difficult to obtain. Imagine if you could only get a marriage license dissolved before 90 days expired. What if a marriage license could only be intentionally renewed or dissolved every 7 years. Forget the primative process of divorce court, your stuck together like super glue for 7 years until your marriage license expires. Let's just simplify the process altogether. Unless there is an emergency; such as adultry, domestic or child abuse. Basically, your together until the seven year itch anniversary, for better or worse. If you choose to dissolve the marriage license, not only are the assets automatically split down the middle, your not allowed to re-marry for 3 years. Let's face it, some heterosexual people change marriage partners like ladies at a square dance. It's time to shake up the routine and teach people to appreciate their ability to obtain the love license they often take for granted.
Although not recognized on a Federal Level. In the United States, same-sex couples can only marry in five states and one district (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the District of Columbia) and receive state-level benefits. The states of New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Rhode Island do not facilitate same-sex marriages, but do recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, as does California in some cases.
Internationally same-sex marriage is legal in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. In Mexico, same-sex marriages are only performed in Mexico City, but these marriages must be recognized by all 31 Mexican states. I'm still impressed that Mexico is more progressive than the United States in terms of Human Rights, now they just need better labor laws. Israel does not recognize same-sex marriages performed on its territory, but recognizes same-sex marriages performed in foreign jurisdictions.
While we see a shift in same-sex marriage and LGBT rights occuring, the Obama administration continues to push for gay rights both domestically and internationally.
To my amazement, according to the Los Angeles Times on Friday, the United Nations endorsed the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people for the first time ever, passing a resolution hailed as historic by the U.S. The resolution expressed "grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity."
In March, the U.S. issued a nonbinding declaration in favor of gay rights that gained the support of more than 80 countries at the U.N. In addition, Congress recently repealed the ban on gays openly serving in the military, and the Obama administration said it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the U.S. law that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage.
The vote in Geneva came at a momentous time for the gay rights debate in the U.S. Activists across the political spectrum were on edge Friday as New York legislators considered a bill that would make the state the sixth -- and by far the biggest -- to allow same-sex marriage.
"This represents a historic moment to highlight the human rights abuses and violations that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face around the world based solely on who they are and whom they love," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement.
The White House in a statement also strongly backed the declaration.
"This marks a significant milestone in the long struggle for equality, and the beginning of a universal recognition that (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) persons are endowed with the same inalienable rights -- and entitled to the same protections -- as all human beings."
It appears, after a long struggle, as though the light is finally cutting through the darkness of the LGBT community but our work is not done. I urge you to reach out to your Senators and ask them to end discrimination, and Pass Marriage Equality in New York and in your own State if it is still just a dream. Together, we can make Human Rights and Marriage Equality a reality across our Nation. The United Nations is doing their part, we must continue to do ours.
In the meantime, my best friend says the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) should auction my "Lesbian Housewife Services" off for an entire weekend, on CharityBuzz as a fundraiser for Marriage Equality. I'm flattered she thinks so highly of me, as OCD as she is about her own home and family.
I would do it in a heartbeat because a worthy cause, is always worth the time.
Especially since the dream of LGBT Human Rights and Marriage Equality finally seems within our reach.