Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Straight Guys Think, Feel, and Vote, Too!

So this guy sends me this late last night, asking if I'd post it. And while I don't often do "guest" posts, I like this so much. It's important for all of us to realize that it's not just gay people who care about equal civil rights for gay people!


To all the straight dudes like me out there:

It’s the day before the election.

By the end of tomorrow, my best friend will know whether or not he can be legally married in the state of California. And as the polls stand right now, it looks like he won’t be able to do that. And that bums me out, brother.

If you told me when I was growing up that my best friend would be gay I’d have laughed in your face, maybe even punched you in it. I grew up in a rural area of Maryland filled with mullets, acid wash jeans and the good ole boys that wore them both. Hell, I was one of ‘em… part of me still is. I went to Catholic school, a private university and didn’t know an openly gay person until I moved to Los Angeles.

I played “smear the queer”, called my friends “faggots” and if someone did something silly or stupid, I’d call him “gay”. I simply had no frame of reference. Perhaps if you are reading this, you don’t either and I can appeal to you in these final hours…

I know every single one of you (whether you are man enough to admit it or not) hopes to find your perfect partner… dare I say soulmate? Personally, I have visions of finding “love at first sight”, going through the first stages of love where I can’t get enough of this beautiful woman, falling madly in love with her, marrying and living happily ever after where we both die peacefully in our sleep holding hands.

Guess what? We aren’t the only ones that have those feelings. Gay men and women have the exact same dreams that we do, because that is what PEOPLE do… dream. We dream of what we want to be when we grow up, the kind of house we want to live in, where we are going to vacation and what our perfect relationship looks like. And just like all of us straight guys where we prefer blondes over brunettes over redheads, there are some people that prefer others of the same sex. That’s really all there is to it. Believe it or not, they aren’t doing it to spite you.

I know that some of you who oppose same sex marriage want to make this into a huge deal where the door will be open for people to marry rabbits and aliens and anything else you can imagine, but the simple fact of the matter is, that argument doesn’t work.

My gay best friend doesn’t want to marry a rabbit any more than I do. Or an alien for that matter. (Although I would have sex with that hot alien chick on the new Battlestar Gallactica.)

I am in the entertainment industry and since moving to L.A., I have met hundreds of gay guys and I have to tell you all a secret… “Shhhh… they are people EXACTLY like you and me except they happen to like other dudes.” I know that seems weird to you. It did to me too when I first moved out here, but since then I have observed them and taken notes and this is what I have found:


1) They have feelings just like you and me. They experience love, hate, jealousy, disappointment and elation.
2) Some of them actually have more successful relationships than we do. Imagine that. Two people in a relationship that actually works. What would you give for that? I’ve looked up to the sky and offered God ANYTHING for a successful relationship. I’m still waiting and I envy ANYONE that can make that work.
3) Gays are PEOPLE. They are entitled to the same things all other people are: the right to vote, the right to free speech and should be afforded the right to marry one another. It’s simply a matter of equality.
4) Gays are generally clean. This has nothing to do with anything, but I wanted to share ALL of the data with you.

My best friend is an amazing singer and one late night, we were hanging out with a few friends and he sang, “Loch Lomond” (look it up). When he was finished, without even thinking about it, I said, “One day, I want you to sing that at my wedding.” He was honored.

And then I started thinking about what honor I could bestow upon him to reciprocate. And it hit me that I may never be able to do something like that for him if Prop 8 passes tomorrow.

I’ve seen him these last two weeks in the throws of a budding relationship and it has been a real education for me. I’m not used to being this tight with a buddy who also happens to be gay and I have to say there are still things that open my eyes.

He’s in that beautiful, romantic phase of a new relationship where they want to spend every moment together. I’ve never seen him so happy. So inspired. And that makes me happy. Although it is still hard for me to understand how he can be physically attracted to another guy (we’re loud, sweaty and not that smart), what I do understand and appreciate are the feelings. And it is absolutely amazing to witness.

I hope he falls madly in love with this guy, they move in together and if they so choose, are allowed to marry one another in the eyes of the law and all of their “fabulous” party guests. If that happens, I’m sure I’ll cry. (I’m a sucker for weddings).

And in the meantime, I’m going to remain positive and think about what I can do for him at his wedding. It’s only fair. As it looks between the two of them now, I better start taking guitar lessons tonight.

So from one bro to another, I’d like to ask this favor: Please vote No on Prop 8.

Even if you don’t want to do it for the gay guys because you don’t know them, do it for me… a straight dude.

Because I really can’t stand having to owe anyone anything!

Thank you for reading this.

NO ON 8!

By: Stirling Gardner

Thanks, Stirling.

And for all of us, Gay, Straight, Figuring it out... Don't forget to VOTE!!!

For more great reasons to vote, check out the blog post round-up project Colleen Mondor, Gregory K. and I are running: BLOG THE VOTE!




Anonymous said...

What a great post. Thank you for sharing it, Lee!

We're thinking about you guys in California and crossing our fingers that people will do the right thing. I wish we could vote against Prop. 8! I gave a donation, but it doesn't have the same satisfactory feel.
Sending good thoughts,

Anonymous said...

I am glad you decided to share this. Much to think on. Hoping that Prop 8 is defeated. We has a similar vote a few years ago in Oregon and unfortunately it passed. Sending positive thoughts!

Charlotte said...

Thanks from me too, Sterling (and Lee)! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you in CA, and, actually, for all of us...

Rita said...

This was fantastic. Bravo to your guest poster, Stirling!!!

This, in particular (and all bits and pieces that went with it, including how gays "are generally clean") made me laugh:

> I have observed them and taken notes and this is what I have found:


Dear, dear, ha.