My feelings have not changed. Material pleasures are good, but they are not what is important in the world. It's interesting to me, with the current war facing the United States, this truly is a new kind of war, as the media calls it. When I think of the wars I've seen romanticized on film, they were about rationing, and conserving, and since the events of September 11th, 2001, the American government, politicians, authority figures, have all began to encourage Americans to show their pride in their country and stimulate the failing economy by spending their very hard earned money on, most importantly, air travel, in order to prevent the airline industry from collapsing just as the World Trade Center towers did when fire claimed them after two hijacked terrorist flown planes struck the towers.

The government has proclaimed it every American's patriotic duty to spend money on travel and entertainment. This most definitely is a new kind of war, and if not a brave, perhaps a foolhardy new world.

It Don't Impress Me
A Gay Opinion 8/17/00
by R.A. Melos

Today, while in my office writing a check for my Realtor Association dues, a fellow Realtor saw my check book. My checks have the rainbow flag design on them. I simply assumed, since I've been out, everyone I worked with knew I was gay. He did not. He proceeded to tell me how confused I was, and that he would pray for me.

I told my well meaning colleague, if he was going to pray for me pray I meet a man who will take me in, love me, accept me as I am, and maybe support me so I can sit at home on the couch eating bonbons watching soaps and calling my friends to go shopping while hubby is out slaving away to support my lazy ass.

I know many of the straight women I deal with are very proud of being Mrs. Somebody-Or-Other, and I'm sure that snagging a man is a major accomplishment for many straight women, and yes I would like the equivalent homosexual relationship, but I will not give up my individuality in order to secure a relationship.

The more I thought about my colleague's remark, and the idea that being a straight man, having a woman whose identity I would consume, raising children, and living that mundane lifestyle, the more disgusted I became with the entire notion of wife and family as something people should strive toward.

First of all, as a man, I was never going to personally give birth, so children were a secondary concern even back when I was closeted. The idea of having a child didn't seem to me to be much of an achievement, since all you have to do is have sex to get one the conventional way. And when it comes to raising one you ultimately have little control over the final product, since children are creatures of free will and are want to do as they please.

When I look at the people I know who have children, and I watch how they treat their children, I realize I treat my dog better. This is not a statement I make lightly, but it is true. I have never hit my dog, or screamed at him for doing something he shouldn't have done. I never threaten to take his toys away, or act rashly because he is barking or pulling at me to move when we are out for a walk and I stop to speak with a neighbor.

Yes, I am comparing a dog to a child, since I've seen women and men treat animals better than they treat their children. I make no apologies for this comparison. After all, anyone can have a pet and, for the most part, anyone can have a child.

So the whole wife and family aspect of the straight relationship escapes me. As I said, I will never again be "just and assistant", and I'll never be "just a marriage partner" or other type of concubine. I'm not really knocking all those straight women whose entire lives revolve around home and family, or all those homosexuals who are nothing more than an extension of their life partner, but for me this kind of life is a major trade off of something much more precious.

After my ex-lover tried unsuccessfully to destroy my life, I slowly came to realize, and am still learning, who I am as a person. My individuality is as important to me as those mundane aspects of straight life are to those mundane people who value them.

Now I know there are many people who will say I'm just being a selfish homosexual, not concerning myself with the overall betterment of society. Maybe they are right, but then I don't see society as something I'm trying to better. I am striving to be the best person I can be, and in order to be the best person I can be I have to be happy with myself and my own achievements.

My colleague offered to pray for me because, as he sees it, homosexuals are confused. My colleague is someone with whom I am impressed, not for his business acumen. My colleague is impressive as a person because, even though he thinks I am confused in life, he offered me prayer. This man, with a large family and many other distractions, is willing to concern himself with my life.

While I don't understand his lifestyle and he doesn't understand mine, both of us knowing our own lifestyles are the best for ourselves, his offer of concern is much more impressive than all the other materialistic accomplishments he or other people may accomplish.

What this comes down to is not so much achievement of material goals, but the kind of person you are while achieving these goals. For anyone who knows anything about the people who work in the real estate profession, they know real estate professionals are generally materialistic with little concern for anything more than money and what money can buy them, with the material object (a large house, a new car, world travel) being the end to the means.

There is nothing really wrong with such selfish desires, as my own desire to be the best person I can be may be considered selfish, but material possessions, in spite of what some people think, do not make one a better person.

I'm not even talking spiritual betterment, as much as I am talking about just being someone who can enrich someone else's life. My colleague's offer of prayer, whether I need it or not, is much more enriching to me than someone offering to buy me a house or car simply because I may consent to live with them as my life partner.

The size of your dwelling, the social position you are in, the way you dress, your entire material wealth, are the things and the means by which many misguided people judge others. I am lucky enough to see the difference between material pleasure, and emotional wealth. I've had material pleasure, and I will always pass it over for the truth of emotional wealth.

As for my colleague's prayers, no prayer goes to waste. While he may be praying for me to see the error of my ways, which I don't see as an error, The Powers That Be will put those prayers to good use somewhere. Perhaps they will help my colleague by exposing him to a wider range of emotional acceptance than he has yet experienced, or perhaps not. At least we know where we both stand, and conviction of personal beliefs is impressive.


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