I was in a politically motivated mood when this was written, and urging the GLBT community to get out and vote. Some did, some didn't, Bush is President. I still want my happy rights.

Happy Rights
A Gay Opinion 10/19/00
by R.A. Melos

Issues! What happened to them?

Oh, those pesky political issues, like what to do about hate crimes, and civil unions, are still there, they've just been placed out of harms way until all the mudslinging is over, or at least until after the November elections in the United States are over.

One of the many issues to be dealt with is that of civil unions. While Vermont led the nation in forward thinking, many other states are attempting to back peddle with legislation which will negate the forward steps by disallowing and disavowing any partnership between parties of the same sex or those who are not involved in a "traditional" church sanctified union.

I've heard many people lamenting on the morality of same-sex marriage, or as they see it, the immorality of those unions. The other evening, while listening to a television talk show, I heard a woman demanding to know when gay stopped meaning to be happy?

Well, I too would like to know the answer to that question. After all, the right to love another human being is a universal given, like the right to breath, whether on not a society recognizes that right. It wasn't all that long ago when interracial marriages were looked on with the same disdain as today's same-sex unions. Now politicians long for the days when an issue was easily identified by the color of one's skin.

It was so much easier to deny someone their rights if they looked different from you, but now we all look the same, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, husbands, all are separated by an invisible genetic code which can only be seen through a microscope, and is even there unidentifiable.

The Religious Right argues the Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve theory. Big deal! So if your only choice at the video store was Waterworld, Kevin Costner would've made a fortune. If Adam had been placed with Steve, although I doubt he would've been named Steve, probably something like Jebhar or Seberoth, then we wouldn't be arguing this theory at all.

What I really want to know, isn't what happened to Gay Rights, but what happened to my right to be happy? I'm not talking about conforming to someone else's version of what should make me happy, but my right to be happy as I see fit to be happy?

Don't tell me it isn't what God wanted, because God made me and I want the happiness God made me to pursue. I also don't want to here about society being uncomfortable with me, because I really don't give a rat's tail about what makes others uncomfortable. I've heard the so-call "gay self-defense" theory, and I don't buy it. If a person is so completely insecure with their own sexuality to think by being perceived as gay, if they truly are not, it could make them gay, so they must eradicate homosexuals from the face of the planet, then there is something wrong with that individual not with me.

The "it isn't normal" speech also doesn't wash with me.

Come on, is it normal to brainwash a reasonably intelligent woman into thinking she is not fulfilled until she squeezes out a child or two? Is it normal to put pressure on youth to be like their parents? Or to go out and marry and reproduce because society expects it?

The "it isn't natural" theory is also crap. Just watch any episode of Jerry Springer and then tell me same-sex unions are worse than most of what heterosexuals do in pursuit of their happiness.

So where is my right to happiness? Where is my right to meet someone, fall in love and get married? Where is my right to learn that marriage doesn't solve all my problems? And my right to flee from a disenchanted union because he's a jerk, just like my my parents said he was, back when I wasn't listening to them?

Perhaps the heterosexual society is trying to spare the homosexuals the pain they themselves suffer each day in their marriages of convenience and lies and other poor unions? Perhaps the heterosexuals are so benevolent as to help us beyond the excruciating pain of their own mistakes by denying us the right to make the same mistakes?

Or possibly, the heterosexuals really are afraid we'll do marriage, as we do most things, better than the heterosexuals do it. We'll have lasting unions, without separations and divorce, and failure on financially grade scales?

I doubt all of these things. Heterosexuals have to stop thinking the pursuit of my happiness lies in the crotch of my potential life partner, and realize love is in the heart and head. Once I felt I was with someone who would make me happy for the rest of my life even if we never had sex. How many heterosexuals can make that claim?

Well, I was happy, and can and will be happy again, with or without the condescending approval of society. Legality be damned, my ex-lover taught me rules were meant to be broken, and he may have been right. Too bad he conformed back to societies will before he broke more of the rules with me, but he's inconsequential.

So what happened to the time when gay meant happy? My answer to this is, gay still means happy. Heterosexual society is putting forth their best efforts to take that happiness away through strong-arm tactics, threats, and denial of rights, and we are still here and stronger for it. There has always been much more to those of us who dare speak love's name, and now is the time we got what we want.

I urge all people to come out and vote for the pursuit of your own happiness, and don't tread on mine. Go to the polls, vote, have a gay old time.