I’ve talked in the past about the people who supported Mike and me during the last year, but I haven’t given a very important person his due: my twin brother, Kyle. Kyle checked in on me all the time during my bed rest and hospitalization. When he was in town (he traveled a lot during that period) he was visiting me in person. When I called him in a panic the day Maddie was born, he broke all kinds of speeding laws to get to my bedside. When Mike called to tell me that Maddie wasn’t going to make it, Kyle broke the news to me and held my hand while I cried. He kept a vigil outside the NICU with us. And now, Maddie’s face lights up with each kiss that her Uncle Kyle gently places on her forehead. They love each other to bits. He’s the greatest uncle, and she is so very lucky.
Besides being a damn good uncle and brother, he’s also an amazing friend, a lover of animals, an extremely brilliant scholar (he only missed three questions on the SATs), hilarious writer, and he happens to be gay. I was at his house the other day and I was saying random things, as I am wont to do, and I started a sentence by saying, “oh, when you get married, you HAVE to…” and then I trailed off. I’ve never been able to say that to my brother before and know that it could actually happen – that, like me, he could one day be married to his best friend and love of his life. And I almost cried, because there is a discriminating proposition on the California ballot that could prevent that from happening.
A lot of people think they don’t know someone who is gay. Well, now you do. You know Maddie’s uncle. And he has something to say.
Hey folks! This is Kyle, Heather’s twin brother. Heather has cruelly neglected to tell you guys all about me despite devoting lengthy blog posts to all of her ex-sorority friends, Matt Lauer, stuffed animals, the mailman, and (when pressed for a blog topic) some guy she saw outside. However, I am assured that this situation will change soon, and maybe this little missive will help us break the ice.
Heather asked me to talk to you guys about something on the ballot in California this Tuesday called Proposition 8 (non-Californians, I promise this involves you, too). Prop 8 is a measure designed to take away equal rights that were awarded earlier this year by the (majority Republican) state supreme court, which allowed same-sex couples to marry. I’ve been doing a lot of volunteering and phone banking to get Californians who believe in equal rights to vote NO on this hurtful measure.
I know a lot of you are parents, so let me draw an analogy. You know how you want your kids to grow up thinking that they can be whoever they want to be? Despite having a loving family, I did not grow up thinking that. I grew up gay, and I knew in the back of my mind that some of the things people take for granted, like marriage, were things I would never be allowed to have.
When prejudice and discrimination is sanctioned like that (and for what? love?), it can have a profound effect on a person. I’ve been lucky, but let me quote my friend John for a moment: “I volunteer as a counselor for the Trevor Project, a suicide and crisis helpline for gay youth. Many of the young people I talk to are hopeless and considering suicide, because they are being bullied in school and/or their families have rejected them simply because they are gay. Some of them have been kicked out of their homes, others have been sent to conversion camps, and others are being physically and verbally abused. Taking these calls has been a grim reminder to me that we still live in a world where a child can be driven to take their own life because of our cultural negativity toward homosexuality. Taking steps toward equal rights sends a signal to everyone that it is not OK to attack others just because you don’t identify with them. Voting NO ON PROP 8 takes that step.”
Look at the face of your child. Do you want your child to grow up with a heart filled with intolerance, or a feeling that he or she is not equal?
You know, I was reading a lovely obituary today about this really rad lady who accomplished a lot before she died, and her family wrote this: “Hester embraced life and she is remembered for her infinite capacity to LOVE, to SHARE, to be CREATIVE, to SUPPORT and to show unlimited ACCEPTANCE & COMPASSION.” Now, maybe I’m just a sucker for capital letters, but for some reason, that description really hit me as something we should all aspire to. Why let hate and fear trump love and compassion? Why take away a minority’s legal rights? Where does that lead to?
If you live in California, vote no on Prop 8. If you don’t, but you know people who do, please tell them to vote no. I remember how we all grew up reading in our history books about segregation and concepts like “separate but equal,” and thought to ourselves, “If I had been around then, I could never have stood for that.” You are around it, right now. So what will you do?
Heather again. I don’t like politics, but this is something that will TRULY affect me and the future of my family. It’s beyond politics – it’s about people. Someday when Maddie asks me what discrimination is, I hope gay rights will be a PAST example and not a current one.
And besides – a girl as cute as Maddie deserves to be the flower girl at her uncle Kyle’s wedding.
Frozen Star says:
If I lived in California, I’d vote no.
Frozen Stars last blog post..Losing faith in humanity
i truly wished that i lived in la just to vote no. Although I am not gay, some of my best friends are. it makes me sick to my stomach to think that people in the US and around the world are being discriminated against just for being gay.
I’m almost more excited to vote NO on 8 than I am to vote for Obama. And that’s saying A LOT.
As I said on my blog a few days ago, regardless of your feelings on homosexuality, taking away someone’s right to marry is discrimination in it’s simplest, and most dangerous, form.
And if you’re stupid enough to believe the “Yes on 8” commercials, your right to vote should be revoked. THERE. I said it. And I meant it.
And to Kyle: I might tackle you and lick you on Sunday. Watch out.
AMomTwoBoyss last blog post..Getting Thrifty With It
one good thing about living in CAnada, eh? no prop 8 to have to say no to!
alis last blog post..oh what a night…this sex is on fire…
Girrrl! If I never had a reason to vote no on this one, (which I already did) you would have swayed my heart. What an awesome brother, you are a lucky gal. And how could you guys look more different? Are you absolutely positive about that whole “twin” thing?
Anissa@Hope4peytons last blog post..The end is nigh!
I’m a Republican (well, maybe more of a Republicrat but anyway) AND a Catholic, and let me just say that I plan to mark a big fat NO on Prop 8.
I think it’s verrrry ironic that many of the staunch ‘religious’ people who preach ‘do unto others’ are willing to take away human rights from others so easily. Truly ‘do unto others’ and give them the same rights you enjoy and take for granted – or else who knows? Maybe something you take for granted could be abolished by a different proposition in a few years…..ooooh karma.
Love you, Kyle. (And you too, H!)
Andrea's Sweet Life says:
Back in 2000, when prop 22 was on the ballot, I worked night and day to try and defeat it. In the Sacramento headquarters, you could have heard a pin drop when we heard it had passed. To say that our faith in our fellow human beings had been shattered would have been an understatement.
When it was overturned, I couldn’t have been happier – discrimination was finally working its way out the door. But here we are again, with prop 8. And once again, I have to fight the urge to TP the houses of people who are supporting it.
As a straight woman, who even happens to be Christian, I can’t imagine any good coming from the passing of prop 8 – let’s hope it burns to the ground on Tuesday!
Andrea’s Sweet Lifes last blog post..1300 Miles
I’ve voted NO on our prop here in AZ and wish I could vote in CA. It’s breaking my heart reading posts like this from people who are being discriminated against. And I don’t understand why churches are spending MILLIONS of dollars on a hate campaign. I truly think Jesus would prefer they donate that money to charity. I am hoping and praying it doesn’t pass- in CA, AZ or FL.
Anyone who sees me on Twitter knows that I’m staunchly against Prop 8 — my avatar for it changes frequently but always with the same message: No on 8. There are so many reasons, and so many faces behind those reasons, that it just boggles my mind that some people are so passionately for such a discriminatory measure in this day and age.
I’m so glad you introduced us to Uncle Kyle and I hope he knows that a lot of us are firmly behind him and his rights.
Mauras last blog post..One Week – Hope over Fear
Heath, I’m so glad you posted this. To me, it’s not just No on 8…it’s HELL NO on 8!
Kyle, Excited to see you on Sunday!
Great post Heath! EVeryone should vote NO, HELL NO, No Way in Hell on Prop 8! As the Declaration of Independence clearly states, “All men are created equal”. Therefore, every person has the right to be treated equally and have the same rights as everyone else. Hugs to you and Kyle.
*SQUEEE* Equality for all AND an adorabuhls baby/possible future flower girl? (I need to stop dying all over the place). Go Heather! Thanks for bringing this very important issue to your blog.
Yay for twin love! Hi Kyle!!
Prop 8 thinks they are “protecting marriage” and “protecting families.” From what? From whom? I DON’T UNDERSTAND.
Alisons last blog post..Her Head is Smooshed
I already voted No on Prop 8 through my absentee ballot (because I may be in labor on election day!)
If I still lived in LA, I’d completely be voting no. I can’t wait until it’s legal to marry the one you love everywhere, no matter what. My sis-in-law is pissed, because she’s already started planning her wedding for next summer. They’ll get married, either way, but they deserve for it to be legal.
Maddie will make a great flower girl at Kyles wedding one day I’m sure.
Issas last blog post..Happy Halloween
Aunt Becky says:
I wish I could pretend to be a California resident for a day, but sadly, I’m neither blond nor hot enough (nor do I have fake boobies. Yet). But I have family out there and I’m certain they’re voting for NO on 8.
Aunt Beckys last blog post..Diary of an Impending Affair
Great write-up! It just irked me to see John McCain on Ellen talking about gay marriage and all he could say was “I guess we disagree”. So for that we should make your view of the world into law?????
Go Maddie! Start practicing your flower girl walk!
Bonnies last blog post..What’s black and white and taped all over?
Thank you, Kyle!
We’re in Florida but we’ll be voting NO on 2. (Prop 2 wants to formally define marriage as a man and lady thing. Retarded.)
Marias last blog post..morning meme
Heather – I’ve seen photos of Maddie with Kyle – they look so cute together. I didn’t know you guys are twins! (you know that’s special to me for our reasons). Can’t vote in the US but always been an advocate for equality for all.
We don’t have “marriage” for all here in New Zealand. Our politicians opted to create something called a “Civil Union” which all types of couples can use. Some heterosexual couples do use it and of course many gay couples too.
The magic of the internet is that everyone’s statement about this is history. Say you believe that all humans, gay or not, deserve rights, and it will be recorded. Say you feel that a gay relationship is subpar to a straight relationship, and it will be recorded. No longer can you say the “N” word in 1953 and have no one call you on it. If you are a bigot toward gays or anyone else….which is your right…it will be recorded by 21st century technology. So be careful what you say!
I for one, like all the awesome posters above, am putting my name down in internet history as loving EVERYONE! Won’t you join us?
Mikes last blog post..Adult Halloween vs. Kid Halloween
Ms. Moon says:
And if you live in Florida, vote NO on Prop 2.
Please, people, let’s evolve.
Ms. Moons last blog post..The Reason My Children Have Carved The Pumpkin Since They Were Old Enough To Hold The Knife
Delurking to say that it looks like you and I have a lot in common, Heather. In addition to having a totally adorable little one (who also happened to show up earlier than expected), I have a wonderful, amazing brother who is also gay. (He also happens to be a terrific uncle.)
We live in Canada, so Andrew can get married. His ability to get married doesn’t seem to have undermined my marriage at all. In
Delurking to say that it looks like you and I have a lot in common, Heather! In addition to also having a totally adorable little one (who also happened to show up earlier than expected), I have a wonderful, amazing brother who is gay. (He also happens to be a terrific uncle.)
We live in Canada, so Andrew can get married. His ability to get married doesn’t seem to have undermined my “traditional” marriage at all. In fact, although same-sex couples have been marrying here since 2005, as far as I’m aware, society has not collapsed. So don’t be afraid, Californians!
Came back to check your comments. Not a nay-saying jerkoff in sight! Nice.
And Jackie!- I know you’re with Heather right now, so hopefully she’ll pass this message along: My warning to Kyle goes for you too! Be sure you’re sitting down on Sunday when I get to the party, because I might tackle you and lick you.
AMomTwoBoyss last blog post..Getting Thrifty With It
Ms. Changes Pants While Driving says:
totally voting no on 8. if the sanctity of marriage needs further sanctifying, why the hell not make divorce illegal? wouldn’t that truly make it like, totally sanctified and stuff?
Ms. Changes Pants While Drivings last blog post..things i giggle at
moosh in indy. says:
Hi. Are you sure you’re gay? Because, mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm.
I know I’ve said it before, but mmm.
Rock. This is me. Hard place.
I’m a part of a religion that is passionately speaking out for Prop 8 but I have a heart and a mind which says NO NO NO.
This is where faith steps in and sees me through. (that’s right, quoting Jiminy Cricket.)
moosh in indy.s last blog post..tp tarot.
Fantastic post. I hope you Californians get this one right!! And hooray for supportive commenters – I was waiting to get really pissed off and everyone was awesome. Maybe there is hope?
Count me and my husband as two who have already voted NO on this preposterous proposition. Trying to explain the issue to my kids and they’re like, “Who cares if they want to marry?” (And if that’s not clear the way it’s written, they were saying they’d vote NO, too, if only they weren’t too little.)
patoiss last blog post..The Weekly Wonderings #82
Auntie Lynn says:
“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” for all. California’s Proposition 8 denies all three fundamental principles of the United States.
I, too, feel very strongly about this. I don’t live in California but this proposition 8 has had me feeling sick to my stomach for the last couple weeks (as you could probably tell from my blog). My brother is also gay (he is two years older than I but everyone always thought we were twins). I know that the outcome of this election will have consequences that will either aid the progression of equal rights everywhere, or hinder it. It is very frustrating!
My brother and uncle are gay. It sucks that this kind of shyte is still an issue. Our last prime minister thought that gay marriage would some how degrade his marriage and that marriage is only for procreation. The idiocy drives me nuts!
Becs last blog post..Happy Halloween – the jokes on us
I actually registered to vote this year….sadly enought I have never voted…34 years old…..terrible I know……BUT besides hoping to sway the pendulum in the direction of my preferred candidate BUT because of this unbelievable PROP…..we must not let this pass. How can these folks define marriage as sacred and only between a man and woman……when many of them are unfaithful to their spouses and what about all the folks that are married 2, 3,5 times….how sacred is that shit??? Oh don’t get me started……..PLAT!!!!!!!
Sams last blog post..New town, new house, new tooth……well new half a tooth
I have considered moving to California to vote NO on prop 8. It’s horrible. May it die the death it deserves.
anymommys last blog post..The Key to My Heart
Caffeinated Chum says:
Ah, laws like these make me so mad. Who do people think they are to try to impose their sense of morality on others, especially when it’s nothing about THEM? Gay marriage doesn’t hurt anyone else…if you don’t want one, simply, don’t get one. Besides, it’s so hypocritical of many so-called religious people to become so outraged at homosexuality. There is absolutely no way they follow every rule in their religion, so why must they try to tell other people which rules to follow?
If I lived in CA I’d be voting no for this, but alas, I live in a state that hasn’t even considered offering marriage options to gay couples so we have an even longer way to go before we get to the point you guys are at.
Caffeinated Chums last blog post..Displaced
cindy w says:
Thanks for posting this. I have an uncle who’s gay, he’s been with his partner for almost 20 years (since I was in middle school). I think they absolutely 100% should be able to get married if they want to, and it’s ridiculous that they can’t right now because they live in Oregon.
I just don’t understand people who say that gay marriage devalues the sanctity of marriage. How, exactly? I think the things that devalue marriage are things like drive-through wedding chapels in Las Vegas, or TV shows like “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?” Two people who love each other and who want to be together? That doesn’t have a single flippin’ blip on the radar of my marriage, thankyouverymuch.
I’m so glad you haven’t gotten any negative comments on this post, Heather. And if it helps, I have one relative in CA who I know will be voting NO on Prop 8.
cindy ws last blog post..boo!
I could not agree with you more. I have two gay brothers and I hope when the time comes they are able to marry their best friends. Discrimination still exists in our laws and needs to be a part of our past. I will never understand why someone would feel that people of the same sex should not get married. Why do they care. If they want to have a life together they should be able to just as well as a man and a woman.
I think Maddie would make a wonderful flower girl.
Kates last blog post..The Dog…
I’m so glad you (and Kyle) wrote this. I’ve had a hard time figuring out where you stand politically and was a little scared to check your blog the day before election day, lest I find a republican. Well, I suppose you still could be one, but at least you support gay marriage– THANK YOU from a married gay mama of a preemie.
Susannas last blog post..Marathon
Maddie is a dawl…and I didn’t know you had a twin. Kyle is a cutie pie. Thank you for sharing so much about your sweet brother…good luck with the voting tomorrow.
Kims last blog post..Be a Superhero.
Hey Kyle- I am a republican who has been lucky to live in the Bay area for the past eight years. As a very proud mom of 4 kids, I have explained to my brood why we are voting NO on 8. In the car this morning on the way to school we passed a protest to in support of 8. I overheard my 12 year old son explaining Prop 8 to my seven year old son. I was so proud to hear him say, “It’s so everyone who loves someone can get married. Can you believe that there are people who love each other and can’t get married?” All politics, religious beliefs, and descrimination aside and just the thoughts of a twelve year old boy.
Insofar as teaching about gay marriage in school? That’s life, folks. Could you even imaging being a child in a family with same sex parents during this election?
Horrible, just horrible. The TV ads in our state about “protecting” children from gay marriage? What exactly are we protecting our children from I’m not so sure.
Personally, I think we all need protection from the bigots writing these ads.
Thank you for your thoughtful post, Kyle. I’m taking my four year old to vote this afternoon and we’ll be voting no on 8!