Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I am EQUAL.....

I was happy to see a picture of a couple getting married. They were obviously in love, you can see it in their faces.  

For some this picture causes is a picture of 2 men, more so it is a picture of a United States Military Officer marrying his partner.

For me? I am happy for them....there needs to be more love in the world, more romance, more understanding, more tolerance.

As a young girl I was exposed to intolerance, bullying, division, racism and more at an early age. Born at the end of the 1950's, racism was still alive and well, even in my extended family. 

As a 4 and 5 year old I was brutally treated by my neighbors, not just the kids, but their parents. Why? Because my mom was a widow and refused to marry immediately after my fathers death. That was a time when a woman 'HAD TO HAVE A MAN' and how dare her to not remarry soon. My mom on the other hand was young and shell-shocked to be widowed so soon after her marriage to her soul-mate. She was waiting for a guy that would be a good father to me and my brother and a good husband to her. It was a tall order and she never found a guy to be both instead marrying a good companion for herself when I was a senior in High School.

The people of my small town could not fathom such a thing and it created such agitation in them that they grew angrier and angrier and more brutal as the years went on.

I remember as a young girl, maybe 8 or so, calling my classmates to see if they could play. Their parents would get on the phone and say, "Don't call here again, you can't play with our kids."  - the reason was that my mom was single.

When I was in third grade the kids started bringing to school the anger that their parents carried, one day during PE some girls through my clothes in the wasn't just any outfit, it was a cherished jumper that my very elegant and charismatic Grandma Juanita gave was zebra striped and I felt so glamorous and pretty in it.....I came back to the bathroom to find it stuffed in the brings tears to my eyes to this day.

Even the teachers bullied me, one going so far as to pull my ponytail so hard during lunch that it brought tears. I never went back to lunch at school. That was a time when we got an hour lunch to walk know, all mothers were at home waiting for their kids....only the poor, stupid kids had to stay at school for lunch and the teachers hated being there. I never went back....when my mom found out that I was going home for lunch she had me take my brother too....I was happy to take him as I loved him and we were company for each other.

My brother was always quieter than I was, God only knows how he was treated at school and in the I started cooking lunch for my brother and I at the tender age of 8 or 9. We were in Junior High before we knew that you are supposed to brown the hamburger before you put in the Manwich sauce.

Things always got worse, never better, both my brother and I barely escaped with our sanity from our small town and I am not sure that what you call sanity is what we live in to this day, but we are both happy, mostly and successful.

These years of mistreatment just because I was different, because we were different, ingrained in me a fierce understanding of what it feels like to be different and I will defend over and over again those that need defending.....

To quote someone else, "I have a dream when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, whom they love or how they look, but by who they are."

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