My Opinion – A Work in Progress

Kimberly Garcia

Every day America is evolving, but stopping discrimination is still a work in progress.  Homosexuality is a very tense subject to some. Some argue it is their life, but others argue God does not approve the union of two people of the same sex. Who is right? Is anyone right? If we believe so much in respect why can’t we respect those that love in the same way though they love a different sex? Can we blame modernization for evolving such thoughts at an early age or the openly homosexuals displaying their love in the streets?  Or is it nonsense to blame a feeling that grows within?

Many ask what I think of homosexuality, whether I think gay people should be allowed to get married.  What’s my belief on laws deeming same sex marriage illegal? But can I really take a side? Am I passionate enough to argue for either side? I mean, it’s part of my society, but I can’t even choose which universities to apply for right now.  However, the decision of one of my family member’s to come out as homosexual has demonstrated to me that some day I have to make up my own opinions.

Just one month ago, my aunt finally decided to “come out of the closet.” I have grown to truly admire my aunt now for whom she has learned to be. My aunt has always been a strong, independent, and serious woman. Born from an earlier generation, revealing her sexuality to our family was incredibly hard and thus took her about 30 years. Although she is still learning to open up, she has finally let go of her fears of rejection.  It was really no secret that she did not have a preference for men, but I would have loved for her attitude to have been as optimistic and honest as it is now.  But I still blame society for stopping who she really was for a long time. I have no right to judge her preferences. Who is she to judge my opinion?

Until a couple of months back, my aunt never accepted herself. Thinking about her sexuality always seemed to put her in a bad mood. For five years my aunt shared a relationship with a woman she only acknowledged as her “friend.” No one was allowed to label her anything more, and no one dared to. “Where did your girlfriend go?” my uncle once asked neutrally. “My friend 

is inside,” was my aunt’s annoyed response. When I was younger I did not understand what the big deal was, but as I grew up I realized that being different sometimes is hard to accept. Especially coming from a generation in which almost everyone is extremely religious and against same sex marriage, I now understand why my aunt took such a long time. When my aunt was with her so-called “friend” she seemed isolated, distracted, and moody. I don’t know whether it was her relationship that made her like this, whether it was because she couldn’t be herself, or simply because she couldn’t accept and demonstrate to us that she was in a relationship. Eventually my aunt’s relationship ended.  Oddly enough, she did not mention that they had broken up but the entire family knew it was a done deal when the lady wasn’t around for family gatherings.  A couple of months later, my aunt finally told her sister (my other aunt) about her sexual preference. To be quite honest, speaking to my aunt was always dreadful because her lack of joy intimidated me. But one year after she came out, my aunt transformed into a vibrant lady and speaks with so much enthusiasm.

My aunt has undergone a complete change both physically and spiritually. Now for family meetings she doesn’t hesitate to show off her new girlfriend. She even smiles.  Though I am astonished by my aunt’s complete change in attitude, I am so happy for her because she has also begun to be (as mean as it may sound) lovable. Whenever I was around my aunt before, I felt very tense because I didn’t know what was appropriate to say, so I just knew two rules: don’t mention the “friend” and don’t mention the “friend.”

As dreadful as it was before, now holding a conversation with my aunt is pleasurable. It has gotten to the point where she feels comfortable enough to tell me “she has maaany girlfriends.” I am extremely glad and pleased that my aunt now feels comfortable enough to talk with me without my constant fear of saying something wrong even if it has to come down to those awkward moments that she is repeatedly mentioning she is a prince charming for the ladies. By accepting herself, my aunt has finally taken a step forward in her life. She can now be happy and settle down with whomever she pleases. And she has. I bow to her for being who she is now and for having the guts to accept SHE IS different and that’s just how it is. She has left me in awe

because she has changed so much that now she has even began waxing her eyebrows and styling her hair differently. And even though that might seem not important or impressing for a woman so old fashioned, plucking one natural hair off her face is jaw dropping.

My aunt is the first person in our family to be openly homosexual. I believe that as the first woman her courage has somehow said something we could not find the words for. Not for us, not for the future generations, but for herself. It is this action that makes her the woman she is. And these are the moments that make me doubt voting against gay marriage. As hard as I try not to be biased, it is impossible to try and ignore the facts.

It comes down to the big deal: whether I support marriage between same sex partners. I am Catholic, so I believe in God, and I have faith in Him. However, Catholic churches do not support gay marriage. The Bible itself explicitly states in Leviticus 18:22 that a man “shall not lie with a male as with a woman; as it is an abomination.” Although I respect the feelings of others, I cannot pretend to go against my own religious beliefs. So when it comes to processing all my feelings aside from the facts I tend to side with the religious beliefs I have. But I still believe my opinion should not be able to hurt anyone. So I end up nowhere. I just simply go back to that cycle of not entitling myself to an opinion.

I sit and I look back and back and I cannot remember my parents ever mentioning to me anything regarding same sex marriage. I know my parents are both Catholic because that is where my beliefs grew from. I know my parents both support my aunt and I know that as happy as I am for her they are too.  To be honest I really don’t know what they think of it. And I don’t know if that is why I am so neutral about it. I have always been raised on the idea marriage is between a man and a woman.  My truth behind my reasoning: between not knowing what my opinion really is, is because I know the Bible states same sex marriage as abomination and I know I cannot disrespect that. But I also do know that I also cannot judge anyone; if they want to make “it official” through paper and pen that’s their decision not mine. To be sincere, I don’t know what my answer is; I just don’t know it yet.

I ask others for their opinions, and although I carefully listen, it is almost worthless. They simply spit out what they consider obvious: “I don’t care. It’s their life.” I don’t understand!  If so many people really don’t care, why is the government trying to make laws that prevent it? Why are churches protesting it? Why are celebrities that are “coming out of the closet” receiving their five minutes of fame? Why is it so hard for people to admit they are homosexual? Maybe people simply don’t have a genuine answer because none of us knows what’s right or what’s wrong, whether checking yes or no on that ballot is the correct thing to do.

I am too young to make decisions that can hurt my loved ones or my friends, but I cannot discard own beliefs. I think it is going to take time and experience to develop my final decision. I don’t think I will be able to solidify my reasoning if I also do not see the views of others. It might take me falling in love to understand love.