Sunday, June 16, 2024

Love is the Answer

I just found this Washington Post story to be rather sad. 

For those who can't link to it, as you might not subscribe, in a nutshell a man comes out at the age of 85 - in his obituary. 

A fire fighter, a friend, a strong family background - and could never tell anyone he was gay. 

I mean, he did. And some people knew, but never discussed - at least with him. You know friends and family (even co-workers) talked once he was out of the room. 

Edward Ryan even had a partner for a quarter of a century. Rarely were they seen together and never at Ryan's family events. They would attend the partner's family events, but always taking separate cars. 

I totally get that some families will not accept a same-sex relationship. And I get that some families are close. But these things are not mutually exclusive. They can't be. They shouldn't be.  Having the feeling the family will shun or judge you for who you love totally fractures the idea that your family is truly close - or even truly your family. 

Blood is just blood. 

I always say that Family Planning should mean you get to plan that family - not just be thrust into it. You don't see me talking to 2-3 of my sisters since my parents passed. I feel zero need. There is not an ounce of regret or second thoughts on this. I even successfully avoided three of them at a viewing for a cousin of ours. I guessed - incorrectly - that they'd go to the afternoon viewing hours, not the morning. Yet I made it in and out without exchanging a syllable. 

That said, 710 and my relationship might have been discussed behind our backs - who can know for certain......except you know it. But we had relationships with each other's families and I was welcomed by his, and he by mine. I still attest that mine liked him more than me. And it's valid, for sure. 

Still, Ed Ryan and his partner lived a life of covering tracks and secrecy that, while by his own words had "25 wonderful years together", the omissions had to be exhausting over time. 

But in his obit, he himself writes that he'd always been gay and was sorry he didn't have the courage to come out to his family - afraid of being ostracized. 

With his obituary, he says he is at peace now being able to say it. At 85. 

I'm happy for him, but I'm so sad for him too. He probably doesn't want that pity or sadness, but I want the younger generations to be able to be themselves - whomever that might be, and with whomever they might love. 

Song by: Todd Rundgren


James Dwight Williamson said...

The people in my life who sincerely care about me and love me , a few family and mostly friends , these are my family and I tell them everything. I’ve always been out at my jobs as well. I don’t understand this person’s motivation, but his choices were not mine to make. Your family should be hand picked not genetic. Big choices there!

Travel said...

A touching and well written story, there are still a lot of people trapped in the closet.

Theaterdog said...

Hi from rural France... I've been reading you for YEARS....this one got to me..where it counts.

I saw the article a couple of days ago....and have walked around with it in my head since. I felt the same as did you ...and this is why I come here every day ..even though I don't say this much ... thank you for writing .

Incidentally, In Pride...

Tim in France

Anonymous said...

Family? You mean like the Menendez brothers?

Ur-spo said...

Yes it is sad. How sad it is to be one way and not feel OK to be that way.