June 3, 2008

Gay Friendly? Tolerance or Acceptance?

I got an interesting email from an ex-neighbor yesterday. Through the process of breaking with Jim, we have tried to maintain a friendship, but it has been difficult at times. She, her husband, and son have been good friends to both of us and were always, what I considered, accepting of both Jim and me, and our relationship. They were Jim's friends first, so I decided that I would distance myself from them while I worked myself through the "stages of grief", especially those days that I had nothing nice to say about Jim. I did not want to put her in the middle of any ugly words that might have flown from my mouth after a few beers...
Well, apparently Jim has shared with them some of the conversations I had, and have had with him since moving out, regarding what belongs to whom, and also financial issues. I am not going to spell it all out here, but let's just say with my obligations from my previous life I have always lived very close to the belt, financially. Jim has always made more than I have, and was always very clear to state that so long as I took care of my obligations and shared in the household expenses, he would ALWAYS take care of the rest... So, in one of my conversations with him, after leaving everything (including things I purchased for OUR home) except those items I brought with me when I moved in 2 years ago, I let him know that I should be OK financially, but I also expected him to be there for me IF for some reason I needed help.
Her email to me said that Jim owes me nothing... and I quote "That part is what I don't agree with. He shouldn't be handing out his money to anyone. He's done that way too much. He works hard for his money".
I responded: "You and your husband have been legally married, if you were to part ways, do you think you deserve anything? Money? Property? things? Jim and I were for all intents and purposes married... We decided to join forces and create a life for and with each other... Whether I (or Jim) choose to ask for things from each other is between us. You say he doesn't owe me anything, he owes me 2 years of my life back, just as I owe that to him... For you to say he doesn't owe me anything, would be like saying your husband wouldn't owe you anything... Unless of course, you feel a gay partnership has less meaning than your marriage does, and how hypocritical would that be coming from the best friends of this gay couple?"
Her last response was: "OK, I am not going to try and answer your question. (our relationships are) TOTALLY different."
I guess she told me where she stands on gay rights! And she is from Vermont!


Maddog said...

She needs to rethink her beliefs. If her relationship with her husband is so different than yours, what would make it the same? Marriage? Civil union? Or is it really because you are gay that makes it different.

You might also tell the ex that he should keep your personal lives out of the hands of your friends. And even more than replying to said friend, you might have told her it was really none of her business.

Anonymous said...

Hi this is the friend from VERMONT. I said our situation was differnt meanig we have been together for 21 years and we both have worked hard to get what we have. So Tom there is a dif. 21 vs 2 yrs. My comment had NOTHING to do with gay rights.

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