Big Swedish Heart

‘Kay don’t judge me for this one. But get ready for a feel trip.

Shortly before I was with the wonderful boyfriend I have now, I had a thing for Japanese and Swedish men. Oddly specific, I know. Let me explain why. I’d studied Japanese language and culture for years, for fun, and had been to Japan and made Japanese friends. I watched Japanese tv; listened to Japanese music. So naturally, I developed a fondness for Japanese men.

When I started teaching myself Swedish (for fun), I mused about the idea of finding a Swedish guy. Then the inevitable thought popped up. “But… do they… do they even like black girls??” There was only one thing left to do.

TO THE INTERNET.

Some sort of weird dating profile thing came up for Swedes wanting to date blacks, so I clicked to look at it, for shits and giggles. It was mostly Swedish women wanting black men.

But there was one older Swedish guy. He was bald and looked like he was in his forties. His profile said something like: “Would like to meet a beautiful black woman to love. I have two children, and I have a big, warm heart.”

I closed my laptop, and I walked away.

I did not ask for those feels.

It kind of struck a chord with me because of a poem I read in one of my poetry workshops in undergrad like three years ago. I can’t find it now, but it was a poem of about four verses. Each verse was written like a singles ad in the paper. The first three were just screwing around. Business man not looking for anything serious. Biker looking for a good time. You know, that kind of thing.

But the last stanza was pretty serious. It was a Jewish mother looking for someone to love; she had three kids who she said needed a father figure.

Can you imagine? All these business men and bikers and Swedish women on ads like these get one night stands for fun, but people (with children!) who really want to find someone to connect with, and who couldn’t meet someone face-to-face, and had probably had accounts on sites like E-harmony, had been reduced to advertising the love they’re willing to give away in the newspaper (or in weird ass, oddly specific personal ad sites).

Meshed in with these “no strings attached,” “looking for a  good time” advertisements, the real love that these single parents are offering has been cheapened. They’re not looking for a night of clubbing and drunk sex. They are, first of all, looking for someone with enough love to give a partner, along with said partner’s children.

Look. I’m only 23. (I just turned 23 yesterday, actually). I’m childless, and I don’t plan on ever having children. So, I can’t possibly understand what these singles are going through, but I can somehow feel a sense of melancholy emanating from them. Pain, hurt, desperation, hope.

The woman in the poem may not be real, but the inspiration to create someone like her must have come from somewhere.

And I hope that Swedish man and his children, wherever they are, are happy.

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Rainbows! Rainbows everywhere!

Man, it’s been a “horrible, no good, very bad week” for conservatives, huh? Just take a look at this article.

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But today truly is a day to celebrate. I was starting to think it would never come. The U.S. is now the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage – took us long enough. But, what took so long? Why were people so afraid of and offended by homosexuality that they would deny them the right to marry?

Sure, people cite the Bible as evidence in their arguments against gay marriage – and I agree that churches should not be forced to do anything against their respective belief systems – but if you’re going to follow the Old Testament, I hope you’re also abstaining from pork and killing people who work on Sundays. In any case, people tend to leave out one important bit of information: Christianity didn’t create marriage. It existed long before the advent of Christianity. So, if you’re a champion of “traditional marriage,” I hope you conduct your weddings pagan style.

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Others oppose gay marriage because it would lead to people marrying animals, and it would turn children gay, and good heavens! We wouldn’t want that, would we?

‘Kay, look. First of all, I don’t know what you’re smoking that makes you believe you can talk with animals, but animals can’t give consent. Adult humans can. Therefore, adult homosexual individuals who love each other have the right to marry. Animals? Not so much. And I’m pretty sure they don’t care…

Secondly, you can’t “turn” people gay. And you can’t “choose” to be gay. Believe me, I’ve tried to change my sexuality. I’m heterosexual, but I tried so hard to be asexual because I was sick of being hurt by guys. And there were times when girls hit on me, even as guys rejected me, and if I could, I would have just made myself gay. But, you know, vagina’s not my cup of tea. It never was, never will be. Many people I’m close with are LGBT. You’d think they would have influenced, or “recruited,” me ages ago. Doesn’t work that way.

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Likewise, a gay person can’t just turn straight. Let me put it this way: Some people are left-handed; most are right-handed. We don’t know why. It just is what it is.

So accept it. If you’re not LGBT, then this decision does not affect you. If I eat a cupcake, you won’t get fat. Etc, etc.

Take time to celebrate. Love wins! LOVE wins today. What poor soul is too blind to see how beautiful that is? You know what this reminds me of? The last time love overcame hate and ignorance:

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Look familiar?

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Why, yes. Yes it does.

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I have friends, cousins, and siblings who can marry whomever they want, anywhere in the country. Their happiness is my happiness. When I heard the news, I was off-my-rocker ecstatic, and I’m straight.

You know something, though. I have been quite invested in this struggle not only because many people I love are LGBT, but because had I lived 50 years ago, this same kind of hate and ignorance would have affected me, too.

My very first serious relationship was with a white guy. We planned on getting married – it was pretty much a given. His family made me feel at home. And during this war on the gay agenda, I couldn’t help thinking it was history repeating itself. What if I couldn’t marry the person I loved just because someone else didn’t like it? Someone I didn’t know, someone who had zero effect on my life. Someone who didn’t want me to marry just because they thought interracial marriage was wrong because it was Communism and the Bible said so.

We weren’t hurting anyone. We just loved each other, just like same-race couples do. Likewise, LGBT couples love each other, they fight, they make up, they go grocery shopping, some want kids, and they all just want to live their lives. We’re people. We’re human. We’re consenting adults. And it took a long time – too long – but we’re here. Love has made history yet again.

Way to go, ‘Murika. Every once in a blue moon, you do something right.

But we’ve still got a long way to go. Here’s a list of things the LGBT community and their straight allies still need to fight for.

But for now, let’s celebrate this victory! 😀 Have some rainbow cake.

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