We did that Prop 8 interview with Reed Cowan yesterday. Each time we do anything like this I try to brace myself. Questions like "What does family mean to you?" or "Tell me about how you became a parent." or "What does your relationship mean to you?" are common. With such topics that slight cramp at the back of the throat eventually seizes and I can't get a thought out that's not too heavy with emotion.
That's another benefit to being a gay man, though. I can be as masculine as I am by nature, and still get emotional without feeling I have to hold up some masculine stereotype (I don't even have to watch the Superbowl today!). Example, I let loose a tear in Batman, The Dark Knight, for goodness sake :-) (when the convict takes the remote on the ferry...). In short, I'm a crier, but don't really care much to control it in most instances. I spent too much time when coming out trying to hide how I was feeling.
However, that makes me a bad interview, and so, in those instances, I've tried to learn ways to hold it down again. I've taken to just telling people interviewing me right off the bat they can ask what they want, but stay away from emotional questions about family until the end if they want anything useful.
Now, there is a certain reason anyone with kids and who knows much about Reed would find their emotions near the surface around him. I don't want to go into that; suffice it to say it was an emotional setting from the start.
He was great. He just let us speak, and normally I'd have been okay, but my parents went before us. My mom got emotional, talking about what we go through in this state and I expected that; I could keep composure with that much. However, my dad, he rarely loses composure but he did yesterday. That finished off the flimsy interview barriers I've reconstruct during our last 4 years in this fight. When it was my turn, I'm afraid I left them with nothing usable.
The potent thing is that you don't really know how much your parents love you when you're growing up. You can't. You know they love you, but not what that means for a parent, not until you feel it yourself. And when you are a parent, your focus goes to the love for your kids, and you kind of stop thinking much about the love from you're parents. My parents were and are wonderful parents, and as an adult they are two of our best friends, people we love spending time with. I may not take enough time as an adult to realize or enjoy that love they have for me, but, recognizing what I have for my sons in them, it was more than I could hold in.
At the end they had everyone say their name and what they want. My parents said for me and my family to be treated fairly; I said (or tried to say :-)) to be able to protect my family like any one else, to have my family treated in the way our LDS neighbors want their families treated. It's that same sort of drive, pointing that particular love forward, into the next generation; I wish my composure stood a chance in front of it when also in front of a crowd, but am also kind of glad it doesn't.
Anyway... getting a little too serious?
Why stop mid-post though, right?
I also want to take some time here to give some kudos to Scott and Sarah. We stopped by their home last night on the way back from the interview. They are very good hosts, and all that was appreciated. Thank you.
But the thing that strikes me most is the fact that they've generously given a nonjudgmental place to relax and fit in for gay LDS who either just want to hang out with others like them, or those who desperately need a break, a place they don't have to hide who they are. Sometimes families of gay kids in these parts lose track of that familial love for a time, or cause distance thinking it's love, and it's a great comfort to me to know people are there to catch them. To open up your hearts and home like that is impressive, and inspiring to me. Whatever the blog equivalent of applause is, I'm doing it.