This week at bridge, one of our regulars had quite a remarkable story to share…
To start, I will refer to this friend as Sean.
Sean is a doctor who grew up in the south. Sean comes from a very religious background. Sean, however, is gay, and his family doesn’t necessarily approve.
Sean has a wonderful husband. Both Sean and his husband are like mentors to my husband and I, and we look forward to seeing them at bridge every week.
Sean’s family, unfortunately, does not approve of his husband. Well, perhaps it’s not the approval of Sean’s husband himself, but more the fact that their son is married to another man, something strictly prohibited as part of their extreme religious upbringing. To their own dismay, most of Sean’s family missed out on his and his husband’s gorgeous wedding only a few years back. It was definitely their loss..
Since their nuptials, Sean’s family have invited him to other family gatherings, but only if he agreed NOT to bring his husband. Sean, unfortunately, has missed out on many family events because this is obviously NOT something he can agree to.
Something, however, has begun to change…
Recently on a small trip just to visit his parents, Sean AND his husband were sitting down to dinner with most of Sean’s immediate family. As nothing out of the ordinary, Sean’s father liked to begin the meal with a prayer. This prayer in particular, however, included his father’s gratitude for having BOTH Sean AND his husband at the dinner table with them.
It seems like a small gesture, but to Sean, this was HUGE!
I mentioned in a previous post that we have the right to “choose our own family” because not all families are as loving and accepting as we would like to expect. Some families have different beliefs in religious values, while others may just be down right racist, sexist, or both. While we may know that love and equality for all will always prevail, some families may not see eye to eye on such concepts.
To the family you’re given, however, Sean is a beautiful reminder for us all to never give up! Sometimes it takes the loss of something (or someone) we love most to truly understand how much we appreciate it (or them). And yes, some may argue that Sean’s father came around a little too late in life, possibly missing out on too many years with his son (and certainly the wedding of the century!), but I would argue that the time Sean has NOW with is family is hopefully even stronger than it was before…