Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why I Hold Her Hand . . .

I remember the first time I held a girl's hand in public.  It was actually a woman's hand.  We were hundreds of miles away from anyone that would ever recognize me, but it still felt very identifying.  I remember how natural it felt.  I remember it felt like when I was a kid, running around without a shirt on . . . free and easy . . . shameless, before anyone told me that I was "supposed" to wear a shirt.

Then, that same woman and I, held hands in my hometown where anyone could see me "being gay..." where anyone at all could see ME being ME.  It did not make me want to run and put a shirt on, or run and hide.  I had done that long enough.  I was glad to be free and shameless, finally.

I don't believe that woman felt the same way about holding my hand unfortunately.

When S and I are near each other, we really can't keep our hands off one another.  It's her nature, though, she is a "touch-er" and I am craving to be touched.  We really fit well together.  We both touch people everyday for our jobs; we both love our jobs. 

When I am out with S we exchange hugs and kisses, long embraces, hand holding, and sometimes... more.  I rarely wonder what the public is thinking of these exchanges we are sharing.  I rarely even think about the public.  My energy and my focus is solely placed on her.  Most of the time.

I catch the dirty looks.  And that is why I hold her hand.  I hold her hand and I smile back at the Dirty Lookers as sweetly as I can.  Dirty Lookers are often of the male gender.  Their scowl is often accompanied with a disapproving look and a head shake (imagine a finger wagging too).  I want him to see me.  I want him to see S.  I want him to see me smiling at him with love and friendship and no hatred.  I just want him to see how true our love is and then find fault.  We are human, and our love is no different than his.

I hold her hand because the Other Mothers hold the hands of their husbands and why shouldn't I be afforded the same privilege?  Is it really a privilege to hold her hand?  Is it a privilege for them to hold their husband's hands?

I hold her hand because I can.  Because I don't have to campaign or march to hold her hand.

I hold her hand because it's soft and strong.

I hold her hand because it fits inside of mine.

I hold her hand because I want our children to see.  I want them to know love and affection of all shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors.  I want them to see and to know it's normal and visible and equal and fair.  I want our children to feel included... not on the outside looking in.

I hold her hand because of the girl that I saw in Old Sac yesterday who was probably 14 years old.  I'm guessing she was with her father.  She couldn't stop herself from looking at S and I.  We were sitting outside having an afternoon cocktail, sharing laughter, allowing ourselves to dream.  I noticed her.  She was doing more than noticing us.  I remember being her.  I remember studying women who I thought may be lesbian, and I remember studying gay couples that I very rarely encountered in my "real life."  I felt her studying us. 

We payed our bill and as we started to stroll again I felt my hand reach for S's hand... and there it was.  It just fits.


RadDyke said...

I love this. Holding hands is a political act. It's critical.
Beautifully written.

Rexie said...

Yay, oh, Yay! I love this piece. You are free to hold her hand because you made the choice to. As difficult as it may have been, you CHOSE to claim your right to hold the hand of love while in public. It may be a special privilege to hold S's hand because she is so special and all, and vice versa with her holding yours, but to be able to do so in public is a right that everyone in this country has if they choose to take it. Let the Dirty Lookers look if they want to...they can't hurt you with those stares. When it comes to the men, I imagine the "dirty" might be of a different sort and not just disapproval. Straight men may be feeling left out, as well. Realizing more and more, that women can get along fine without them, in fact, sometimes better. Poor dears. I am glad for the example you set for that 14 year old girl. When two people love eachother and delight in the other's company, it shows in a ways that can't be perceived by the eye. It's more of an energy aura of hearts, flowers, butterflies, sunshine and rainbows. It can be felt and she was definitely getting a dose of it. Bravo for you two!

Momo said...

I was that 14-year old girl not too long ago, and lemme tell you, it makes the biggest difference to see women together in random places. I was always so satisfied when I saw a gay couple, and inspired.

I'm so happy for you two!

Arica said...

"I hold her hand because I can. Because I don't have to campaign or march to hold her hand.

I hold her hand because it's soft and strong.

I hold her hand because it fits inside of mine."

Those lines made me tingle. I enjoy how much holding hands mean to you, as it can be a very profound act. I love your reasons, as it gives you strength. I love this piece, and it is beautifully written.

Almost 40 said...

Filled with so much beauty in love. I love you two holding hands together and I love calling you both my friends! xo

Raye said...

I think hand holding can sometimes be more intimate than kissing.

The Gardener said...

i think its simpler than what some of the comments make it. i mean no disrespect, but to me holding hands is just the simplest way of showing someone you love them. for me, and this is just me, to make it more than that, more than an act of love, makes it lose something.

Elle said...

Yes... you understand... it's love in its simplest form. However, some of us have felt the need to defend "our love" or have felt like "our love" has been less than...

So for some of us... hand holding... just that simple, little thing... can feel so so big.

When I was in a hetero-marriage, I took it for granted. But, today, I don't.

Because there was a day, not that long ago, when I wasn't able to consider what it would be like to be in love, share my life, and hold hands with my wife in a public place. Because during those not too long ago days... I was married to a man, smiling and pretending that the love I felt for him could be "enough" even though I knew... and he knew... it never would be.

Sometimes, my friend, the simple "little" things... need to highlighted, and never taken for granted.