This I Believe

Sarah - Los Altos Hills, California
Entered on November 21, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, love, respect

My aunt Kate has been lesbian for as long as I can remember. This previous summer of 2006 she announced her wedding. When my aunt asked me to participate in the ceremony I was certainly shocked at the idea of two brides, yet accepted the invitation. However, my aunts and uncles were not completely thrilled with the idea of participating at all. Some even rejected being a part of it completely. Out of 14 cousins, I was the only one who went. I was excited for my aunt that she had found someone who could make her so happy, someone she deeply loved. The fact that it is a woman may not be conventional, but it is my aunt, and I have unconditional love for her.

My family is full of Catholics that believe that homosexuality is a sin, so the idea of her marrying another woman is in no way accepted. Alcohol was an answer to many of my family’s worries the weekend of the ceremony. Many times I heard “Party in the room with the vodka!” Every time I walked outside of my hotel room into the long hall, I found family members gossiping and mocking the minister, Kate and her soon to be wife, and the idea of a lesbian wedding in general. I even heard one of my aunts, Jan, say something like, “I just really hope she turns straight so that she can go to heaven.”

I am Catholic and I love God, but I do not agree with her statement. I don’t think that my aunt will go to hell for loving someone. Rather than making fun of and completely disrespecting her choice, I kept any negative ideas to myself and continued to remind myself that I loved her and if her dream, getting married, was coming true, that is all that matters.

I am assuming from knowing my relatives fairly well that these moments in which they seemed so immature were one of their lowest moments ever. I keep reminding myself that they did show up. That alone was very hard for them to do and I commend them for their effort and am proud to be a part of such a strong community. I believe in family. To me, family is a group of people who love each other no matter what and will always be there for one another even when individuals make choices or say things we don’t understand. It is about unconditional love having the power to overcome any beliefs of right and wrong allowing acceptance.