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De La Rochefoucauld was wrong when he said  ‘true love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about and few have seen.’

We do know love when we see it – and all of us have seen it, with our own eyes… and with our own hearts.

I saw it when i entered my best friend’s bedroom without knocking (i know, what was i thinking?) while he was making love to his then husband.

What i saw was two people making love – not two men – but two people enjoying their intimacy and each other.

When i talk about love, i am not talking about deviant illusions that Hollywood movie industry is pushing on us – you don’t have to be WASP, you don’t have to be straight, you don’t have to look like a model to  love and be loved.

The only thing you do need is  to be human and be free – free from fear, free from bigotry.

I was told by some people (among them a Lama from Yellow sect of Tibetan Buddhism whom i met in Mongolia)  that i have a strong past life as a Buddhist monk. The (dis) belief in reincarnation is all another topic, but if it very might be its from there that i learned to accept reality as it is .

You see, i have a problem with term tolerance as it presumes you are actually bothered by something, yet need to learn to live with it; acceptance is all another story.

One more thing i believe to be crucial –  i’ve been going on and on about the advantages of being born into the family of isecular humanists – the main advantage of being born into irreligious family is the chance to NOT get brainwashed into judging people by their ethnicity,  believes  they adhere to and , needless to say, by whom they love and choose to commit to.

Because the Lovers , the sixth Major Arcanum of the Tarot – is equally about  love – and about making choices.
On a more esoteric level, its believed we do choose the families we are born into – and thanks goodness i’ve choose parents who thought me not to discriminate , but also not to let anyone oppress me due to my own ethnic background, gender or whatsoever.
In full honesty – i don’t remember my parents ever giving me lectures on the topic or anything; simply they had friends from all possible backgrounds and from all walks of life and that’s the atmosphere in which i grew.

Sexuality wasn’t really discussed in our family – and it might sound odd – but i didn’t ask questions like how are the babies born; i had my own, very different concerns.

(Since the age of 13 its – why did Holocaust happen and why would anyone want to erase from the face of earth an entire group of people who shared certain religious believes; i still haven’t found the answer to that one.)

So, truth to be told – i don’t know what does it mean to tolerate other people; people are like  the weather and the nature itself – different. Can you protest that its snowing or there is a strong wind? Of course you can, but that’s quite futile of an enterprise if you ask me.

Accept it. Its the way it is, like it or not.

On a second thought, what is it that bothers you exactly?

You are afraid there won’t be enough babies in this world? Don’t kid me, this planet is overcrowded as it is. What else?

You parents told you so? They probably also told you that there is Santa Clause , that its the storks that bring the babies and whatnot.

Your religious text of choice says so? Well, there i am of no help to you, you are on your own.

Do keep in mind though that whatever book of a kind you’ve been reading – chances are that its outdated and that God has changed her opinion by now.

You might wonder why i choose this very topic for the Lovers card – the thing is that it was the other way around – as usually, its the topic that choose me…  I watched this video: http://abcnews.go.com/WhatWouldYouDo/video/Gay-Homosexual-DOMA-Marriage-Proposal-John-Quinones-Intolerance-WWYD-ABC-ABCNews-News-US-15461172

where bystanders are defending gay marriage proposal – when they think a gay couple is being harassed. Only one out of fifteen people objected… I was really happy to see that and, at the same time, saddened that it won’t happen anytime soon, where i live, in the homophobic Western Balkans… For my best friend had to leave the country, for many of my other close friends – moved away because they can not live here, because they are, by majority, still considered sick, because they get harassed and beaten, because their families would loose ‘public standing’ (whatever that means.)

No pride parades where i am, no men holding hands in public… I had to remind to my friend’s hubby who is not from here originally – that he must keep his distance in public places, otherwise chances are we’ll all get beaten.

There is a small piece of a safe heaven – a hidden gay beach which hardly anyone- apart those attending it – knows about; couple of times i went there as someone would ask me to give them a lift and i felt heartbroken… because many men there had wedding rings on their fingers, which they weren’t even trying to hide…

(In case you wonder – wedding rings are worn on the forth finger of the right hand in countries where Christian Orthodoxy is the predominant religion and no- they couldn’t be possibly married to men as that’s against the law in these parts.)

There is another side to this story – and its coming from women, married to gay men.

Two of my acquaintances were, and their stories are equally heartbreaking as their husbands’.

(One of them was for four years in a marriage that wasn’t “consumed”.)

Again, albeit i speak your language somewhat fluently, i live in the reality which is very different from yours – given that you are coming from the so-called free world.

Its very patriarchal where i am and, by many, its considered to be the most conservative country in Europe. Woman are traditionally expected to marry as virgo intacta, and, even if they aren’t – their sexual experience is quite limited and their being thought not to speak up is prevalent.

Don’t get me wrong here – i do love my country and my people and i am more then proud of our history; that doesn’t mean that i have to accept the tradition i’ve inherited without questioning and changing it.

You see, i want my friend back. I want everyone coming back from wherever they sought refuge. I want everyone living here without fear.

I want the anti-discrimination laws, that our government adopted since  we choose the path of euro-atlantic integration , to be implemented and not a “dead letter” on a paper.

I want a gay couple that got beaten recently in the capital by police officers – and left without the clothes in the night at a park (read more here: http://www.balkantravellers.com/en/read/article/1604 ) not to fear suing the villains; i want these uniform wearing bullies to be prosecuted.

That’s what i demand, as a tax paying citizen of this country who voted the very coalition in power.

Not that i, as a heterosexual woman, don’t have my own pet peeve in the field – its that if a guy is good looking, smart and cultured – he probably already has a boyfriend… but its just the way it is.

Copyright © 2012  Lena Ruth Stefanovic
All Rights Reserved

the Lovers card is from Gay Tarot, published by Lo Scarabeo in 2004., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

(posted with permission)