The small town of Pittsburg, Texas is not far from where I grew up. I drive through it every time I go see my grandma or my aunt and uncle. It is also where these two men, partners of 34 years, have become part of the long list of atrocities fueled by homophobia and hate.
I don’t know these men. Their names and faces are completely unfamiliar to me. But my heart bleeds for them just the same. I won’t simply repeat the article word for word; I invite you to go to it and read about their plight. But for those of you who won’t, the man on the left is suffering from Early-onset Alzheimer’s. The one on the right is his partner of more than three decades. And even with the legal protection of power of attorney, these two have been ripped apart by his sister and our state’s unconstitutional law that deems their union illegitimate.
The story makes me sick anyway, but knowing that it happened in the heart of Northeast Texas, where I spent all my formative years, makes me livid. I’ve never been with anyone longer than a year and a half; these men have been together longer than I have been ALIVE. The very family they left Houston to be closer to is the only thing now keeping them apart. Instead of living their lives together, one of them has been turned from his own home and denied the right to see the love of his life, and the other is in a nursing home, alone and most likely confused and frightened.
I know things like this can happen right here in Houston, or anywhere that doesn’t recognize the rights of certain citizens based solely on their sexual orientation. But that it happened so close to the place I called home for most of my life—I can’t even put it into words.
This is who “traditional” marriage activists are hurting. This is hate. This is bigotry. This is homophobia.
And it has to stop.