Donna Smaldone
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Sunday / July 17 / 2011

When being gay isn’t always so gay: part I of III

I feel pretty, Oh, so pretty. I feel pretty, and witty and gay…” sung by Maria in West Side Storyand sung by yours truly in (junior high?) for NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association).

But gay doesn’t necessarily mean gay anymore, does it. Nowadays, gay means homosexual, which I’m sorry to say does not always translate, ‘happy’.

Hence why when you click on ‘stage lyrics’ at the top of the West Side Story page, the lyrics read, “I feel pretty and witty and bright!”

Why is it so hard for gay people to be gay? I’m asking not only about the ability and freedom to be happy – but also the ability to be true to their gay self. A better question may be, why does our society make it so hard for gay people to be gay?

As a heterosexual female, who holds grand affection and respect for my gay, lesbian and transgender friends, I recognize I can never truly “get it.” I wish I could, but I admit there’s a certain luxury to being a heterosexual.

A few things really struck me as I was putting together this blog post series. I have never introduced myself as, “Donna – a heterosexual.” So why then, is the standard different for homosexuals? Why is society enamored with a good love story until they realize it’s about two guys (gasp!)? Nothing about the story changed, except the gender assumption you took upon yourself to make. The love is still there and PS, is still very real.

As a new blogger, I’ve been looking at how others blog about love and relationships. In my search, I happened upon a blog entitled, This Gay Relationship by Rick Modien, a fascinating 51-year-old writer living in Metro Vancouver, Canada. Rick has been in a happy, committed, monogamous relationship with Chris for 19 years, someone he deems, “the most amazing man and human being.” I’m excited to say you’ll be hearing more from Rick on Tuesday, as he’s graciously agreed to be my very first Guest Blogger.

Rick and I have only just met, yet have had the opportunity to celebrate love and life with one another. After reading about the love Skip-n-I relish, Rick shared this with me, “I felt the intense love you have for Skip in every word. The thought occurred to me, reading this post, that you totally understand how I feel about my partner, Chris. How I love him more than I ever thought I’d love anyone. My fervent wish is that everyone gets to experience the same thing at least once in his or her life.”

I choose us. And it makes no difference to me whether that “us” is me-n-Skip, Rick-n-Chris, Cindy-n-De, Lisa-n-Sally, Jen-n-Danielle, or Edie-n-Sabrina. Love is real and love abounds. Grasp hold. Live the life you were put on this earth to live. It’s all part of The You Evolution™. Embrace it.

TOMORROW: When being gay isn’t always so gay: part II
TUESDAY: When being gay isn’t always so gay: part III, by special guest blogger Rick Modien of This Gay Relationship

A fun aside and further insight into me: I wrote this blog on Saturday night when Skip was playing a gig in Albany with the 80s rock band, Meltdown. I enjoyed a glass of Ménage à Trois, 2009 California red wine, had my pup Zeke at my side, and the movie, The Kids Are All Right on in the background, a movie I love and highly recommend.

8 responses to “When being gay isn’t always so gay: part I of III”

  1. Rick Modien says:

    Great post, Donna. Thanks for the shout-out and all the kind words. I really appreciate it.
    You know, if anyone can show me the difference between the love Jack and Ennis share in “Brokeback Mountain” and the love shared by any heterosexual couple, I’d love to see it. Given how I feel about my partner, Chris, it escapes me.
    You’re one-in-a-million, Donna. Your support of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people is outstanding. We could sure use more straight and understanding people like you.
    Share the love!

    • Donna Smaldone says:

      It’s my true honor, Rick. Great example with Jack and Ennis, by the way. What a beautiful, heart-wrenching love story.

      The feelings of love, support, and admiration are mutual, my new friend. My readers and I are SO looking forward to having you Guest Blog on Tuesday!!

  2. Jen says:

    Thanks so much for the shout out!!! Love
    The blog and look forward to adding it to my daily
    Reading!!! C ya soon!!

    • Donna Smaldone says:

      What a delight to meet and talk with you and Danielle tonight, Jen! I appreciate your words of support and encouragement — and appreciate you adding my blog to your reading!

      “To Love!” (…and to hamburgers that take less than 20 minutes to cook!)

  3. Kim says:

    Reading your blogs make me smile.. knowing “from whence you came” reminds me of my younger days. To me (and what I have taught my children) is that Love is Love… Finding someone who shares your life, makes you happy and treats you with dignity and respect is all that matters. Kindness in whatever capacity is all that really matters. I look forward to reading more from you and sharing (as you know I most certainly cannot refrain from having an opinion) my thoughts with you as well.

    • Donna Smaldone says:

      Reading your comment made me smile, Kim. And you’re right, Love is Love. Thanks so much for reading, and for sharing your heart and thoughts with us. I hope you’ll continue to do so.

  4. Lisa says:

    Love the blog, Donna! (and I loved that movie too) Thanks for the shout out! Looking forward to reading more…

    • Donna Smaldone says:

      Thank you, Lisa. Means a lot coming from you. Looking forward to sharing more tonight, and then hearing from Rick Modien tomorrow!

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