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Spencer Pride

Love. (My Voice, by Kim Fidler)

valentines-day_GJIbHsuO_LWith February being the month to celebrate love, I thought it fitting to discuss some of the characteristics that may lead to love (more specifically, romantic love). Some of these may include:

  • Beauty;
  • Personality;
  • Intelligence;
  • Flexibility in all circumstances;

I never underestimate any of those items. However, I want to focus on beauty first. I believe that people must think that the other person is beautiful in some way to have any type of romantic relationship. This is true with straight or gay couples. There must be some type of attraction. There are so many types of beauty. It is funny to me that physical beauty is the first type that comes to mind for most people. It is important to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is great that we all see beauty in so many different ways, and in so many different people.

I remember when Oprah interviewed Julia Roberts just after “Pretty Woman” had come out in theaters. I remember Oprah asking Julia Roberts if she worried about a time when she would lose her beauty. Before Julia could answer, Oprah added, “Because if you have never had beauty or been considered beautiful, you do not have to worrying about losing it. You do not have to worry about losing something you have never had.” That thought was so profound to me that I don’t even recall how Julia Roberts answered the question. Years later, looking at Julia Roberts, this still has not been an issue for her.

valentines-day_fyi4SoO__LI cannot tell you how often I wonder to myself, “How do you miss something that you never had?” Unfortunately, that also leads me to think about how much I miss the things and people that I have had in my life and have lost. This would include my dad, my grandma, my grandpa, certain relationships, pets…These feelings are the same for people regardless of their sexual orientation.

I will be totally honest. I keep family, friends, and yes, boyfriends forever! My friend, Heidi, laughs at how I can never simply kick anyone to the curb, even if I really need to do so. I am the person who says that I am done…about 10 times. But, I think that is because I get attached emotionally to people. I would like to think that their life would be less if I were not in it. I try hard to be positive and to help others. I try to see the best in everyone and to believe that they want what is best for me. I have had to face reality in a few situations that it is in MY best interest to cut contact with some people. This is one of the most difficult things in my life! I realize that many of us struggle with this. Could it be that straight and gay couples have the same struggles? Alert the media!

Perhaps it is not physical beauty that is most important. Perhaps it is a person’s personality that makes them beautiful. I have met so many people with the most wonderful personalities. I had the opportunity to watch an episode of the Twilight Zone where an old couple had the opportunity to buy new bodies. They needed $10,000 to pay for the operations. They only had $5,000. Because the husband was in poor health, they decided that he would be the one to get the new body. After the operation was over, and the husband appeared before his wife, he saw the look of sadness that she had lost her mate that she had loved for so long. The man decided to have the operation reversed so that he and his wife could be together as they had been for so many years. It only took one look for the husband to see the sadness in his wife’s eyes. He immediately and unselfishly did what he needed to do to be with her and to give her happiness. I struggle to think that many do not understand that these feelings are the same when referring to gay or straight couples. The heart wants what it wants.

Intelligence can also be the reason that a person falls in love with another. Could you imagine having a partner who is not your equal when it comes to intelligence? We can overlook a lot when we love someone. However, a stimulating conversation and the ability to challenge each other (or at least keep up) intellectually is a fabulous quality. None of us respect a person that we believe not to be intelligent. I am not talking about a genius. However, intelligence is a must.

In light of the battle that members of our LGBT community members are facing in the legislature in Indiana, it seems that regardless of the issues that I have discussed with love, it can be more difficult, depending on the couple. I am still saddened that in a world where it is so difficult to find true love, that some people still face discrimination, hate, and rejection when their love does not fit the image of a man and a woman. Please stand up for LGBT members of our community. Contact your legislators and tell them that love is love. We must use this opportunity to fix RFRA and to vote for legislators who do not condone discrimination.

Finally, it seems that enduring love has to do with the ability to be flexible in all circumstances. It is good to know when to “pick your battles”. It is good to know how to do something for someone else, even when it requires flexibility on your part. I think that the most important thing to realize is that each of the characteristics I mentioned above are very important when it comes to finding true love. However, a combination of all of these qualities should be a great indication that you have met your true love. Please remember what is important and consider the happiness of others on this holiday! Please also help all couples to experience love without discrimination.

Happy Valentine’s Day!