NOTES FROM THE TRAIL

Holding Hands as a Political Statement

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Posted on June 11, 2011 by felipe | Post a comment

 

 

The other day I was walking the streets of Little Havana with my partner and we heard repeated soft honks in the street. I turned to him and asked if they were in favor of us or against us and he replied by giving me an elaborate explanation of how to decipher whether the honks are supportive or not. Well, he told me that they supported us. That’s when I realized that even the smallest gesture of love and affection between the two of us is actually a political statement.

How do you live an entire life under the constant impression that we have to be perfect? What about the time we fight? Do people take into account and reinforce their homophobic views on queer couples? It’s a lot of responsibility to think that supporters will watch every hug, kiss or loving gesture closely as a hint for them to continue supporting us while others may see as an insult to their customs. This is a very heavy burden to carry since every minute might easily become a political statement even when your only intension is to kiss the man you love without any hesitation.

Being a dreamer has been a lot of responsibility, as I need to keep my grades and academic achievement to be seen as “worthy person”. However, being in a loving relationship has been another pressure point. Many people see us as role models. I’m imperfect and I make mistake. For instance, the other day Juan drove me to the airport and I went the entire way screaming and cursing because I was late. I made him feel somewhat responsible for this mess because I was so furious even though I didn’t blame him for anything.

When you live with someone for over two years that special person stays with you out of love and perseverance.  After all of this time Juan knows the beautiful, the ugly and the incorrect in my personality. I made the choice to love him with all of my heart even when we hurt one another. The truth is that we are just like any other couple but our life together has become the center of a lot of people’s self discovery and hopes.  

I wonder if “straight” couples go through the same pressures. Do they get supportive or negative hunks as they walk through their neighborhood? I’m highly doubtful that every move they make is watched and perceived by anyone more than a loving gesture towards each other. I’m not perfect and it is my partner and mine desire and our love for each other that helps us to overcome our flaws as individuals and as a couple but the pressure to be perfect is not fair and it should not be imposed.  

 

 

 

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