Why the Defeat of DOMA Gives Me Queer American Pride

flagsWhen I think about the progress of marriage equality in the U.S. this year, I cannot help but feel proud, and grateful, to be an America.

My girlfriend is not a U.S. citizen. She’s Brazilian and attends college here on a student visa which expires when she graduates. Before DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) was struck down a year ago, I’m not sure we would have been able to stay together in the States and get married.

Now that our rights are the same as opposite-sex couples, the federal government will recognize and honor our union and allow my girlfriend to stay in the country with a marriage visa.

That being said, our marriage still won’t be easy. The struggle towards full equality continues, but today I want to focus on what we’ve gained.

As my girlfriend once said, “I am really thankful for what I have, not for what I don’t have.”

I wrote a poem and wanted to share it with you today. Please share it with anyone who feels overwhelmed by the darkness of this world. Sometimes we get distracted by the negativity around us and we don’t see the good. But God brings light to the darkest places. Continue reading

Blessed be the Fruit

If you were to ask me why I believe in God, I could talk about my Catholic upbringing, the times in my life when prayers have been answered, the times when they haven’t, the feeling of just “knowing” God was there. But every time summer comes around, and I bite into a strawberry that tastes so good I’m pretty sure I’m close to Heaven, I wonder how anyone could experience this and not believe there’s a God.

So, I’ve said it. Fruit makes me believe in God. Every time I bite into an orange and the juice explodes in my mouth, every time I pull a cherry off the stem with my teeth, every time I stop at a grocery store on a long drive because I can’t go any further without a nectarine or plum, I give thanks. I give thanks that God has created a world for us that produces something utterly perfect without any need for us to interfere (although we still do!), that it produces something that satisfies my tyrannical sweet-tooth while still nourishing my body. That, despite the fact that grocery aisles are full of ridiculously-over-processed food, God really has given us everything we need straight from the earth.

You can take this sense of amazement and expand it, to be amazed by the rustle of the leaves in the trees, or the the sun that has lit our way long before electricty, or the beauty of a full moon. I once read an article by a scientist who came to believe in God through science, through realizing that there would always be questions that didn’t have answers. My faith works in a similar way. The more I learn about the world, the more humble I become. And just in case I ever need reminding, summer comes around again.