Yesterday I saw this Ray Ban Ad in Wired magazine and just loved it. I loved the fact that it took me a moment to notice that the gentlemen were holding hands, I loved the expression on their faces, and I loved showing it to my family and hearing their very positive reactions to it.
I don't "do politics" in public. (Or, sadly, even in private. Politicians and people with virulent opinions of any stripe give me hives.) My Facebook page is full of food, family and odd quirky things that caught my attention. Hypothetically speaking, even if a loud public figure with an obvious mental disorder were to say horrible things about my gender, the most I'm likely to do is to "like" someone else's comment criticizing his crazy-talk. I'm not proud of this fact. I think I probably need to put myself out there a bit more, but it's not in my nature.
So, you might think that my post about this ad is out of character for me since the media portrays gay rights as a political issue. (Hint: everything's a political issue to the media because that's how they get more fodder for 24 hours of news coverage.) But it's not out of character. Not really. I've decided to reject the idea that gay rights is a political issue. Or a spiritual issue (I accept that some religions might choose to make it into a religious issue, but religion and spirituality are not necessarily synonyms.)
Gay rights is a mom issue.
Hear me out on this one. I came into this world with my own unique Jenn-ness. Some of it makes me smile (my curly hair, my ability to write, the high I get from pumping iron, and my determination to make sure my whole family sits down to dinner at least 5 nights out of the week). Some of it makes me cringe (my neediness, my childish-sounding voice, my inability to stop eating whatever's in the house after I've had two glasses of wine, and my tendency to share way too much with untrustworthy people). Smile-worthy or cringe-worthy, it's all me. I've tried to change many things about my personality over the years and I have to tell you... it ain't changing. My challenge is to accept myself, not to alter my nature.
If a mom is on the right track, she starts to accept herself during her late 30's and early 40's. (If she's really precocious and fabulous, it might be in her 20's...but that wasn't me.) That's about the time you look at your kids and smile because all of their quirks have been with them since birth (more or less) and they aren't changing either. What's more, you realize you don't really want them to change. All you want, as a mom, is for your child to live a life of joy, love themselves, and (hopefully, hopefully) find someone who will love them in return.
Moms want their children to love and be loved. That's the whole point of life. It's all you'll think about in your final moments and it's the only thing that will ever bring you pure joy. As moms, we know our kids will go down some wrong paths and the people they love might hurt them horribly. We dread this. But we also know the only cure is to find a real love so we keep hoping for our kids to reject relationships that drain them and move towards ones that nourish them.
When I see those two gentlemen in the Ray Ban ad, the mom in me smiles because I imagine that they've found their "real love." Every mom deserves the chance to see her children nourished and loved. Every human being deserves that love. You see? It's a mom issue. A parent issue. A love issue.