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Things ARE Changing For Us Gays And I’ll Tell You How I Know

Updated on January 20, 2011


This will not be about the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and it will not be about the woman “preacher” who has a video on the Internet stating that the recent birds falling out of the skies to their death is God’s way of telling us that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is not right for mankind. It will not be a rant of any sort (unfortunately for those of you who have come to expect my usual brand of written shaking my fist at the heavens ala Snoopy at the Red Baron). No, this is about a recent experience I had that let me know that besides Elton John and his spouse having a child at his age (major eye rolling going on here) things are changing for what I call us “garden variety gays” too. Things ARE changing for us gays and I’ll tell you how I know – Don’t Get Me Started!

My spouse needed to go in for some oral surgery (boys, minds out of gutters please) and as I am the one that deals with things like our health insurance (not that dental insurance is much of a help in these matters) I had spoken with some of the staff at the surgeon’s office prior to the day of surgery. When the big day came I was the designated driver. He was the first one up this particular morning and as we walked into the office we were greeted by one of the staff that I had spoken to on the phone, a petite Asian woman who upon seeing my spouse looked over to me and said, “Scott?” Before I could answer she was hugging me. She was a fast talker and was rattling off so much information I could barely take it all in. As my spouse went in to sign some needed paperwork with someone else, the petite Asian woman began to talk me through what would be the day’s events, when the doctor who would perform the surgery came along. After a handshake and introduction he continued to explain the process as the three of us moved into the office where my spouse was signing his paperwork. As my spouse was signing his life away I thought this would be a good time to ask if we needed to sign anything so that the doctor and his team could communicate with me about my spouse’s condition, the surgery, etc. Everyone in the room looked shocked that I was asking such a thing and the doctor immediately said, “Scott, you’re his spouse, we want you to be as comfortable as him and know everything you want to know. In fact, we want you to come back while I explain everything to him and you can be with him until he falls asleep and we begin the surgery.”

I’ve heard the horror stories of same sex spouses not being allowed into hospital rooms, etc. I guess I’ve been conditioned by the media (both gay and straight and whatever the hell “mainstream media” is that Sarah Palin is convinced it out to get her) that I wanted to make sure that while my spouse was conscious everyone was on the same page for when he would be unconscious. Yet here were these people who hadn’t seemingly given it a thought. I know I was right to have the thought and ask the question and I will most likely ask the question whenever we’re in these types of situations (mostly so I can go all Shirley MacLaine from Terms Of Endearment in a hospital at some point, “Give my man the shot!!!!”). But what struck me was how not “accepting” (a word I loathe, I don’t want to be accepted. Respected, treated equally, yes but you don’t have any authority to “accept” me unless you’re giving me a loan) these people did just that, respected and treated me equally which is a hell of lot more than just being “accepted.”

I felt a huge sense of appreciation for these people. I was more than grateful, I was considering what I could do for them (A fruit basket? A letter of recommendation for their “book of letters” that was on the coffee table in the waiting room?). And then it dawned on me, this was what we as gay Americans are really fighting for, not some “special privileges”  for our “special interest group” like the religious Right Wing would have you believe but for this, to be treated the same as any other spouse when dealing with this or any other matter.

I think it’ll take some getting used to for me. It’s sort of like being an abused dog that suddenly has a healthy and loving home. There are traces of injustice and mistreatment that are embedded too deeply in my psyche that will probably take some time to scab over, fall off and then reveal the pretty new skin with just a small scar to remind me that will get fainter and fainter over the years but my God, for younger gay couples who have not had doors slammed in their face yet and who (at least in this situation) may never have to know what it feels like makes me very emotional. It’s these “changes” by the population at large that we should all be fighting for as a society because it makes us stronger and is frankly just the “right thing” to do. Remember that whole, “And justice for all” thing, fellow Americans? So while I know there are gays and straights alike who will continue the good fight toward total equality for all, it’s just so encouraging and good to know that the work that has been done for years is all ready paying off for more than just the rich and famous (or what I like to call, “The Geffen Gays” after openly gay mogul David Geffen). We’re all reaping some of the benefits as this story shows and that’s how I know things ARE changing for us gays! Don’t Get Me Started!

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    • profile image

      Amber 6 years ago


      This was a great post. That's all.


    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 6 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks one and all for your comments.

      Brimancandy - Don't quote me on this but I believe as part of the current healthcare reform people may now designate who can see them and make decisions for them in medical situations. I'm not telling you what to do, just telling you what to do, look into it. My partner and I are registered with the state as Domestic Partners so legally they can no longer "keep me out" and believe me, I'd like to see someone try. Glad to hear your spouse is well. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • brimancandy profile image

      Brian 6 years ago from Northern Michigan

      Glad to hear that you and your spouse were treated well.

      My partner Paul and I have been together for over 20 years. About 10 years ago he had a massive heart attack, and a stroke. I remember going to see him, and the floor nurse would not let me in his recovery room to see him. She, told me that I was not immediate family, so I couldn't go in. I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to tell this stranger that he was my gay lover.

      A lady named Anne that my partner Paul worked with showed up later to see him. She told the nurse that she was my partner's girlfriend, and she let 3 of us go in to see my partner Paul who was strapped to all kinds of wires, and didn't look good at all. I was worried he was going to die. But, he was able to sit up and talk, so, he was ok.

      But, I always thought, what if I wasn't able to get in there to see him, and he died. I don't know what I would have done, except maybe tear that nurse a new one. But, everything went fine, and we are still together.

      Hospitals have always been real anal about visitors. I'll bet if the same thing happened 30 years ago, nobody would have been able to see him, unless it was one of his sisters or brother. Couldn't be his parents because they both died in the 1970's. very sad.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 6 years ago

      Dearest Scott,

      I am so sorry it has taken so long for you and your spouse to be treated as equals in medical/dental situations! I am delighted your experience was positive! I trust your beloved is resting comfortably and healing well under your care!

      I love your point about not just being 'accepted' but about being 'treated equally!' That is only fair and just and right!

      Blessings to you both always, EarthAngel!

    • mannyrolando profile image

      mannyrolando 6 years ago

      HI, I'm in the medical field, and I see this change happening everyday, I'm even shocked sometimes, when some of my fellow co-workers (some that I would never have thought would be capable) behave in an accepting way, treating us the way that we should be treated, like everybody else. Thanks for this hub!

    • profile image

      Charlotte 7 years ago

      It DOES seem to be lightyears away from how things were when we were growing up!

    • profile image

      DougM 7 years ago

      What a great story & encouraging post, Scott. With all the constant crap I hear, see & read about in the media everyday, it's good to hear there's hope for all of us yet.