My brother and his husband live in San Francisco. A few years ago, my 7 year-old-daughter went with her class on a trip to the deYoung Museum. Going to the big city without me or my wife, I was concerned for her safety. What if she got separated from her class? I sent her with a little cash and my brother and his husband’s phone number.
I called my bro and gave him a heads up that she would be in town. I didn’t expect there to be any problem, but I wanted to be prepared. My brother was now on alert, though actually his husband would respond if necessary, as he was working from home.
Her trip went absolutely smoothly. She was never separated from her class, and she came home happy and tired after an adventurous day. I was being an overprotective and paranoid dad, again.
But calling my brother and having him and his husband on standby had given me peace of mind. I had even run the scenario in my mind of my daughter being alone in the museum, calling her uncle, and waiting in the museum restaurant eating the food my cash had purchased her. I pictured the moment when my brother-in-law showed up: the hugs, the feeling of safety she would enjoy.
Sending my little girl off to the city, I wanted family as backup. I wanted someone who would bend over backwards and take a bullet for her if necessary.
There are those who would say that he isn’t my brother-in-law, that his union with my brother is not valid, that he is not my family. To those people I simply say, you don’t get it.
My brother and his husband are joined by love. That love extends beyond the edges of their relationship to include me and my wife and kids. My brother-in-law was willing to step up if his niece needed him, because she is his family and he loves her. My daughter, had the situation arisen, would have been overjoyed to see him, because he is her family and she loves him.
I understand that some people have deeply held beliefs that might cause them to see same-sex marriage as invalid. If you hold such beliefs and would like to discuss them with me and explain where you are coming from, I encourage you to do so, but I promise that I will challenge you and the conversation will likely go places that you find uncomfortable. If you feel the need to tell me, or my brother, or any other member of my family that my brother’s marriage is invalid, I encourage you to fuck off.
That’s my family, man, don’t mess.
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