I’m C. Marque. I live in the flat cornfield lands of the Midwest. My family has Amish and Mennonite roots, which probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to most of you, but I’m hoping someone in our audience will be “blessed” by knowing that! I’m a carpenter by trade and work with my dad here at our home business.
I definitely don’t remember details from my childhood nearly as vividly as some of you do! I’m not sure if that’s a blessing or curse. There are a few memories permanently etched in my memory, though; here’s one for today.
It was summer of 2001, give or take a year! I was hanging out with my cousin for the day. He was about a year and a half older than me and twice as cool as I could have ever hoped to be: cowboy boots, BB gun, model train set, etc.
On this particular afternoon, we were “working” together on a remodel project at his parents’ house. We were working on some scaffolding when, for some forgotten reason, he volunteered this info:
“Did you know two guys can get married?”
This was said kinda out of the blue. I must have stared at him in silence.
I hadn’t yet discovered where babies came from at this point in time, and marriage to me was just something people did when they loved each other and wanted to live together. I had never heard of a man marrying a man though! What was the point? And why was it odd enough for my cousin even to mention it?
Said cousin continued, “Yep, if two guys get married, they’re called gay, and if two girls get married, they’re called lesbians.”
I was still trying to wrap my head around this new picture in my mind and seriously doubting my cousin’s sincerity. He loved to lie through his teeth, but then he said, “It’s illegal and wrong to do it, though.”
I asked him why, and he said, “It’s really gross.”
I remember thinking, What’s gross? I’m not sure if he actually understood what all that meant at the time, or if he was just repeating what he was told. At that age, I thought marriage was kind of mysterious, and I decided not to keep asking questions!
Looking back, I know I was experiencing same-sex attraction at that age, even though I didn’t know what SSA or homosexuality was at the time. It’s weird thinking about how my body was responding to sexual attraction before I even knew what sex was.
It wasn’t until I’d learn how to use a dictionary in school that I’d learn what “reproduction” was! This “research” was the beginning of a long slippery slope toward a gay porn addiction.
It took me quite a few years before I began to understand why other people thought homosexuality was “gross.” I still don’t see the grossness on the level that a perfectly straight person would, that’s for certain, but I did begin to realize that I was unique and other people had entirely different experiences!
I’ve often wondered how much this homosexuality conversation with my cousin impacted me. Is there a reason this scene is so vivid in my memory to this day?
When did you first learn about marriage and sex and homosexuality?