Oh, brother

I’ve written about my brother several times on TGW, mostly reminiscences from our childhood days. He and I were natural antagonists: the overachieving, tattletale younger sister and the older brother whose approval she always sought, usually unsuccessfully.

My memories of our childhood are mostly good ones, though; even when my brother and I fought, the battles had a comic edge to them. He and I were at odds when I joined the Welcome Home Band. I recounted our battles over the forbidden hedgehog and Jersey Day in Thou Shalt Not Tell, part I and part II. Then, in high school, he convinced me to break my record albums and listen to Christian rock — the first time I felt like we were on the same team, rather than always at odds.

My conversion didn’t “take,” as they say, but his did. So, ever since we were in college, he’s made his religious faith the center of his life, while I went in the opposite direction. For the most part, this hasn’t harmed our relationship — we’ve been pretty close for the last 20 years or so, even though we’re at opposite ends of the spectrum politically and socially. He doesn’t proselytize to me, and I don’t push him to embrace my views. Every once in a while we’d get into it, having long discussions that felt more like arguments. But for the most part, we decided just to avoid the areas in which we disagree.

Now that RB and I are getting married, this isn’t so easily done. He told me tonight that he won’t be bringing his family to our wedding, as he doesn’t feel right taking part in a celebration of something he feels is deliberately counter to what he perceives as God’s will. I’m sad, of course, and disappointed. I’m upset for RB, who feels hurt and angry. I guess I’m not terribly surprised, though I did wonder whether he’d really push it to this level.

Maybe it’s cowardly, but I think I feel most sad about the fact that it had to come to this — that this breach has happened, and there’s no turning back. I’m sure we’ll still see each other, and we’ll most likely attempt  to go back to not talking about the things we disagree about. I don’t want to have a full-fledged falling out over it, in large part because I want to still be able to see my nieces and nephews, who I love dearly. But this is hurtful, and at the moment, I’m a little bit in a daze. I couldn’t be happier about being with RB, and spending my life with her. I just wish it was that uncomplicated for everyone.

elbow 1

elbow 2

12 responses to “Oh, brother”

  1. Stella says:

    This is so sad, but underlines why it’s important for gay people to get married. Luckily, the rest of the world is thrilled for you and RB.

    What I find frustrating is that YOU respect THEIR lifestyle/faith/ethical choices…joining in their ceremonies and rituals, but they can’t take the same detached, respectful approach to YOURS. Grrr.

    But the outpouring of love and support that LP and RB will get next August will overwhelm this rejection.

    And those photos are brilliant. xxx

  2. Andrea says:

    Stella said exactly what I was thinking. Does he have any idea what it is for you to love him and participate in his life despite choices he has made? I suppose he thinks well, she is gay and that is not a choice but marriage is? What about home schooling, evolution, ? blah blah blah…sorry. It goes on and on and I have only had 1/2 cup of coffee. I love you, Lisa, and I cannot wait for your wedding with RB.

    And those pictures are great. How did such a “unique” baby turn into such an adorable kid?

  3. Rachel says:

    You know how some Christians wear those bracelets that say “What Would Jesus Do?” I’m pretty sure that if you invited him, Jesus would go to your wedding. It’s very sad about your brother, mostly because it’s his loss that he won’t be sharing in your joy. Please don’t let it dampen yours.

    Once again: congratulations, LP and RB!

  4. trixie says:

    so hurtful.
    i’m sorry lisa, and rb.

    well, he’ll be missing out on a beautiful day.

    love rebecca

  5. Dave says:

    Jesus would totally bringtransmogrify the good wine, too.

    This is really distressing. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to deal with anti-gay family members. I really admire your efforts to maintain a close relationship with your brother while being perfectly honest and up-front about your life.

  6. Scotty says:

    From the conversations that we’ve had about this subject, I’ve expected this to be the outcome. But still, I’m stunned.
    …to keep the kids from going?? I’m sorry, this just makes me so sad and angry.

    Isn’t religion awesome!

    Love, Support, and Flowers from ScottyGee.

  7. LP says:

    Thanks, everyone – I appreciate the kind words and support. I’m still sad, but it’s so nice to have such good friends to celebrate with!

  8. autumn says:

    Those pictures are awesome. Your marriage is awesome.

    I think it shows some serious god-like compassion that you love him with all the openness and honour you wish he would bestow on you.

    Love–above all else–to you and RB.

  9. That’s a bummer. As he would probably say, “It’s Lisa’s choice to be gay,” it’s also his choice to be so against you. Sheesh. At least go to the wedding, even if it’s just to be at a family gathering and to join in on the celebration.

    He can wish you well and be happy that you’ve found happiness and still have his religion, can’t he?

  10. Ivy says:

    It’s the hypocrisy that gets me down. Any of us would defend your brother’s right to believe what he wishes, but any of his crew would fail to do the same if they had the power. It’s as dumb as a hammer, and very, very sad. I am watching a 12 year friendship go down the tubes at the moment because of the same base problem, albeit in a completely different context.

    It’s just such a waste of love and life.

    However. I’m really glad for you two, and that you will have so much love and life at your wedding. If you can, focus on the 99.9% positive, not tedious detractors whatever form they take. :)

  11. Stella says:

    and on a side note…i like your 8-year old haircut! i’d love to see you try out those bangs again!

  12. Those photos are so sweet. Congratulations for this big step! I’ll bet your wedding will be a ton of fun, so it is so unfortunate that your brother will miss it. It seems like much of the world is making significant strides in its acceptance of gay lifestyle choices. Some people are a bit ahead of the curve and some people are behind. My bet and hope is that your brother will come around. Best wishes!