Stories: Our children represent our future, our legacy

I come from a big family and a small community.I have grandparents, parents, six brothers and sisters, and 17 nieces and nephews in total. I live outside a small community where being gay has been difficult and many people have trouble accepting it. My parents worry about people finding out and my community has often made me feel like being gay is wrong.

Being gay isn’t a choice. I tried marriage for nine years and put my heart and soul into loving a man. Now you might ask, “Why did you stay so long?” I watched my grandparents stay married for 60 years, my parents for 33.

I have seen “thick and thin.” I have seen “for better or worse.” I have seen “in sickness and in health.” I have seen “for richer or poorer.” It is because of these examples that I stayed for so long.

No one ever told me it was OK to want something different for myself. Everyone said, “Save your marriage, make it work.” It wasn’t until a friend said “save yourself” that I had the strength to say “enough”.

It is that very lesson that has taught me to go for it. Life is too short to not go after what you want.

I have since met a beautiful woman from Iowa and she inspires me everyday to be better—better in life, better in love, better in happiness. Through her devotion to her life, her family, and her faith, she makes me feel like there are endless possibilities. Her children are so proud of her no matter what. They support her, they support their mother, and they believe in her.

You can do great things in this life with the right people standing beside you. I fell completely in love with this woman—her personality, her heart, her morals, her values, and her sense of family. Everything about her is truly amazing. It seems rare to find someone like her in today’s society.

If I had one wish, it would be that we would all think like children. If you remember back to when you were younger, back before all the lessons were taught, back to when we were all innocent.

I don’t remember being a child and seeing race, religion, sexual orientation, rich or poor. I remember seeing people for who they were. Sounds simple. It’s that kind of simplicity that we lack as a society.

The world is changing every day. By teaching our children tolerance and acceptance for everyone, we can start making a difference. Our children are going to be our future and our legacy.

Imagine what a world this could be with a little acceptance and tolerance for everyone in it.

—Tiffiny Spurgin, October 2011


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