Atlanta And BeyondAmanda
Atlanta & beyondest. 2009

She Said Yes!: Getting Engaged in Piedmont Park

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

This blog post is very special. For several reasons. First I would like to introduce you to two very special people. Kacey and Beka. Yesterday we spent some time together in Piedmont Park in downtown Atlanta. Kacey had arranged the photo session with me, but had no idea that Beka had contacted me and let me in on her plan to propose to Kacey at a certain spot in the park beside the lake. As we walked around the park and they laughed and joked and hugged and kissed, it was clear that they loved each other very very much. And when we got to the designated location, and Beka got down on one knee, I was blown away by disbelief. Disbelief that anyone could ever pretend that this relationship is not valid or important or REAL. And I started composing a long rant in my head to write later… you know, like the ones I always post with the weird photos. Because I never want to steal anyone’s moment with my own agenda. But, it turns out, Kacey was having some similar thoughts and last night she posted her story. I read it, and it struck home. Everything she said is perfect. So I asked her permission to post it tonight with their photos. It seems right that their photos have their story.

Love Has No Outline.

by Kacey on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 8:44pm

I just wanted to write this note because it is about something that has been ever-present this week. It’s about what mine and Beka’s relationship means, and how it compares to other ‘normal’ (normal, as in what society has taught us is normal…opposite sex) relationships. This came about when my grandparents were in town for my graduation weekend this past weekend. My grandparents aren’t aware of what Beka means to me. They just think she’s a friend. Mostly because I’m concerned about the repercussions that will come about if I were to admit to them what she is to me. My grandparents didn’t try very hard to even associate with Beka. My grandma just checked her out most of the time, looking her up and down, I’m sure in an attempt to figure out if her clothes were men’s clothes.

My fears about my grandparents’ feelings were affirmed when I had a conversation with my grandma on Tuesday. She asked me why Beka dressed so manly. I told her “I guess because that’s what she likes”. She then asked if she was gay, and when I confirmed that yes, she is gay, she said “well, just as long as she’s not trying to hit on you…that’s what gay people do, right, try to hit on other straight people?” I guess, since I’ve been out of the area for so long, I had forgotten what a culture of ignorance exists there. I was, quite frankly, totally taken aback. I couldn’t believe she actually assumed that all gay people were in the business of recruiting straight people. The irony of her assumption is that I used to date guys. I was never recruited by Beka. In fact, if anything, I initiated our relationship. And it wasn’t because I felt like I was supposed to date women. It was because I felt like I was supposed to be with BEKA.

If you love a person, you love a person. You don’t love their anatomy, or their societal gender assignment. And, if you do, that’s called lust. 🙂

Anyway, after assessing the conversation, I never admitted to my grandmother that Beka wasn’t trying to hit on me, but that she does hit on me every day. But I did defend homosexuals by informing her that one of the issues is that those who have been conditioned to assume that being gay is immoral automatically think of how 2 men or 2 women have sex. There’s never a consideration of their hearts. There’s an automatic detour of the brain to exactly how those 2 individuals ‘get it on’. I said, “I could see how that might freak you out”…just like if I thought about all teh kinky shit a straight couple could do in the bedroom might freak me out at times. But I don’t walk down the street and think about how every couple I pass has sex. She informed me that “we don’t have to think about that with straight people because we know what God intended for them to do.” I then just blatantly told her that I don’t give a shit how people live their lives, as long as they are not hurting me or other people. I told her of my friend, who has been with his partner for somewhere around 13 years, and has a better relationship than many straight people I know (I mean, 13 years, somebody’s doing something right). She then asked me, disgusted, “And you think it’s alright for two men to live together??!?” I asked again, “How is them living together hurting me?” Of course, she had no response to that, so she just told me it was immoral and disgusting.

I’m very aware that the people of the generation that my grandmother is from have lived nearly a lifetime being brain-washed by ‘moral’ and ‘right’ and ‘normal’ bullshit. As I told my grandmother, we live in a different world, and we are a different generation. Unfortunately, my fear of essentially being disowned by my grandparents really affects my world and my life. Part of me wants to just say screw it, and get it all over with, and tell them. That sounds SO easy. I wish it was.

After Beka proposed, I sent my mom a picture of the ring. She asked me what it was, I told her, and she told me she didn’t understand. I think that she didn’t understand because there is this assumption that gay people don’t have the “same kind of relationship” as straight people. Beka and I have the same dreams that straight couples have. Maybe we are in the minority, but we want a home, we want a family, we want a good life. We are both working very hard to attain those things. Just like straight people do. We want to get married and have a ceremony just like straight people do. I wonder, sometimes, if people just dismiss that possibility because, when you’re gay, “you can’t get married anyway.” As I told my mom, though people and the law may view my relationship as illegitimate, it is not. It’s just like any “normal” relationship, and when laws change, it will progress as any other relationship. Please don’t think that, just because our land of the free doesn’t allow us the freedom to love and marry who we want, we will not love and we will not dream.

You can think that being gay is immoral and disgusting all day long. But at the end of the day, I love her, and I will not just stop loving her because your opinion is not in agreement with it.


And that’s her whole post. Thank you Kacey for letting me share that with everyone. And thank you very much, internet, for stopping by and visiting with us. It is always wonderful to have you here. And to Kacey and Beka, thank so incredibly much for sharing your important day with me. It was an honor to be a part of it, and it was wonderful to meet you and get to know you just a little. Maybe we can make that trip to D.C. someday soon. -Amanda 🙂

Amanda Summerlin
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