I had a day off today, and just because I've never been there before, I went to Utrecht. The most famous building in that city, I think, is the church. It is very beautiful, indeed. It looks a bit like The Notre Dame Cathedral. This is what it looks like:
(photo credit's not by me)
I talked a bit with one of the church's staff inside. He explained that the building actually consisted of a tower (in the front), and behind the tower was the symetrical building of the church. But then a tornado swept of half of the middle part of the church, so that now it becomes a tower, a field, and the existing half of the church that has been renovated. In between the tower and the church there's this statue.
I have yet to know what it means. Today there are lots of flowers there, I guess it's because May 5th was Holland's independence day. But my eyes, actually, happened to read this on the floor in front of the statue:
I have just google-translated the horizontal words. The translation is like this: "... and other 17 men were convicted in Utrecht and strangled. Their deeds left." The '...' is a name of a person and above it there's a word sodomy and on the upper top there's a date. I don't have any idea what happened and this time the internet doesn't help much. But I do understand the vertical words, and it touches me deeply. It says, "Vandaag, homoseksualiteit mannen and vrouwen kiezen in vrijheid." In English it is, "Today, the homosexual men and women choose in freedom." I guess the complete memorial would mean that some years ago 18 guys were convicted because they were gay, but today, gay men and women can choose freely.
Choose freely, huh? I don't know about that. We have choices, but limited and sone involves lying or cheating or doing something illegally. Even in Netherlands - the country with most freedom in the world, where drugs and prostitutions are legal, where gays can marry and heterosexual couples can live together without getting married but still have almost all the rights of married couples - they still make a chanting of 'All Germany are homos' because they hate German people. Anyway, back to the topic. Like I said, our choices may not be many, but we have choices. We are gay, that's not a choice. But whether we want to admit it to ourselves or to deny it till our last breath, that's a choice. Whether we want to come out or not, that's a choice. Whether we want to get married to someone we don't love or not, that's a choice. Whether we will cheat on that someone or not, that's a choice.
Me? From a long time ago I've decided that I'd rather not marry all my life than having to marry someone I don't love. From the day I started to know Xena I chose to follow love. From the day I came out to myself I decided that I wouldn't let my 'gayness' be whole of me. From the time I started to know Melissa I've chose to follow her path of truthfulness. It's really like a phrase in Melissa's song, "I made every choice along the way, each day I spent in hell I chose to stay." And it's quite a coincidence that today I read her wife's blog talking about the same thing (actually, though, I wrote this a few weeks ago and saved it, and I remembered this post while reading Tammy's blog). I choose to be true to myself, that's all I'm saying. That truth may change from day to day, but I choose truth over consistency. My being gay is not a choice, I believe I was born that way, but it was my choice to accept it humbly, it was my choice to come out to my friends, it was my choice to have pride and dignity in being who I am. And I wouldn't change a thing.