Today I went to the corner gas station I usually go to for my morning paper. I've become friendly with the attendant & his boyfriend who also works there. Most mornings it's just small talk but today his boyfriend wasn't around. Long story short his boyfriend has been battling cancer while at the same time being HIV Positive. His first round of chemo went well & he was back at work, but this time around his T Cells dropped to zero & he's on life support.
During this election year these two young men's story should not go unnoticed. They are two Gay Mexican Immigrants ( illegal immigrants to some) who are trying to live the American Dream. They got to work at 4am (three hours before their shift) to sell tamales so they can buy a truck. I remember their joy when they moved out of a single in the hood & on to a one bedroom in a nicer area of Los Angeles. They brought two additions to their family to the station one morning, two baby puppies. Like most couples they had some ups & downs complaining to me about the other some mornings. They were living, loving and striving to make a better life.
This morning when I heard one of them is near death I experienced a few different emotions. My first was sadness as his boyfriend told me the mother in Mexico wants his body flown back if he passes. He said they don't have ten thousand to do that & his boyfriend didn't want that. His boyfriend's last wishes are to be cremated & wants his ashes to go wherever he goes.
I'm not a big cry baby but the image made me start to cry right there. My tears & emotions turned to anger when he said since they're a gay couple with nothing in writing his boyfriend's wishes might not happen. He's frustrated they never put his wishes on paper & might be at the mercy of laws, not equal for same sex partners. He must also be worried because his & his dying partners "legal" status could be an issue.
All this got me steamed at our elected officials who go out of their way to make life more difficult for some. I also caution all who believe your vote is for the lesser of two evils. When you go vote in November think about these two men. President Obama has passed more gay legislation than all other presidents combined. He also began work on immigration issues by helping 'The Dreamers', which I hope is a foreshadowing of his plans in a second term.
I can't get the image of a box or urn of his ashes going with his boyfriend through the rest of his life's journey. I also think that some homophobic anti-immigrant leader would look for a way to send his ashes back to Mexico or say his boyfriend had no rights to them. If he passes, his soul will be Free from judgments about his sexuality! Free from borders and laws against immigrants! He will also be Free from the stigma HIV has created for him. The cancer may take his life, but this cancer of hate in the world against 'the other' will one day be our downfall.
Today Carlos passed with his boyfriend Abel at his side. R.I.P.
Please note: If Romney becomes President, Carlos would have died alone.