When you tell your mom you are gay, and she cries, she is teaching you a lesson even without wanting to teach you a lesson. When you come out as gay to your friend, and she accepts you, but a friend of a friend has an “opinion” about you or stops talking to you, he is teaching you a lesson.
The lesson is this: If you are gay then you are taught that your happiness causes people to suffer. If you consider yourself a good person then you curb your happiness to lessen suffering.
This is why we die in movies.
You don’t stop learning as an adult, and people don’t stop teaching you lessons. So these lessons go on and you become an adult shaped by unwitting teachers, and you learn to make adjustments accordingly.
I didn’t consciously know I had learned this lesson until I married my partner of two years on September 5th. We were celebrating our union on a rooftop with friends and family. He and I climbed a tower to overlook the party, and when I watched people look up to us, cheering and waving, the lesson I had internalized shattered.
Our happiness didn’t cause suffering, it resulted in more happiness.
A day later I was corrected. My sister told me that my uncle was angry about our Facebook photos and about my mother (his sister) attending my wedding. Here was my sufferer, a lonely man in a loveless marriage attaching his broken emotions onto my life.
It was, unfortunately for him, now impossible for me to curb my happiness. If my happiness was a rocket ship then it was halfway to Pluto with no hope of turning back.
Unfortunately the lesson is bigger than the individual. I see many people affected, curbing their happiness, belittling who they are, all in the hopes of lessening the suffering imposed on others. Kim Davis is a perfect example of the sufferer, a bitter woman with a face twisted into a frown. Kristen Stewart said she feels sorry for Kim Davis, and I get that totally, I understand that feeling because the lesson that gay happiness causes suffering casts the sufferer as the passive victim.
But the truth is that the sufferer is the architect of their own bitterness. If people want to suffer at gay happiness, then let them. I will be so happy that I will need a million sufferers to keep me tethered to the Earth.