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Jan. 28, 2013: Beauty or Beast?

January 29, 2013

Mara and I watched Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” recently. We have the DVD; it’s one of our favorite movies. When I first saw it in a theater about 20 years ago (before Mara and I met), I cried from beginning to end, even before I knew what was going to happen or the message the film was getting across. I thought it was because I related to the beast, since I was unpopular in school and tended to isolate. But after we watched the DVD, Mara said she drew a parallel between me and Belle, not just because she thinks I’m beautiful (hey, it’s in the eye of the beholder) but because of our situation.

Like Belle, I grew up in an environment where the prevailing world view was — and still is — small. In my case, that environment my nuclear family. As I grew up, went to college, ventured out on my own and traveled, I developed a larger world view. And it was no mistake that I did things like going to college and traveling. I knew since I was a small child that I was going to do those things. In fact, I couldn’t wait to grow up.

Now, I’m married to Mara, who is seen as some sort of “beast” by my immediate family members. They loved and accepted her when she was a he; and now they shun her and have let me know in various ways that they hope we break up, or they expect that to happen. And when it does, they will be there for me.

I love my family, and my hope is that they realize that Mara and I are as committed to each other as ever, and we have no plans to go our separate ways anytime in the near future, whether or not they ever accept her.

The irony is that Mara doesn’t look like a “beast” at all. In fact, she’s the real “beauty” in our relationship.


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