The    First    Weekly    Column!

Follow your heart. Have heart. Heartache and heartbreak. Wholehearted, with their heart in the right place. What does a heart do?

It pumps f**king blood, thatís what it does.

So you can stop listening to songs about heartbreak and heartache, because heartbreak doesnít really exist unless youíre stabbed or otherwise fatally mutilated in that area, and heartache means you should call a doctor immediately. Heartburn is a misnomer, and Iím not going to go into the gory details of the literal definition. Just let it be said that if you are ever subject to an accurate interpretation of this concept, a Rolaid ainít gonna help you.

But thatís not the point. Love comes not from the heart . . . and even logical-minded I donít think it comes from the brain.

Love, simply put, comes from the soul.

Marriage is the declaration, the assertion, of that love, in our data-obsessed culture. But in some cases, love is not acknowledged by the law. Love that is just as true, just as profound, just as powerful as any other.

Love between people of the same gender.

Donít flinch. Donít shy away. Love is love, no matter what, and nobody can change that. Homosexuality is not a disease. Itís not a kinky fetish. Itís a slightly different form of love.

I am heterosexual. However, Iím an ardent supporter of the gay/lesbian rights movement. Because, see, the thing about love is that itís not something logical or controllable -- itís an emotion. By far the most powerful of emotions. The law canít tell people not to love -- or more accurately, to choose who they love, by denying the rights to homosexuals accorded those who fall in love with a member of the opposite sex. Itís called falling in love for a reason. If you fall off a cliff, itís an accident. If you jump off a cliff, itís a suicide. If you had a choice, theyíd call it jumping in love. Sounds kind of stupid. It is kind of stupid, being an oxymoron as well as anethema to the concept of love. Itís not a choice, like credit cards, or ISPs, or cars, or banks, or any and/or all of the superficial trappings of our ďmodernĒ culture.

In a way, ironically, itís like a heart. It keeps going no matter what. You can voluntarily hold your breath, refuse to eat, but you canít even temporarily stop your heart -- just as you can decide not to sleep with someone, or pretend you donít love them, but you canít decide not to love someone.

Donít get me wrong; Iím not denying that sexual attraction has something -- a lot -- to do with it. The two go hand in hand. In fact, these concepts are lovers. Without sexual attraction, s/heís just a friend, and without the inner sort of love, s/heís just a rubber sex doll. But both are involved in marriage.

Both hetero- and homo-sexual individuals have both types of feeling. Simply toward different types of people.

Similarly, both kinds of attraction are partially based on the personality of the loved one, although itís mostly the actual love. We say we try not to discriminate based on gender, right? This is because qualification for a job, or anything else, is based on character, intelligence, knowledge, and experience. Well, letís say your soul sorts through a list of personalities before deciding to fall in love. Can one help it if the one who is truly right for one is of the same sex?

Iím not saying that people should be punished for the choices they make, either. Even if being gay was a choice, it would still be unharmful to others. So whatís the big deal? The more closed-minded of heterosexuals can look away. They have that choice, and have never been denied rights for that -- which is a choice, mind you, in the first place.

Although I am not directly affected by this absurd injustice, I hope for an end to it, as some of my friends are affected, and because itís just that: an absurd injustice. Thereíll be more here soon. Please email me at Iíll probably start a newsletter, as well as a resource center.

I love each and every one of the intelligent people who've read this column!