If any of you can spare a moment to write to him today, I would sure appreciate it, and so would lots of other New Yorkers. Here's the letter I just sent him.
Dear Senator Grisanti,
I'm not one of your constituents, but my mom grew up in Buffalo, and I was hoping you would take the time to listen to a fellow Catholic and a fellow New Yorker on the important issue of marriage equality for GLBT New Yorkers.
When I was thirteen, I was working hard to finish my community service hours required by my parish to receive my Confirmation. I picked the name Victoria, after my grandmother's youngest aunt, who was still alive and a great inspiration to me.
It was also the first time I had a crush on a girl.
I remember, at that young and confusing age, laying awake at night praying for it to go away. My parents were loving and openminded people who would never have judged someone for being gay, but that didn't stop me from feeling the pervasive feeling that it was wrong, or that something was wrong with me. I remember praying to God that I didn't want to be a lesbian, because to my thirteen-year-old mind, it was freaky and terrible, and when you're thirteen, all you want is to be normal and like all the other kids. I didn't want there to be one more thing that was different about me.
But I couldn't help it. No matter how much I tried to squash the kinds of feelings I felt toward other girls, I kept having them. Of course, I liked boys, too, and I tried to concentrate on that, because at least that was normal. At least I could talk to other girls about it without them singling me out for ridicule or deciding that there was something strange or unnatural about me.
The secret I carried ruined my best high school friendship, because I was afraid to tell my friend that I was in love with her. Maybe she would have understood, but maybe it would have made things even worse-- I'll never know.
I'm an adult now, and much more comfortable with who I am. But one thing I am not comfortable with is the fact that if the person I choose to spend the rest of my life with is a woman, I won't be able to marry her. I've made peace with the fact that I may not be able to marry her in a church, but I believe fervently that God made me who I am, and makes each of us with the capacity to love that He wishes for us. I can't help but believe that that is not what God would want for me-- that I would have to make such a difficult choice just to spend my life with someone I love. And I hope I might appeal to you as a parent when I say that I have to consider the fact that my parents would miss out on seeing their only daughter get married. My father would miss out on dancing with me at my wedding. And I would not wish that on any father, or any parents, that a law would stand in the way of their opportunity to celebrate the joy of their child's marriage.
Thank you so much for your time. I sincerely hope you will consider this matter with an open heart and an eye to the future. I may not be able to vote for you, but I have friends in your district, and if you make this brave decision, I will absolutely do whatever I can to help support you.
Senator Grisanti's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org