Can people not from Ireland be Irish?

This is a question that popped into my head as I’m thinking ahead into this week of St. Patrick.

Many have noticed the turn toward Irish beards. I made a error calling the actor who once played Bond Irish. For that I apologize. Turns out he’s Scottish, but of Irish descent. So does that possibly make him Irish? What about me? I’m actually American, but of Irish descent as well. Can I be called Irish? Or considered Irish in some way?

My first name is the same as the mentioned actor who played Bond. A name I’ve always been told was not only Irish but an extremely common Irish name. My last name is different than the actor but is considered to be a very common Irish name as well. Can we be assumed to be Irish since we have Irish first and last names?

I am in agreement that one should never assume, but can one be considered so due to heritage?

I know this isn’t an earth shattering world changing contemplation. I however contemplate it in advance of this week when all things celebrate Ireland.

I read up a bit this morning on that certain Mr. Patrick whom has been named a Saint. It seems there’s many assumptions that aren’t quite set in stone facts. There are also some stories that have been proven incorrect. Yes this St. Patrick is not without a convoluted if not slightly shady past. Turns out this former escapee slave most likely was not from Ireland and apparently wasn’t accepted by the locals, at least at first, upon returning there as a man of the cloth. Can he actually be considered Irish as well? Or do you even have to be Irish to become the patron saint?

And what of this Irish Beard and Mustache association? Are they in Ireland? From Ireland? Decendants of Irish blood? ……Geeez! So much to contemplate.

Dont even get me started on the snakes.

Same Love

Love, an emotion that is Part of our human experience.

Attraction, a tendency that is inate in us.

Equality, an ideal that is a quality that most believe in and strive for.

Respect, a quality of charachter.

Ireland made history yesterday. The Irish public, a mostly Catholic nation, voted overwhelmingly to write Marriage Equality into their constitution. Of eligible Irish voters 60.52% turned out to vote in the referendum. Of those going to the polls yesterday, 1,201,607 voted Yes for writing Marriage Equality into the constitution and 734,300 voted against the referendum. All political parties endorsed voting Yes.

A majority of the Irish understand the value of respect. They understand validation. They respect Love. They honor relationships.

I am moved. I am validated. I am respected. I am accepted. I am equal. I tip my top hat in honor of a nation that has evolved, a nation that has grown, a nation that is human.

I’ve known that I was attracted to my own sex since I was a very young boy, as long as I can even remember. I was taught to hide it, be ashamed of it and deny myself actually being myself. I and millions of others. Fortunately I was not one to follow the crowd or the message I was being given. I came out to my family and at school when I was but sixteen.

My world opened up. My family accepted me, my real friends in my high school stuck by me. I never even dreamed that one day, one day I would be respected enough by society at large to have my love accepted. My soul, my being, my love, my attraction, my expression, my self to the deepest core of me accepted and respected as equal. I thought I would always be lesser. I’m not.

Our Supreme Court of The United States will soon be handing down a decision. We hope the decision is just and respectful. We hope it will confirm the majority of states that have Marriage Equality and give Marriage Equality nationwide. Our national polls now show a majority of Americans support Marriage Equality. But witnessing a nation, a Christian Catholic nation, giving equality through a non-disputable majority vote… That moves me deeply.

We have a long way to go on many fronts as a human race inhabiting one world, to bring equality to each and every one of us on every necessary level. Yesterday Ireland took us a step in the right direction. I thank them. I honor them. I am humbled by them.

I have an Irish heritage. I have an Irish first and last name. I’ve always considered myself an American of Irish decent. I’m proud to call myself that today.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are Fearsome. I encourage you to enjoy their message and music. Love is just that, Love.