Ok, first an apology that it’s been so long since I’ve posted and longer since I’ve posted regularly. But the truth is I’m often too tired or brain dead to write anything when I get home.
Ok, on to the post…
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I’ve felt anxious much of today. It started when I was in class, but instead of paying attention, I was following SCOTUSBlog’s live coverage of the Supreme Court opinions being released today. But the anxiety’s continued after today’s opinions ended.
Maybe it’s because tomorrow the Supreme Court is going to tell me whether I and my friends are as valuable as human beings as straight people. I don’t have my hopes up.
Sure, it could be a broad ruling akin to Loving v. Virginia, but from all the things I’ve read that is pretty unlikely. I do think they will overturn Prop 8, but I think they’ll do it on fairly narrow grounds. While that’s a positive step, and definitely better than letting it stand, it won’t have the same impact of a nationwide ruling that gay people are protected under the Equal Protection Clause and should be treated equally.
I also think DOMA will be overturned. That will be a big step in reality, even if it’s only overturned on federalism grounds.
I try not to fathom the possibility that we could be punched in the gut like we were in Bowers v. Hardwick.
I’m going to be in class again tomorrow at 10 a.m. I won’t be paying attention, as my eyes will be on SCOTUSBlog. I hope I’m wrong and I hope that tomorrow there’s celebration in the streets like the night Obama won. But, I’m not getting my hopes up. I’m afraid we’ll still be reading the opinion trying to figure out just how much ground — if any — we’ve gained.
But I’m still hopeful because the times they are a changing.
What has helped calm me today is to remind myself how quickly society’s changing, whether or not the Supreme Court agrees. On the day these cases were argued, over 2.7 million people changed their Facebook page to some variation of the Equality symbol. Many of those people were straight. Even some friends of mine, that I wouldn’t have expected to be so openly supportive changed their pictures.
The times they are a changing.
My niece, who just graduated high school had a kid in her class come out in 7th grade. When I was in that school, no one came out. That wouldn’t have been a possibility I’d have ever considered even if I had realized I was gay that far back. I asked her if kids made fun of him. “Oh sure,” she said, “but not for that. He’s weird in other ways.”
The times they are a changing.
But are they changing fast enough? Just two days ago, a drag queen was assaulted on 14th Street, smack in the heart of DC’s gay neighborhood. People stood around and videotaped it so they could post it online. If hateful shit like this can happen in a place that’s traditionally as progressive as DC, then gay kids in rural PA are still at risk no matter how progressive my niece’s classmates have become.
But her classmates will soon be old enough to vote. And then old enough to get married and raise children. They’ll realize that same-sex marriage isn’t a threat to their marriage. And hopefully, their children will be raised with open gay friends and family in their life and they’ll realize it’s no big deal. History has always moved forward. Sometimes in fits and starts, but over the long arc, fairness and progress always win. (I guess that actually says something good about mankind, right?)
So, is the Supreme Court opinion even important? I hope it is. While the government recognizing us as equal would be a big step, it would still only be one small step towards people recognizing us as equal.
Keep your fingers crossed that I’m wrong and all this anxiety is for naught. Maybe Hollingsworth v. Perry will be my generation’s Loving.
One of the biggest problems with trying to date in DC is that everyone’s busy. Busy with work. Busy with school. Busy with social lives and current friends. I’ve recently had two experiences that have reminded me of this.
A few weeks ago, I started emailing with a guy on OkCupid. After a few messages there, he gave me his email as an easier way to continue our conversation. The email looked familiar. I checked my Gmail and sure enough, we had chatted before.
About 2.5 years ago, we met on Match.com. We had chatted for a while, and then moved the conversation to Gmail, where we spent several weeks trying to arrange our first date. It never happened because of work schedules, and other events. And then I started dating someone and we lost touch.
Now that we’d reconnected, we finally went out. The first date was nice. On the second date, I don’t think either one of us was feeling the magic. But, it took about 2.5 years from when we first met to find that out.
I met Guy #2 in January of 2009 through a mutual friend that I see occasionally. We traded information and became Facebook friends. Again, we tried scheduling a date, but conflicting calendars didn’t allow it. At some point, we stopped trying. Over the years, he’s popped up on my newsfeed and I never thought much about it, other than the fact that he’s really cute.
A few weeks ago, we ran into each other at an event, but didn’t talk. When he got home, he emailed me on Facebook and asked if I had been at the event. We chatted until a few hours past my bedtime, and set up a date for the next Friday.
It was a really nice first date. And it only took 3.5 years to happen.
Is there a solution?
If you’re single, you can’t spend all your time cruising bars and dating websites trying to meet people. But, it is so easy in DC to get caught up in all the activities of a busy urban life. So how do you resolve the conflict between wanting to meet someone and our current social lives? When you’re loving your life (and hopefully your job), how do you make sure you’re making space and time to let someone else in?
And how weird is Fate that it reconnected me with two guys within a month?
Would love to hear your comments below.
This weekend was DC Pride. It was earlier this year, yet still managed to be one of the hottest days ever. I guess mother nature likes seeing the gays with their shirts off.
I have mixed feelings about Pride. It’s great to be out and proud. It’s clear that people’s views on homosexuality (such a clinical term!) tend to be more positive if they know someone who’s LGBT. But maybe we take it too far sometimes. If you’re into leather jockstraps, great. Just not sure I need to see it on a parade float. And no one needs that much body glitter. For many, it’s just an excuse to spend the day drunk. Walking home from the grocery store at 3 pm (the parade started at 4:30), I saw one guy stumbling out of Cobalt. His friends were barely able to hold him up.
Also, Pride has become very commercialized. Several beer companies and the local banks all had cars in the parade. While it’s great that you want our business, I’d prefer if you did some lobbying on our behalf, instead of just trying to get our business. Last year there was even an Idaho Potato car in the parade!
But this year, I went in with different expectations. Instead of wondering if the images we were creating were “good” or “bad” for the community, I went in with the attitude that everyone’s there to be who they want to be. And for some, that means dancing in a leather jockstrap. I guess if you can wear leather in temperatures near 90, God bless ya.
I was thinking about this after reading a great quote at Breaking The Illusion (a blog by one of the hottest men ever!). In response to a reader who was worried he would be seen as “too gay” if he does certain things. Davey’s response was:
It’s not your job to shatter every stereotype there is about gay people.
He then goes on to tell the reader that he should put his energy into being himself, whatever that may be. It was a beautiful thought.
At the end of the night, several of us were sitting on my roof deck drinking beer with a straight neighbor and his friend. One guy in my group said that he didn’t think people should take their kids to the Pride parade because it would lead to awkward conversations. My straight neighbor challenged him and said that’s why people should take their kids to the parade. It’s an interesting question. How would you explain to a young child what’s going on? “Daddy, why is that woman not wearing a shirt?”
Here are some pics from the parade. (Click for larger versions.) The Festival was today, and wasn’t that exciting other than a delicious hot sausage sandwich (my favorite carnival/fair food). Since I’m trying to drop some weight this summer, that was a special treat. And I went swimming afterwards.