Now I’m Yelling At You From a Giant Gay Soapbox

04.11.13

In 2007 when one of the men I loved more than the sun and the moon slowly succumbed to AIDS his partner and I spent long evenings getting papers filed and signed. When it was time to make decision about his treatment and ultimately the disposition of his body the man he’d shared a life with for seventeen years was entitled to nothing without contracts and lawyers. Had they been a man and a woman the amount of time spent together sharing homes, businesses, dogs and meals would have made them common law spouses but because they were same sex everything was complicated and the laws of our nation seemed cruel when doctors and nurses did their best to show us compassion.

This week in Missouri there was an event at a hospital wherein the blood family of a man had his same sex spouse forcibly removed from a hospital where the man was being treated.

Guess what kids? When I get stabbed with a bottle at a bar brawl and I’m admitted to the hospital Mr. G is the one who makes all the decisions about my care. If my mother shows up and tells hospital security to remove my husband because she didn’t approve of the marriage they’ll look at her and laugh. Why? That’s the protection that marriage offers people. According to this news report nurses at the hospital refused to look up Roger Gorley and Allen’s joint Power of Attorney.

This is why marriage matters.

Two men or two women shouldn’t have to worry about waving around pieces of paper when one of them is sick or injured. It’s inhumane that we’d treat the body of a person while simultaneously denying their personhood.

People are going to make the argument that Roger or Allen could be your son, your uncle, your brother or your cousin. Though familial relationships may bring a certain sentiment to the conversation I’m going to go a step further. Roger and Allen are two strangers. They are two men that I’ve never met and I’m unlikely to meet. They presumably love one another and have built a life together just as my husband and I have. I don’t have to meet them, like them or know about the quality of their relationship to honor it and to treat them with dignity.

We need to treat all of our citizens equally.

Sometimes at dinner my mother will tell the kids about the segregation of her youth and they sit in disbelief because it feels like ancient history. In 28 years I hope to be sitting at a dinner table with my own grandchildren, seeing faces that are stunned when I tell them about how we used to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans.

Marriage matters.

 

I Hope Your Kid Isn’t Gay

10.30.12

If you think that a man like this can lead our country, can speak for every American and should be able to appoint Supreme Court Justices then I suggest you get on your knees and pray to whomever made you hateful that no one you love is anything but heterosexual (and probably not very sexual just for good measure).

When politicians marginalize a group of people because of how they’re born it is a moral imperative that good people everywhere fight for equality. If you are a good person you will not accept this nor any other hateful speech from politicians, entertainers or educators. If you consider yourself a good person and your house of worship condones this sort of hatred it’s time for you to use your God given intellect and decide if your religion is preaching love or hate.

You cannot hate the sin but love the sinner. It’s just not possible.

I hate Romney’s sins of bullying, cowardice, exclusion, fear and greed.

A Perfect Ending Movie at Outfest: Ziplining Out of My Comfort Zone

07.16.12

Last night I went to a movie screening at Outfest. Cathy Brooks had invited me and a few other LA friends to attend. My experience has been that Cathy invites me to one or two things a year and they are always great things that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about. She had told me that is was a movie about women more than it was a movie about lesbian women so I almost brought my 13 year old daughter. I am so happy I didn’t.

I don’t mind going places alone. It’s not my favorite thing to do but I really enjoy people and it’s been said that I’ve never met a stranger but this was different. I walked out of the elevator to the DGA West lobby and was surrounded by women, most of them close to my age. In keeping with my general insensitivity I expected to see a lot of short hair, sensible shoes and some flannels. For the record there was not one flannel and the women ranged from stunning to sensible, they were representative of the women in Los Angeles.

I’ve been to a zillion gay bars. And when I say “gay bars” I mean bars with beautiful men dancing with each other. There’s something very safe about it. I realized standing in the DGA lobby at 42 that I’d never been to a lesbian event. I felt incredibly out of place, curious and uncomfortable (but not in a bad way). I knew that my life was different than most of the hundreds of women’s lives in the room and that they had a shared experience that I’d never have.

I guess that’s a snippet of what it’s like to be gay… except that no one has ever hated me just for being me.

So the film started and it had some frenetic moments, it was like we’re over here, no we’re over here, it’s disjointed, I’m uncomfortable and then it would all pull together and you’d languish on scene from their lives and it would be familiar… which left me uncomfortable because there was this sense, this horrible sense that inside every beautiful home is nightmare of abuse, neglect and sadness. I was easily moved by the film, they set the pace and I dutifully followed.

Just as I couldn’t take anymore there was a rebirth, a love affair that wanted to start with sex but couldn’t and it was good, but it was graphic and if I’d have taken my daughter I’d have been the worst mother in the world (this is not an exaggeration bloggers never exaggerate). There’s also cancer and since tomorrow is day one of chemo I found myself extra blubbery.

I don’t know when A Perfect Ending will screen again or where. In addition to being a story about women and the relationships we have (that the main one is a lesbian relationship is actually incidental to the story) it’s a movie that features one of the most beautiful women you’ll ever see on a screen in the prime of her life along with women who… (and forgive me for this horrible statement) women who used to be beautiful.

In high definition I looked at Barbara Niven’s almost 60 year old stomach on a 22 foot high screen. She sees stretch-marks, I see freedom. She felt uncomfortable I wanted to crawl out of my skin. Her valor is my nightmare. She is still a beautiful woman, we just don’t recognize beauty over age 23.

I’ve talked before about how I’m not a woman who worked in media in her 20’s. I never made more money, got better jobs or closed a sale because I was beautiful. I didn’t trade on my looks in any way. I thought that since my first chapters were behind me and looks really didn’t matter much I wouldn’t be challenged or sad when they started to fade. I wrongly believed that I wouldn’t mourn losing a flat belly, perky breasts or firm skim. I thought that I’d marry my husband, grow old with him and we’d be that adorable couple who finished each other’s sentences. I’m the woman who earlier today wandered to the 3rd floor at Barneys for a pair of boots, tried them on and realized I looked like I was wearing my daughter’s costume and then left the store feeling dejected when I should have been delighted that I have a husband who loves me and who will trot all over town with me. I should be overjoyed that I have two healthy and happy kids who bring life into living.

The May/December aspect of the movie made me cry and still does. It was so liberating, so refreshing to look at beautiful women with wrinkles, backfat and thick middles but it struck me as sad too. Sad that I’m not yet okay with what I have.