The Case for Glee & Glitter (#61)

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The Supreme Court of the United States. (Glitter upgrade courtesy of Anne Helen Petersen.)

I am not getting a damned thing done today. Neither is anyone else in Los Angeles. Maybe the entire country. Facebook is more red and pink than blue. Twitter, for once, has joyfully buried its trolls in landslide of rainbow-colored glitter. When the head of a troll pops up, GIFs of Ruth Bader Ginsberg smack the crap out of it with Corinthian pillars (rainbow-colored, of course).

Today, the internet is glorious. I love it for the hundreds of Vines showing the “running of the media interns,” on the steps of the Supreme Court. I love it for the hilarious interpretations of Justice Clarence Thomas’s would-be bombastic treatise “Minority Suffering Ennobles.” (Ultimate verdict: “Will someone please take Uncle Clarence home? He’s drunk.”) I love it for all the videos of old, happy gay couples screaming like teenagers, and for the videos of actual teenagers screaming their support for the love that once “dared not speak its name.” Bring on the glitter. Bring on the love. Soak it in, if only for today.

Yes, I still hear the fully justified clamoring that is #BlackLivesMatter. I can physically see the smoke from the California wildfires exacerbated by climate change. There’s still a wage gap between men and women. Shrill reactionaries still insist that the removal of the Confederate battle flag from stores and government property shows how the white man’s freedom of speech is threatened by the “PC Police.” (This is, of course, far more terrifying than merely being outdoors while black and encountering the actual police, by the way. Pity the poor reactionaries, everyone.)

Ha, I almost went into a full-blown rant. But not today. Today #LoveWins. And I am happy. I am happy for the kids, happy for the teens, happy for the midwest, happy for humanity.

But mostly I am happy for my friend AH.

AH and I met in college. We were Republican nerds with scholarships, and we didn’t fit in at our party school university. Neither of us drank or did drugs, nor were we militantly liberal. Thanks to my roommate, we were adopted by the nice people at the Baptist Campus Ministry. I became their token atheist, enjoying the wholesome parties that were way more my speed than Greek Life and wet tee-shirt contests. AH was involved in their Bible studies. AH endured major crushes by numerous Baptist girls. His lack of interest was ascribed to his sweet, clueless personality.

I (cruelly) ordered AH to kiss me one night, and his instantaneous recoil told me all I needed to know. We covered up the awkwardness with a few laughs and never spoke of it again. Instead, we talked about politics, philosophy, football, Star Trek, and Shakespeare. AH understood when “History of the Industrial Revolution” sent me fleeing from the Republican Party. I understood his overwhelming hurt when his male friends blew him off for a chance to hook up with a hot girl. I watched our Baptist friends grow less Christian and more conservative, preaching hate and exclusion instead of love. I saw AH grow more alienated.

We graduated, and AH went to law school in another state. A year later, despite having shoulder surgery, he insisted that he needed to see me one weekend. He had something he absolutely had to tell me. Right away. Arm in a sling, he flew out to LA.

Once he was sitting on my bed, though, AH hemmed, hawed, and hesitated.

“So, dude,” AH called everyone he liked “dude,” “what do you think is different about me? What has always been different about me?”

“You’re smart, dude. Almost as smart as me,” I couldn’t resist teasing him.

“Not that.”

“You’re nice?”

“I’m not that nice.”

“Yeah, you, are,” I argued. “And you have integrity. I can’t imagine you doing something illegal. How are you going to make a living as a tax attorney?”

“I’m going to work for non-profits, dude,” AH explained. “But what else? What else is different about me?”

I shook my head. “I’m not going to say it for you, dude.”

“But you know.”

“Uh-uh. I know nothing. You have to say it.”

“But—”

I interrupted. “Nope. You. Have. To. Say. It.”

“Fine!” AH yelled. “I’m gay, okay?”

I rolled my eyes and said, “So what?”

AH laughed, then winced as his injured shoulder moved.

I cocked my head at him. “I have a really important question that I can finally ask you now.” I took a deep breath. “Which Enterprise Captain is the hottest?”

I was the first person AH came out to.* I was also the first person he could giggle and gossip with over good-looking guys. I didn’t do his shoulder any good that weekend, but I like to think I helped ease his exit from the closet. AH soon joined a gay basketball league, went out dancing, and met the love of his life, AA. They moved in together, traveled, went to football games, adopted pigs from Farm Sanctuary, went vegan, and even danced at my wedding.

You would never have known, from their happy smiles in our wedding pictures and on the dance floor, that they were heartbroken because they couldn’t have a wedding of their own.

But now they – and thousands of other gay couples – can get married. And every single form of government in our country has to recognize it.

So never mind the stupid, un-American quotes from hateful, historically ill-informed pastors like Mike Huckabee, insisting that God’s law trumps the Constitution.

Never mind Antonin Scalia, Supreme Sore Loser, a man reduced to petulance in his petty dissent as he insisted that the majority opinion was “couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic.” (Project much, dude?)

Today we look at those obsolete relics of an ugly American past and we say, “So what?”

And we cover them with rainbows and glitter.

Courtesy of Q. Allan Brocka

 

*The night AH came out to me, there was an earthquake. We still laugh over this.

Published by

Autumn Ashbough

WF writing about the humorous perils of life with Chinese-American significant other.

13 thoughts on “The Case for Glee & Glitter (#61)”

  1. Tearing up thinking about how I felt that day in Biblical Town in Small State and how so many more people will get to feel that because #LoveWins.

    Today is truly a great day.

  2. Several years ago I won a contest and got to travel to Marchu Piccu, Peru, everything paid. It is amazing to go on a vacation on other people’s dimes. We stayed in this fancy hotel in the last two days. It is said that this is where Hollywood stars would stay at. Who else would spend $600 a night in a hotel for a trekking trip to Peru right?

    Each hotel room looked like a small hut. My room is very close to the lobby. Lobby is the only place I can get clean water and wifi. The last day when I was taking a break from hiking, I came over to the lobby to ask for some water. The lobby boy, a Peruvian local who looks like in his mid twenties, told me that the water is on the other corner of the lobby, and he can pour it for me. It is just normal iced water. I refused his offer, but he followed me and poured the water for me anyway. Good service is expected from a fancy hotel so I think? But he stood there looking at me for like 5 seconds after pouring the water. I felt a bit uncomfortable. It is just iced water and I already told him I can do it myself right? I stared at him back for several seconds, signaling that no I am not going to tip you since I have refused his help earlier. If I do not stare back it would show that I felt guilty. The Asian in me hold on to the money tightly.

    After getting hydrated I went back to my room to fetch my devices because the lobby is the only place with good wifi signal. To my surprise, the lobby boy followed me all the way to my door. I didn’t notice until I am getting my keys to open the door. He asked how’s my stay and if I need any other service. I thanked him. He is really working hard to get his tips I thought.

    After getting my device I returned to the lobby to do some internet surfing and facebooking, but decided to return home again only after 10 minutes. Surprisingly, after I already in my room, he opened my door and followed in. Now thinking about it, I was a bit scared and shocked, frozen for a short while and then I took out my wallet and found a five dollar bill. He is smaller than me so I didn’t feel threatened, but really?

    He said he doesn’t want my money, then he walked toward the bathroom and signal me to follow him. I got really confused, and this is when he realized there was a big misunderstanding. He apologized and retreated, but still left some contact information for me. Later he was very professional again when we signout at the lobby later.

    I finally realized that what happened was that the lobby boy has mistaken me as a gay and found me attractive. I would think this way because he said he doesn’t want my money. I can’t decide who find me attractive afterall. What contributed to this misunderstanding is a serious wrong assumptions based on culture, class and context. (1) I assumed that he was expecting tips because this is a fancy hotel in a poor country, (2) I stared back at him to demonstrate I have no guilt, but it was mistaken as me looking into his eyes, and (3) me returning to the lobby shortly after I rejected him at the door for the first time, but didn’t stay long, looked like a change of mind.

    Anyway, I think it is an interesting experience: it shows how many assumptions we are all making during an interaction between people from different race, class and even sexual orientation.

    1. Oh, wow, yes, that is a serious cultural/ social misunderstanding! Yes, we do make assumptions.

      Like the Moroccan gentleman who figured I was a prostitute because I was waiting in a hotel lobby for a friend who was a bell hop. Never mind that I was 16 with braces, he was all, “Shall we go up to my room now?”

      I guess he expected prostitutes to frequent all hotel lobbies in the United States. Even the Holiday Inn!

  3. It’s great that same sex marriage has finally been legalized in all of the US 🙂 In Spain it was done 9 years ago, finally we were good at something hahaha. One of my professors at Uni was among the first to get married after the law was approved and the first day of class we found a note saying that the lessons would start after 2 weeks because he had gone on his honeymoon haha.

  4. I can’t even remember where I left off and wow, you edited the theme! I stalked and stalked and stalked, trying to figure out what what the last thing I read and I think it was no. 60. Apparently, I’m done with all of May. xD

    The dude part was funny. xD I like the way you presented this whole event. The title you chose really got me curious and I kept on reading, trying to figure out what you were going to talk about and then Bam! there it was!

    Good one!

      1. I knew I’ve read this before! Why on Earth did I not click the like button? Sheesh. -Mentally slapping myself. And the Internet too, just in case it’s its fault.-

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