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.
“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.”
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.