Proud

Friday, June 26th, 2015 will go down as a historic day for the United States. The Supreme Court’s decision in the case that will forever be bedazzled with the title “Landmark,” Obergefell v. Hodges, has made same sex marriage legal throughout the United States.

Approximately 5 seconds later – or the length of time it takes a air to travel from the lungs to the rage center of the brain – the opposition declared that the fight was not over. This decision would be overturned and the gays would be put back in their place. Harrumph!

In reality, despite how much time the pundits will squeeze out of questioning if the decision might be overturned, even if the most Conservatist Conservative who ever Conserved was elected to the presidency, this law isn’t going anywhere. Same Sex Marriage is here to stay.

How do I know this? A number of reasons.

1. Roe V. Wade

Roe V. Wade is still on the books and that decision is by no means as popular as Obergefell v. Hodges. Even 8 years of a Bush presidency couldn’t overturn the LANDMARK abortion case. That doesn’t mean states can’t do their best to restrict safe abortion access to their unfortunate inhabitants, but from a national point of view, Rod V. Wade – like Obergerfell V. Hodges – is here to stay.

2. Corporate Sponsorship

On Sunday, I forced my lazy ass to get out of bed and head over to Manhattan for a few hours before work so I could witness the all out Bacchanalia that was surely going to be occurring at the Gay Pride Parade. After all, 48 hours earlier, gay people in this country won the biggest battle of their collective history. It had been predicted by one highly reputable source that this would be the “Most Buck-Wild Pride Parade Nation’s Ever Seen.

Pride Hand-in-Hand

When I got there, the first thing I saw was a float covered in cheerful, fully dressed people all wearing rainbow colored shirts that preached a message of tolerance, love and hope. Just kidding, the shirts all had the MasterCard logo on them. There were floats advertising TV shows and networks, including the Netflix float that featured cast members from Orange Is The New Black (I’m sorry, I mean #OITNB), and there were floats selling food, drinks and stuff.

Every street corner had somebody shilling rainbow colored product in the name of Gay Pride and Capitalism. Gay Pride is profitable and everyone knows that, while God is pretty popular in America, Money is King. If corporations are people, then the people have spoken.

I went down to the parade expecting Mardi Gras after dark. Instead, I found Mardi Gras at noon.

Firefighter Pride

Which brings me to my final and main reason I know the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling isn’t going anywhere.

3. Children

Child Pride

Gay Pride is where you take your family. Granted, I live in New York City, not Des Moines, so the acceptance of gays here is obviously going to be greater, but that doesn’t change the fact that there is an entire generation of children growing up in a world where same sex marriage is now legal, and no amount of anger and political fearmongering is going to convince them to change that.

As the shooting in Charleston two weeks ago proved, hate and bigotry don’t just suddenly evaporate. There will always be divisions in humanity. There will always be prejudice. There will always be individuals who feel devalued or marginalized who will then strike out at some group.

Obergefell v. Hodges will not suddenly end discrimination against homosexuals. Hell, some forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation are still permitted by law. Just as racism didn’t end in the 60s (or the 70s, or the 80s, or the 90s, or the 00s, or the…), homophobia will not disappear. The phrase, “I have gay friends but…” will continue to be the mating call of the Homo phabiens for years to come.

But. But! BUTT! (Oops, sorry, got excited). But starting with the 90s and even more so in the 00s and onward, we’ve had entire generations raised in a world in which homosexuals have basic human rights and are treated, largely, like normal human beings. Every child born since 2010 will grow up never really remembering a time when same sex marriage wasn’t a thing.

The Republican presidential candidates may talk about how the Supreme Court went too far in their decision (for fuck’s sake, even the dissenting members of the Supreme Court will say it), but in the end, the political Right is happy to have this issue out of the debate*. They know, like all reasonable people have known for years, that the cultural shift has long been in favor of equality. A Republican party that still has opposition to same sex marriage in their platform will never reach the White House again.

Case Closed?

When Chief Justice Roberts said in his dissent that “5 lawyers” (kind of like him) had “closed the debate” on same sex marriage, he was claiming that the Supreme Court’s decision wrongly took the subject out of the hands of the American people and settled the debate. Which, you know, is kind of the job of the Supreme Court, but whatever.

Except, this debate isn’t over. The American people have never let a court decision quell their love of bickering. Roe V. Wade didn’t end the debate over abortion. We will continue to debate this topic in our schools, our churches, our bars and at our watercoolers (Cool it, though, Janet is coming).

The difference, though, is that now a class of American citizens won’t have their rights restricted while we have this debate.

So celebrate. Love wins. June 26th, 2015 will forever be an important day. A landmark day. It is, after all, the day America joined the future.

Pride In the Empire State

*Other than Ted Cruz who has no chance of being elected but wants to win the title of Most Conservative Candidate so he can put the plaque on his mantel next to his bowling trophies.

Same Sex Marriage Is Legal

This website has devoted many many words to the fight for marriage equality over the years. Today’s monumental ruling by the Supreme Court that finally, inevitably made same sex marriage legal is a victory worthy of great celebration.

In time, I will have processed the information enough to write something marginally compelling, but for the moment it just feels good to bask in the nation’s celebration. In that spirit, here are just a few of my favorite images from Twitter today.

Go out, celebrate and have yourself a Gay ol’ time!

Justice Pride Colors Pride House States Where Same Sex Marriage Is LegalWhen Can I Marry

Flag SwapGeneral Pride

Obama Winning

What I Want To Say, But Can’t: A Post-Charleston Shooting Reflection

I want to say something.

I want to say something, but I’m not really sure what.

I’m not sure I have the words for what needs to be said.

I want to say that when a white man enters a black church and kills 9 black people, it is obviously racially motivated. When the man says, “I want to shoot black people,” we don’t have to wonder what his motivation was. We don’t have to wonder if racism is still an issue in America. We can know.

I want to say that just because a mass murder happened in a church, it doesn’t mean Christians in America are under attack. There are places in the world where Christians do have to fear for their lives, and to pretend like America is one of those places is to do their struggle a disservice. To claim victimhood when you are not a victim is a monstrous act of narcissism.

I want to say that we create laws and regulations to protect us against those who would do us harm. We create laws to protect us against ourselves. Society, politics, the rule of law, these all exist because without them humanity is a chaotic mess. With them, we grow incrementally less messy.

I want to say that we do not live in the wild west, and that’s good. The wild west was horrible. People died, frequently. John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies have led us to romanticize the old west as a time of Real Men and Real Women. In fact, it was a horror of constant dangers: lawlessness, poor health, racism, sexual violence and poverty. Why would we seek to emulate that period?

I want to say that a person who would put his or her right to own a gun above the lives of his fellow humanity is a terrifying human being. I don’t have children so I don’t know what it feels like to believe that I must do anything in my power to protect them, including being ready and able to shoot any attacker. I do have loved ones, though, family and friends and lovers, and I do know what it’s like to hear they have been attacked, hurt, violated. I know what it’s like to want vengeance, to want to inflict pain, violence, righteous punishment. I know the craving for justice. A gun isn’t justice.

I want to say that the world will never be perfect but that doesn’t mean we have to stop striving for it. A sailor will never reach the horizon, but she can still follow the setting sun.

I want to say that this shooting in Charleston will make us stop, consider and finally act. It won’t.

I want to say so much. Every. Single. Time. this happens. Every time a psychopath enters a church, a school, a theater, a synagogue, a mall – anywhere they damn well please – and obliterates innocent people with easily purchased guns, I want to say something. I want to scream. I want to grab people by the shoulders and yell in their face.

I want to say something.

But I can’t. Because if I do say any of that, I’m just politicizing these innocent people’s death. If I say something, I’m the bad guy because I didn’t have the decency to wait until after the mourning was finished. If I want to say something, I have to wait until there are no more tragedies, no more senseless acts of violence, no more crippling flashes of horror. I have to wait until there are no more mass shootings.

So I will never say anything.

 

Misandry

“You’ve got pussy-eating lips”
she said and tongue-clicked her teeth.
In the June air, water stuck to skin like sugar on a cock,
the smell of a storm rising on the horizon.
She didn’t blink; she smiled for a mile, a huff in the space between us, and as I walked on her grin kept pace.
No, I don’t know the time or the atomic weight of helium,
the street isn’t your home or mine.
So I slag, I might hang loose, it isn’t a call or a crime, I am that I am when I am in the presence of the Queens of the Universe.
She is with me wherever I go, the protector, the intruder, the provider, the dance-card-filler, the check of my place.
What I have, I haven’t earned, she explains, she’s given, and she can take, so why want more?
I am man and man it’s hard out here for a dick.

10 Years

June 1st, 2005 – June 1st 2015

10 Years. Hell of a run.

When I started, my beard resembled a mess of pubes glued to my face; now white hairs spike out from it (the beard, not my pubes). If you need a less hirsute way to appreciate the time span, think about this:

The best selling album of 2005 was by Mariah Carey.
The show Supernatural aired its 1st episode the same year.
David Letterman was still on television! (Crazy, I know.)
No one had even heard of an iPhone when 10 Cities / 10 Years began.

It’s, quite literally, a different world than it was in 2005.

I’ve been doing this a long time, long enough to feel simultaneously old yet fresh to the world. I’m relearning how to think about life in terms longer than year blocks, but I have no idea what sits ahead of me even a few months from now. I remain, to my core, a stranger.

Currently, I bartend, and I find myself listening with quiet bemusement as people rant confidently, definitively about this nation from the singular, narrow perspective of their hometown. As if the whole world could be seen from one window.

People ask me where I’m from, and I say Kansas, because, yes, technically that’s true. But when it’s said back to me – “Oh, he’s from Kansas!” I hear whenever someone mentions the Midwest – it rings false. “Kansas” (or any small state) is essentially code for “Inexperienced rube.” To city-dwellers it’s quaint; to hippies it’s idyllic. In reality, it was neither.

I grew up in Kansas, sure, but in a more accurate sense, I grew up in the United States. I discovered how to be on my own in Philadelphia. I learned how to survive famine in San Francisco. I found out how to recover from heartbreak in Nashville and then thrive on isolation in Boston. My perspective is not born of one town, one city, one state, but one country.

In that way, it’s still limited. The map is vast and I’ve only explored one corner of it.

Most people define themselves by where they’re from.

For a decade, I’ve defined myself by where I’ve yet to go.

I’m not done yet. My year in Brooklyn officially wraps at the end of August, meaning that there is still 3 more months until this project ends. And even then…

I’m not done yet.

I’m not done yet.

I’m not done…

Alex and I

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,901 other followers

%d bloggers like this: