Happy Pride Month Everyone!
In 1977 when I marched in my first Gay Pride March (it hadn't yet morphed into a parade), I could not have imagined that in my lifetime there would be gay marriage. The prejudice was too deep, too institutionalized, too unquestioned.
Growing up I didn't internalize homophobia and as an adult I was self-employed which meant my livelihood couldn't be threatened, so for me personally it wasn't bad, but a lot of innocent people have suffered quite a lot from the cruelty of straight people. (Y'all have a lot to answer for!)
Jody was the most upbeat, youthful, interested, resilient person I've ever met-- by a considerable margin, and yet I could see even on her the effects growing up as a lesbian through the 1930's, 40's, 50's. Those were decades when you could get arrested, thrown in a loony bin and shock-treated, your livelihood and relationships ruined by the scandal of being found to be gay. You could be killed almost with impunity by any heterosexual who felt threatened by your very existence. (All still true in many parts of the world.)
Gay bars were routinely raided and usually owned by the mafia. And as we saw June 12th in Orlando, we are not immune even here, even now.
Jody and her pal Don were thrown in jail in Texas for a week for being queer, in the days before Miranda rights, and if not for her ingenuity in sneaking out a note to a lawyer, they might have been there much longer.
Jody died in December 2007. Domestic partnership for the state of Washington was only a few months old and we hadn't registered for it. (A fact that would get some play after she died when her son sued me 4 times because he didn't accept our spousal relationship.)
She didn't live to see the unbelievable momentum as state after state legalized gay marriage; as it became the law of the land nationally. I am astounded and thrilled about this, but it is also bittersweet; it comes too late for Jody.