Reprinted from 2016 with a few changes.
Not much has changed in a year.... Oh wait, we have a new president, I almost forgot! Instead of America's first woman president, we have..... Donald Trump. (America's most overtly authoritarian, constitutionally ignorant, separation of powers-hating, science-denying, pathologically narcissistic bully president. About which 1/4 to 1/3 of the population is happy.) Go figure.
As Jody used to say, "The best revenge is to flourish and prosper," and "Don't let the bastards get you down." So.....
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 upon her the effects of 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, relationships, your future 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 mere 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 last June in Orlando, we are not immune even here, even now. And as we see with the election of Donald Trump, with his rule-of-law-threatening proclivities, even the rights now secured are not necessarily secure.
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 me and Jody.