The other day I wanted to send a greeting card to a friend of mine, and I wasn’t able to do it. I know his address. I’ve been to his house, but I don’t know his last name. I met his partner first, and that’s how we met and became friends. They’ve been together for umpteen years, and are in most respects an old married couple. But, since they are two men, and cannot legally be an old married couple, I realized that I’d never learned his last name.
Seemingly small incidents like this one demonstrate why I think gay marriage should be legal. Life for a queer person who is open about his or her sexuality is full of these little moments. A while back I asked at a video store if they had a gay and lesbian film section. I wanted to see a romantic film someone had recommended, and I was not currently in Capitol Hill, Seattle’s gay neighborhood. The clerk said: “Why on earth would we have that?” and looked at me as if I’d just requested a porn video about babies and zebras. I’m used to it, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t feel the ugliness.
A lot is going on right now in this country, and more than ever I believe that we need to accord the same civil rights to everyone. It’s bad enough to know that every year some gay or transgender people are murdered because of who they are, and every queer person knows that if we give our dates a tender look in the wrong neighborhood it might happen to us, too.
Despite all this, I remain joyful, because I refuse to give away my power. I can write to my legislators, I can spread the word on my blog, and I can continue to live the best life I know how. As the saying goes, living well is the best revenge, and it’s better to do something about a problem than to just complain about it. I try to do both.
See you tomorrow!