Friday, December 29, 2006

Safe Haven

The boys enjoyed the drag show last night.

Ben thought it was better than the show he saw in Provincetown.

Jake watched like a little man. The girls all waved at him from the stage. He raised an eyebrow. I’m telling you right now, that boy has a way with people.

Zachary was a little horrified. Not that they were men dressed as women because when we walked in and the girls came over to chat with us, find out about our family, he was perky and pleasant. The minute the dancing started? He shrunk down in his seat. It was soooo embarrassing.

Feel free to ask any questions, Jasmine said to us.

She conferred with her fellow waitresses and came back to the table. Can I ask some questions about your family?

And we explained our story.

It was great, I said to Walter later, to be in a room full of our people. People who smiled and said, Great kids! Gay men, lesbians, transgendered… it felt safe. The whole city of San Francisco is one giant sigh of relief. Even at the hotel we’re at, everyone knows our family structure and not a single eye has been batted.

I once complained to a friend how sick I was of always being different and having to explain, over and over, who we are, our family design- it gets exhausting to always fight the fight. To be a good role model. To be the only ones.

And then I read an article yesterday in the New York Times about gays and lesbians in Kansas. How, after the anti-gay marriage amendment passed, they realized they had to come out in their conservative state. They had to be seen, known, recognized not because their lives were cramped or closeted but because people didn’t know they existed. Neighbors needed to know who they were, all of who they were. So when they voted for such hateful legislation, they would know it was not a faceless enemy but the woman they borrowed a cup of sugar from, or waved to as they passed on the road.

This city is a haven. Like Provincetown, except so much larger, it is safe. A place to recharge the batteries. And go forward with the daily fight.

Because the one thing that struck me last night of the girls, the show? They were so excited and nervous to see these children in their midst. I said, you know, it’s not a big deal to them. It’s their life.

And I know, not only my children have this comfort but all the friends of my kids who come over and hang out. Two moms, two dads, no divorce? No big deal.


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