Not too long ago my wife went into the Arby’s down the road to get some fries for the kids. While she was waiting for her order she noticed a couple of the young lads behind the counter eyeballing her a little funny.
‘Oh jeez,” she thought to herself,” I must have a chive on my tooth again.”
Then one of the guys approached her, hesitantly.
“Hi,” he whispered. “I just wanted to say that we saw your sweatshirt and we are so thankful that there are at least some people like you around here!” He could hardly contain his excitement, but seemed hell-bent on doing so given his barely audible words.
It was right then that Monica realized what was going on.
The sweatshirt she was wearing was something she had bought last year at a gay rights rally we had attended as a family in Salt Lake City. It had a short message of love and unity on it. It was something she wore a lot.
When she got back in the car she told me how some of the guy’s buddies had also wandered over after the first one had spoken up and they were all genuinely earnest when they told her how they NEVER see that kind of thing come walking through the doors in this town. And how good it made them feel when they’d spotted her.
We talked about how cool it was that the moment had occurred. But, obviously, that led us down the path of how insane it was that it would even have to occur.
It was 2012 in a pretty big college town.
Damn, we sighed. Just when we think we are sort of moving forward, we are slapped back down by something as inane as a pit stop for some fries.
This week in Roanoke, Virginia, two adult men who happen to be a gay couple are suing a fitness club who they allege sold them a ‘family’ membership and then denied their two year old son access to the swimming pool because he had two dads.
It’s easy to gloss over these pieces on your internet feed or if you’re flipping through the local paper, mostly because we are typically more and more attracted to the extremer headlines, the stuff that stands out in a real crowd, if you know what I mean. Gays being persecuted is important, and we need to know about it, but let’s face it: in a world of everyday human torture and people blowing themselves up in the name of this or that, in a world where viral video of kids whooping each others asses on the curb by the bus stop is served up piping hot, like fresh country biscuits right out of the oven/ God’s mouth/ the internet, it sometimes gets a little bit tough to stop and actually read through some of the things that don’t really have any dead bodies or people getting throat-punched in them.
Still, the new comes trickling down from on high and if it catches enough cyber wind then most of us tune in to it in some degree eventually.
So, these fellows in Virginia, they filed a lawsuit and people are starting to notice. Hell, as soon as they floated the thing the damn health club they are suing came out and changed their policy on family and blahblahblah.
Health club? Seriously? Defining family?
I could give a frog’s fart what their definition, or any health club’s definition of anything this side of hell is, except when it comes to a lot of the music they play, which, quite frankly, is among the worst known to mankind.
But, this isn’t even about just one club in Virginia, is it now? Some people will puff their chest and say,”Well, it’s their right to let in who they want.” But the truth is, no it’s not. I mean, it’s not really the right of a health club or their corporate owner or their board of directors or their CEO’s or their CEO’s chosen Gods to really be able to sit back in the nice leather chair in an office somewhere and say,”Son, we’ve seen the short shorts and the spandex and we’ve weathered the era of the two-way mirrors…Boy, those were the good old days, huh? But I’ll be a son-of-a-bitch if we are going to just stand around as gays get in the swimming pool!”
Because, that is exactly what it comes down to. They can wrap it up and dress it up in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence or whatever. They can find ways to jam it into the Gettysburg Address and squish it into the teensy gaps in the old mortar of The Bill Of Rights. Hell, people who want to believe that their money and their power gives them the rights to decide history are often the kind of people who will find a way to push and shove their own particular brand of hate around to the point where they can probably find some convoluted ways to take something as bittersweet and pure as Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech and make it fit their message; so it benefits their vision and dream of a narrow minded country run by dip-shits like them.
So, it’s good to see them get called out on things now and then. Everyday, people in America are still bashed hard for their race, their creed, their place of birth, and their sexuality.
And so when does that end?
We’ve made progress. But, not enough. It’s time to storm castles now, not fire an arrow from the woods here and there, across the years.
I’m tired of the old tired excuses for hate. I’m exhausted with the old guard who want to hold a great nation back for everyone in favor of a great nation for the chosen few. That’s not America, dude.
That’s North Korea.
And that shouldn’t be happening here.
Listen, I’m a straight American man, 40 years of age. I’m the son of an immigrant father and I’ve worked an honest hard working gig for over half my life. I’ve lived in cities and I’ve lived in the deep countryside and I’ve drank beer with the rightest of the right and the leftist of the left. And I’m the father of two beautiful young American children. And through it all, through all of my travels and experiences, the one thing that I know that I would want for them above everything else is just the simple peaceful inalienable right to be able to love who they want whenever they want; to marry whoever they want wherever they want; and to be able to be friends with the gay kids who work down at the Arby’s and love them because they are just cool kids and never have to worry about that being a problem for anyone, anywhere. Ever.
And if you don’t feel that way, that’s your right. But then, it’s my right to let you know that I truly truly believe, from the very bottom of my heart, that you should probably leave America forever. Because you don’t love it or what its stands for. What you love is standing around bitching about the way life moves forward at it’s own beautiful pace.
What you love is holding America back. And that just sucks. And in the end, you will lose. Mark my words. You. Will. Lose.
So, here is a link to help show your support for those dads in Virginia and, in turn, anyone anywhere who finds themselves, and their innocent fun-loving two year old kiddos, on the wrong end of discrimination, day after day after day.. If you are with me, then won’t you please go sign it and all the other ones that are coming down the pike, pushed along by the gargantuan glacier of unstoppable promise, and of a slowly approaching better tomorrow.
Image: http: www.cbc.ca
You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.
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