Several hours after it happened, I was at a gay club, the only one in town. A drag queen sauntered up to the bar and kissed me on the cheek.
I had partied all day and was tired. There had been a celebration rally that afternoon, a dance party after that, and now, after the hugs and tears, I was drinking a whiskey-soda and staring at the dark, deserted dance floor. A lonely disco ball hung from the ceiling.
Dramas, documentaries, and memoirs will come later. For now, I want to look back on this day, fresh in my memory, as a human day. One I really lived. The day the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage across the country.
What scares me is that so many people didn’t see it as a victory. The Supreme Court’s decision was close: 5 to 4. Which means that many people fought hard to keep same-sex couples across America from having the same freedoms they themselves enjoy.
I’m still amazed that people are selfish enough to deny and discredit the relationships of others, but we’ve seen this behavior before. From the same horrible states crawled the same horrible people that fought against the rights of Black Americans fifty years ago.
With the Religious Right against us, let’s be clear what Friday was. It was a victory for our side of the culture war, and there will be a backlash. From this point, the two sides will be even more polarized as the Right moves ever further away from reality, from youth, from the media, and from education.
I want them to be outsiders looking in. I dream of a country in which the faithful and the conservative, knocked from their pedestals, suddenly know what the fringe feels like. I want them to be outliers in a country that has left them behind. I want to grind them into the trash of history with a glittered stiletto heel.
They’re due some disenfranchisement. LGBT Rights has been an uphill battle of Queers versus Christians, with the social and political climate overwhelmingly in their favor. It has been like this for decades. I’m ready to have the upper hand.
After Friday’s victory, they will scramble to mount a counter-attack in the form of RFRA bills, which we’ll undoubtedly see as the new rallying cry for GOP hopefuls and our next social battleground. But that’s another story, and another blog post, and we’ll face them when they come. “Religious freedom” bills are nothing to shake a stick at, and if you don’t think church-goers feel wounded, think again.
Sitting at the bar, I was browsing my Facebook feed when she came up and kissed me. We started talking about the longstanding tradition of giving blowjobs in the bathroom.
“I’m still surprised there’s not a dirty backroom here,” I said.
“Babe, there was, once up on a time.”
She panned a jeweled finger across the empty dance floor to the far wall and traced a line back to the bathroom behind us. “This entrance to the bathroom is new. Years ago, back when I first starting coming here, you went into a door on that side of the room, and you took this long, dark hallway all the way around to the bathrooms here. Down that hallway was one red light bulb hanging from the ceiling. Use your imagination.”
The club, I learned, was redesigned in its attempts to become more community-friendly.
This club isn’t the only one. Powerhouse in San Francisco converted its backroom to a “smoking lounge” and installed painfully bright lights on the ceiling sometime after Folsom last year. They now have a sign up saying all sexual acts on the premises are prohibited.
Backrooms used to be common features of the gay club. But as more people come out, the need for illicit, anonymous hookup space diminishes. In 2015, guys fuck at home, and now they can marry in all fifty states. It is remarkable how times change.
Part of me is tempted to lament some of the change, to mourn the past. Part of me wants to glamorize gay life before me, and paint over its ugly parts.
Part of me wants to return, but I can’t. I dare not wish that. Because what I overlook is the suffering; the denial of AIDS from politicians and the fear of having both law and culture bent against you.
Culture is bent with us now. Not completely, and swingbacks will happen. But for the most part, we won culture’s opinion. Smarter people will say how that happened, what we did right. Smarter people will say what we still need to do. But for now, I want to feel strong. I want to thank the celebrities and filmmakers and artists and activists that pushed for LGBT representation on TV and in film.
I want to thank people like Ellen DeGeneres. I want to thank Barack Obama for listening to us. I want to treasure this moment. It will go away someday, and when I’m waging future battles, I want to remember what this felt like.
Christians and conservatives, if you’re reading this, I want you to know how my day ended. I went to bed with a guy I love. His body is soft and strong and hard and brown. When I put my calves on his shoulders and felt his cock slide in me, I pulled him close and kissed him. We’ve mastered this trick of cumming at the same time, locked in sync. I kissed him all night. We moved together, undivided, with liberty and justice for all.