Yep, I’m in that crazy, euphoric, shout-from-the-rooftop stage of love that has to annoy the hell out of everyone. My friends, family and co-workers are no doubt sick to death of hearing me gushing like a teenager about my freakin’ awesome boyfriend, but frankly I don’t give a crap. Stick a fork in me, I’m done with dating—this one is it! And if you read this blog about my dating antics, you’ll be rejoicing right along with me.
I love this feeling! I love it when he takes my hand as we walk through a casino or puts his arm around me as we’re leaving a restaurant. I love it when he gives me flirty glances for all the world to see.
But I wonder… What it would be like if I couldn’t talk about him, much less gush like I do, without the risk of offending my audience? What if he couldn’t take my hand in public? Or show any more affection than he would to a casual friend? What if we couldn't get married even if we really, really wanted to?
In other words, what would it be like to be gay?
Not since Bjork’s feathered fiasco in 2001 have I cried during an Academy Awards ceremony, but last Sunday night Dustin Lance Black moved me to tears. Black, in case you don’t know, wrote the screenplay for Milk, the story of Harvey Milk, California’s first openly gay elected official, who was murdered in 1978. When I heard his acceptance speech for Best Original Screenplay, I paused my DVR and grabbed my laptop to capture his poignant words.
“When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas, to California. I heard the story of Harvey Milk and it gave me hope. It gave me the hope that one day I could live my life openly as who I am and maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married.Yes, very soon.
“I want to thank my mom, who always loved me for who I am even when there was pressure not to. If Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who’ve been told that they are less than my their churches or by the government or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon—I promise you—you will have equal rights federally across this great nation of ours.”