BW_grnch

On occasion {read: every other hour} I surf unknown posts via the “because you liked” algorithm that my INSTA feed provides. Earlier today my research based on non-stop swipes lead me to this conclusion: I hate young, 20-something gays with perfect tousle-haired boyfriends. Or Husbands.

diamdsYes. I know. Please add my name to the legions of tired, bitter old queens with better jewelry because we can afford it. And I suppose “hate” in this context is far too scathing and unmerited. Maybe acid green ‘jealous’ is a better, truer word.

Mother said “Life is not supposed to be fair; you get what you get.” Which in my early thirties made no sense when I shared at a family gathering that I’d been passed over for a promotion that afforded a pay increase. I should have known better to root around for empathy from a narcissistic parent but daresay I was much more open to hope and dreams that my nuclear family would– one day, act like a family. But I digress.

When I INSTA viewed a young gay couple holding hands pulling their wagon filled with a bound Christmas tree with the caption “Corbin’s first Christmas tree at our new apartment” I wanted to vomit. Okay. Okay. Again with the too harsh criticism and judgement. If I were to vaporize into their Kodak moment I would ask them how many goddamn HRC chicken dinner galas and AIDS candlelight marches they’ve engaged for the privilege and right to haul ass through mid-town holding hands in broad daylight spat from the pages of L.L.Bean.

wagonWhen I moved in with my boyfriend 35+ years ago it was indeed a different world. We were first and foremost ‘roommates.’ A term I emphatically voiced to tell my parents that I was moving into a new apartment with a– gasp, man! I was madly, deeply in love; you see– frankly, I would have moved into a cardboard box with him but my young, first love is not what this missive is about.

No. We had everything working against our success as a gay couple. Society. Workplace. Family. We maintained two separate phone lines; when I phoned home I shut the bedroom door for fear that my then partner might make some human noise like a mere sneeze or yell an ill-timed question like “…did you fold the towels?” which would implicate me living in sin. With a man.

In the workplace, at the peak of my career, I placed a 10-second delay on my Monday morning responses to “What’d you do this weekend?” Those inquiring questions were always met with “I did this…” or “I did that…”   Single; never ‘we.’  Because “we” in the eyes of the mass, general public did not exist. In a nutshell: we were the sick and depraved homosexuals who spread disease while preying on young boys; some of us committed suicide for having our dirty secret life of shame exposed. One doesn’t have to dig too far back during the early Reagan era to learn I stand correct on this line of encapsulated thought.

BW_REAGN

There was no bridal registry for us. There was very little support. Ever. We burrowed into our circle of gay friends– that extended family of choice, to share our joys and sorrows as a partnered couple. And that well spring was a sustaining fresh font of kindred spirits either partnered or looking for Mr. Right. That tribe split up with the demise of my relationship. And their absence in my life today is no one’s fault or even surprising. It’s like carny work; as long as the circus is in town, they have a job.

sadparrotWell. This reads all rather sad as fuck. I don’t know if there is a point of view contained in this mish mash or not. I suppose no generation ever truly understands the sacrifices or thanks the prior generations for making their path in the world somewhat easier. I can’t say I’ve ever thanked a WWII vet for stopping the Nazis from taking over the world so I could enjoy consumerism by shopping Neimans in our modern day democracy.  And to the young, 20-something gays, well — my apologies for a green-eyed monster perspective; you just keep the fires burning for the next generation. Don’t coast on today’s rights; while our President seeks to close borders his larger initiative is to close minds. If I live long enough maybe I’ll see a gay President and ‘first husband’ at 1600 Pennsylvania. Now wouldn’t that be a lavender kick in my light loafers?

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