This is a link to a blog post I penned for my friends at Flat Earth Theatre, who asked me to write about a memory from my childhood, around gender identity and sexuality.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. They’re better at crunching numbers than me. I’d rather write and eat chocolate. I’m grateful for all the visits and I look forward to writing darn cool stuff in 2015. And on we go….love wins.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 640 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 11 trips to carry that many people.
On October 16, it will be my 10th wedding anniversary. This is remarkable. For reasons that are outside the realm of words. So I’m certain I will fail in capturing what my heart holds. But damn, I’m going to try. Love. Four letters lined up next to one another, that breathe profound feelings in all of us, in so many ways, elevating so many moments into such realness.
I love Meg. My spouse of ten years, my partner for much longer. We are couple #147. Meaning, when Cambridge City Hall opened its doors at midnight on May 17, 2004 to same sex couples, we were the 147th couple invited inside to apply for our marriage license. Boom. History. Made. Amongst the thousands of cheering, applauding, joyous people outside City Hall that night, pushing the celebration up to the stars, we floated, knowing, feeling, without any hesitation, that our love, our commitment to one another, was now, seen as equal.
The little queer kid in me, who for years, created a strategy of survival, by keeping everything hidden, secret, buried…was now leaping about inside me, tears of elated surprise flowing freely. The way I’ve always understood love, attraction, desire, romance, was no longer forbidden, dirty, wrong, deviant. It was right. And it was happening, so loud, lit up and beautiful to witness, in the city in which I lived.
Ten years have passed since couple #147 poured out of the City Hall doors into the electric night. So much has happened. Just this week, courts are overturning discrimination. State after state after state. Love wins. Every time. Sometimes it takes a while. Sometimes we have to push, wait, push again. But love wins.
On October 16th, I plan to pause, with Meg’s hand in mine, and look up at the stars, like I did ten years ago. Grateful for all that happened then, all that has happened since, and all the progress that will happen, as long as we remember, love. Always. Love.
Here’s the thing. Cancer sucks. But a lot of good can come out of it. This week, I attended the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s annual conference. In Las Vegas. No, that’s not the good stuff yet. Maybe for you, but for me, not so much.
For some, just mentioning the idea of attending a cancer conference of any kind, might illicit sighs, groans, thoughts of running full tilt in the opposite direction. Jumps for joy, probably not in the minds of most.
But for me, being surrounded by other humans who are also doing the dance with ovarian cancer, was nothing shy of a full tank of fierce. Many women I met have been doing the dance for many years, facing several recurrences, chemo being an ongoing onslaught. I am in awe of not just their strength, but there ability to choose to live the happy, not the disease. That they bubble up to share all the funny stories that are amongst the dark moments of pain and fear. Their absolute ownership of living each day on their own terms. Their resolute unified will washed over me and I am still swimming in their outright refusal to give in.
I am not going to say that cancer was the best thing to happen to me, because I’m not living in a Hallmark movie. Cancer took a lot from me that I will never get back. But like the women I spent these past few days with, I absolutely know from the core of who I am, that it has given me an understanding of myself, of my emotional and physical strength, and the power to choose the happy in the moments I am given, because damn it, I get to. I don’t forget that for a second.
I am choosing to forge ahead, with each moment, each day, with love and laughter on my sleeve. And with all the voices of all the survivors who surrounded me, echoing in every chamber of my chemo brain.
Yesterday, I ran a marathon.
To honor the life and humanity of my friend TC.
To celebrate the friendship I have with my friend Gillian and the love she and TC shared.
To be a part of a community that had the phenomenal fortune of knowing him and the desire to do something positive to heal after his loss.
To heal my own history with cancer by doing something so physically challenging.
But I ran a marathon mostly because of love.
I try to have love be what defines my life.
Some days I do better than others.
Some days I allow stupid annoyances to reign.
Some days I rise above the crap that can take over if I allow it.
But Yesterday, it was all about love.
The last three miles, the proof was the tears that ran down my sweaty salty face.
The post finish embraces with teammates, with Gillian, with Meg.
It was real. It was our pure humanity. And my hope is that all the experiences yesterday will guide me to wake up each day being led by love.
And being so grateful, that even though there is nothing right about TC’s death, that his journey brought us here. Together. With love. And we will never be the same. We will be more.