Thursday, July 16, 2015

Liberation Day, San Francisco Pride 2015, the 1960s fully realized

I started writing this on June 26, 2015 – LOVE WINS DAY! Photos are from San Francisco Pride. What a weekend!!!
Friday on Castro, after Supreme Court announcement
Shut that street DOWN!
Last week was one of the great weeks of my life, even within the grief. Things happened that I never thought would happen.
In classes I taught over the years there would be discussions of “socialized medicine” as a concept, but not as something anyone thought would happen in the U.S. Nobody I ever knew gave a rat’s ass about “socialized” – we just wanted everyone to have access to decent healthcare. And some of us dedicated our lives to providing as much healthcare as we could to as many underserved people as possible, but it was a long, uphill effort. Now, after more than 50 attempts by conservative lawmakers to destroy the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), it’s a reality.
Keeping the peace
Early Friday morning (June 26, 2015 – mark that date!) I got a text from my son: “Marriage Equality is a reality!” Here is what the Court said:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
Love wins! And Gay Liberation rolls on like a mighty river.
Delores Park - the Dyke March
AND, I had the great good fortune to be in San Francisco on Pride weekend! Beautiful – as I type at this moment there are rainbows on my keyboard (from crystal hanging in the window). I danced with more than a million people! Literally!
Though not as personally important to me as the previous…
Then there was SC decision about fair housing – disparate impact, i.e., if housing policies result in discrimination, even if discrimination is unintended, it’s discrimination (depend on me for your legal information).
The Supreme Court also stopped Texas’ war on women by blocking the state’s laws blocking access to abortion clinics (depend on me for clarity in writing).
The Supreme Court threw a monkey wrench into the awful gerrymandering that is a crippling part of politics as usual in the U.S.
Oil wrestling in Delores Park at the Dyke March
It’s as if this week is a capstone to what started in the 1960s. Though much is undone or needs more work, still, look at what we did!
  • Equality in Marriage comes 51 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • We stopped the Vietnam War (or as the Vietnamese call it, the American War).
  • We brought the consciousness revolution to the world and despite millions of incarcerations and trillions of dollars spent to stop it and lies without end, it’s alive and very well.
    Cops, keeping the peace
  • WE brought dying and death out of the closet. WE made hospice a reality.
  • Sexual revolution? We’ll take the credit for that, too (with all its side effects).
  • Environmental awareness? That was seriously fringe in the 60s and into the 70s. We are a bunch of unrepentant tree-huggers (Talk about a lot more work needed, though!).
  • And then there’s rock & roll! From the moon-June-spoon pap peddled by record companies to Bob Dylan singing, “Equality,” I spoke the word as if a wedding vow.
  • Free speech – this is a family-oriented journal so I won’t include the photo of me sitting on the steps of Sproul Hall at UC Berkeley (where the Free Speech movement was born), shooting the finger to whomever (think Ted Cruz, Jeb Hensarling, Franklin Graham, all those people).
And much, much more.
At the main stage - what a party!
(Representing Atrium Obscurum)

Equality, I spoke the word as if a wedding vow.

Monday, July 13, 2015


I try to limit my visits for a pecan roll and
coffee to twice/week
I started writing this on the day marking four months since my beautiful Leslie passed away. Oh, honey, I miss you, I am so sorry. Thank you for our life together.
Last night Charles B took a photo of David and me. Looking at the photo it was the first time I realized that my son is now bigger than I am. Life goes on.
I was thinking yesterday how much I miss lying in bed with you, holding hands or touching one another, sometimes talking, sometimes not. In love.
10/26/2012. We were both sick (GI – nevermind the details) and Leslie was much sicker than I. After a few days we were able to get out of bed to somewhere other than the bathroom… after we could move around there were many hours that we still lay in bed together, one or the other dozing, awake, not talking, holding hands, and even though neither of us felt well, it was a sweet time, together.
The Redwood Lily in Arcata 
Sometimes at night, when you’re asleep I whisper things to you, like, “Leslie, I adore you… My beautiful Leslie… Forever and ever... I love you…” Adore - a perfect word for all of this. Subsonic love-making.
These are the days.
The 6/21/15 NYT Book Review had a review of The Odd Woman and the City (a memoir) by Vivian Gornick. It was as if the reviewer was describing me and my walks and bus/train rides through San Francisco. Samuel Johnson wrote in the 1740s, "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life." One can substitute San Francisco for London, of course. Sometimes I’m part of what I see, but mostly I just enjoy and appreciate it. It helps. I got the book. 
The day before I read the review, I sent this to my friend, Joy Blacklagoon: I was thinking today that one of the things I do – that makes me happy – is just walking around or sitting or whatever and just digging people. Babies, especially. I was on the train today and there were two people sitting there, one with her head on the other’s shoulder and it was really sweet and I was so happy to be there next to them. Haha! They had no idea what I was thinking. I hope you have a day full of love.
My little cubby in the Redwood Lily
Here is poignancy for you: My front window overlooks the sidewalk. There are trees up and down the street and there is a planter around the one closest to me and right now there is a homeless transgender person sitting on the planter, carefully putting on makeup, nothing spectacular, I think she just wants to look good, her little dog curled up beside her on a coat or something.

Psytrance party in the woods, 7/2015
put on by Follow Your Bliss
I think it would be edifying, interesting, humbling, all kinds of things if everyone would exchange life histories with one another, something like each person taking 30 minutes or however long to say, here is my history, struggles, good things, things going on now, dreams, and so on. Not only would we learn about one another, but we might also learn about ourselves as we tell and retell our story.

Someone said today that I'm really lucky. I know it's true.