It continues to confound me, the idea that being gay or transgendered or bisexual or just different, is something the greater society still persecutes people for. It continues to astound me how far we still have yet to go. I've gone to Provincetown a few times in my life. It is a fun time, and I really enjoy it. I particularly like the gay man who runs the hat shop there, who said, "Oh, honey, it's a little late, don't you think?" when I told him I was buying a hat to shade myself from the sun while sporting a wicked burn. I love walking down the street and seeing, actually seeing, people of all walks of life being profoundly comfortable with who they are. Couples, feeding each other in restaurants, who couldn't do that in other places because they are both guys (or girls). And I love it there; the shops are great, the whale watch (where I got my infamous sunburn) is great, and the whole vibe of the place is laid back and freer. I hate the idea that it is somehow magnanimous to proclaim that a person can be gay (I'm sure they're glad you grudgingly acquiesce to their existence), but that they shouldn't "be gay" in public. That it is somehow a horrible, scarring thing to see two people exchange nothing more than a peck on a city streets, or in movies, or in television. We're getting farther than we have been in the past. Homosexuals can now marry in Massachusetts and California, and I'm so glad that Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were able to wed before Del passed away earlier this week, after being together for 55 years and campaigning even longer for LGBT rights. I may think the ritual of marriage is antiquated and slightly ridiculous, but I want that ridiculous ceremony to be open to everyone who wishes to take part in it. And I can't believe that it isn't yet.
And I firmly believe the worst, most craven thing the Clinton administration did during their 8 years in office was to capitulate, however slightly, on the issue of gays in the military with that horrible "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Worse than Whitewater, and more prevalent than Monicagate (and how I loathe sticking "gate" onto any political crisis! It was called Watergate, people, because it happened at the Watergate hotel complex). The idea that gays could so hurt morale that it would endanger the United States troops is the argument once used for keeping the troops segregated. As we've seen, the integration of the troops didn't bring the military complex to its knees. So, Milo Ventimiglia gets it; we just have to wait until more people -especially in government- catch up.