So many friendly folks at the NGLTF conference and so many serendipitous meetings. I was feeling a bit weepy this morning and regretful that it was time to leave the energy of the conference when I met a fellow attendee at the elevator. We agreed that we enjoyed our time here and he stated that he felt good about going home because he "accomplished what he came here to do."
What an apt statement. I honestly wasn't sure what I came here to do except to get a sense for this conference and to hopefully learn more about how the issues facing the LGBT community are experienced across the country. (So much for my other goal of finding warmer weather...Dallas was barely warmer than Iowa.) I feel like I accomplished this goal, but that I also gained a sense of inspiration.
I'm not sure what's next for me in this world in almost all respects, and I'm beginning to make a radical peace with that. Before certain people panic (Sweetie), I do know that: I want to marry Melanie and create a life together. (And I've NEVER known that I wanted to do that before.) I know that I love my mom and my boys (the 2 four-leggers she grandma-sits for me). I know that I love my friends so dearly and that I want to make sure that they all know that. I know that I love the rest of my family and Melanie's family.
But, beyond that I'm pretty clueless (as many of you can attest when observing me making AND then remaking the same simple decision for hours on end...really...I wish this were hyperbole...truly "choice" is a luxury and a curse [just read Elizabeth Gilbert's "Committed" for a good diatribe about that]). I do know that the marriage equality (and employment non-discrimination, etc.) movement is of tremendous importance to me. I know that I need to pursue greater involvement in these movements because doing so energizes me and allows me to channel my frustrations about the lack of equal rights and protections for the LGBT community. And I know that, as much as I often feel greatly misplaced in Iowa, I do feel grateful for the space that "marriage" has carved out for us there. I feel badly for my fellow conference attendees who movingly express that "all they want is a space for their families" and "a sense that they are not second class citizens." I want that for all of you, too. Love to you all, B