So it's six days into Pride month.
And I'm angry. I'm angry at the fact that, try as I might, I just can't seem to let go. I saw a post on social media this morning from a fellow proudly displaying the rainbow flag and loudly sounding off about his 'allyship' with the LGBTQ+ community. Nice, right? Appropriate sentiment, right? On our side, hoo rah!
But you see I knew him when. I knew him when he was comfortable with his heterosexual superiority. He proudly spouted about how two men couldn't actually love one another. He waxed poetic about being in love with his wife and told story after story about their fabled life. I always left any meeting with him like I'd walked through the sludge of trite, overblown, sentiment.
And said nothing.
Because as brainless and typical as he was, he had power. He had used that power. He had reported people, perfectly fine people, to their bosses and demanded their firing. I don't know how many notches he had in his toolbelt but there were many.
And along comes the wind of change
And he is determined to let his pride flag flap in the breeze.
Now he's a supporter.
Nowhere is there apology. Nowhere is there an acknowledgment that he was our enemy before he became our friend.
I wonder what is asked of me.
I can't muster it. I can muster anger though. Joe and I were a couple when it was still illegal to be gay in Canada. Our first acts of love were as criminals. When we sought out those of our kind, we went to clubs where it was never a certainty that you would make it home alive.
There is a picture of the two of us from our early university years. We stand beside each other. No touch, we looked like cousins forced to take a picture together. We were afraid of pictures. We were afraid of evidence. We were afraid to draw breath too loudly. We were afraid that we took up too much space. We were afraid, so we locked the world out and lived in sanctuary.
This happens to me every year at pride. I remember too much. I remember too clearly. I grieve for our lost life, for our inability to face down fear, then, and inability to forgive, now.
I'm sorry I can't.