Remembrance with a wince
This week’s disappointing outcome in my home state of North Carolina, which chose hate over love and not only reaffirmed an already existing ban on gay marriage but also took away the domestic violence protections and partnership rights of all unmarried couples, followed by Vice President Joe (VP Joe! my buddy in foot-in-mouthery) and President Obama’s warm statements in favor of loving the loving peoples, reminded me of a thing that makes me cringe.
Several many years ago, an online friend of ours, known as Little Brian because he was younger and slightly shorter than Other Brian, came to spend the night with us while on a road trip. We had a dinner party, and LB and I hit it off in person even more strongly than we had online. He was a deeply lovely young man, enthusiastic and interested in whatever came his way. Friendly, easy, and a great cook. Later on, he sent me a small jar of taxidermy eyes, which I’ve already intended to turn into creepy earrings but haven’t because you know, it would take about 30 seconds per pair, and **who has that kind of time**???
A few months later, Brian was in a car wreck that he was really lucky to survive. He called me – and said to me that I was one of the first people he called – to tell me that what he realized about himself as he watched his survival flash past him was that he was gay.
My response was, “Oh! Okay.” And then to go on and ask more questions about the accident, because I was way more concerned about his survival.
I only heard from him once after that, and it took me a long time to realize that my response to his coming out probably was the cause of that. That my not being bothered about his sexual orientation had the same effect as not honoring it.
To Little Brian: I am sorry I let you down, my friend. I hope your life since then has had many joys.