Monday, November 17, 2008

Awakening the Beast

If you've been paying any attention at all in the last few weeks, you've noticed the new energy in the air. Activism seems to be alive and well. I'm loving it!

It's like somebody poked the big gay beast. And they poked him at the perfect time, a time when people are finally starting to feel some hope. The fire is lit and it isn't going out anytime soon.

I've never felt like I could make a difference in any large way. I could only take solace that a lifetime of small but deliberate acts would add up.

I can teach my kids about respect, empathy and equality. I can write the occasional letter to an editor. I can put forth my name and face as a person who loves gay people and strongly believes in their right to be recognized as fully human and fully American.

Now in my small corner of the world, my fire has been fanned. My own inner beast has been poked.

I'm pissed.

We're part of an association that owns and manages the little beach at the end of our street on Cape Cod. The executive committee has put forth an amendment to the group's bylaws for our consideration. It contains a bunch of rules about the renting of our homes. Homes that we own.

I was perturbed enough about the fact that this association was trying to tell me what we could and could not do with a home that we own and that is not a part of a restrictive home owners association. But one of the last proposed rules sent me over the edge.

"Families only."

They might as well have just written, "No gays or single people allowed."

Fuck that shit. If I want to rent my home to my best gay bud for a summer, I will do it. If I want to rent my home to our school-teaching lesbian neighbors for a summer away, I will do it.

Who are these people to define family anyway?

It might be plausible to think that the association is only trying to keep hordes of frat boys off of their beach, but I know better. I've had gay friends spend the summer. I've had gay friends visit. And it pissed these people off.

We are expected to write back to the executive committee to tell them how we feel. Man, are they going to get an earful from me. I'm also going to investigate the legality of such a clause and any legal recourse we might have.

I'm glad to say that my husband is on board with me. But he might not be as willing as I to take drastic measures.

I'll sell that house below value to any gay couple/person willing to buy it just out of spite. The area has become popular with lesbians.

Worse yet, I am willing to sell out. Our extended family owns the property on one entire side of that little neighborhood. There are only two houses there now. But with the property all combined, there could be a whole new development. One of my husband's relatives has been trying to trick us into rezoning our land for years. He'd be more than happy to put in a trailer park.

I love my house on the Cape. But I don't love spending my summer among bigots. I will be there in July at the next board meeting. My husband's beloved grandmother was the heart and soul of that community before she died. She must be rolling in her grave to know what they are trying to do now.

How can I be so sure? She raised her grandson, my husband to be the most honorable of men.

They might not have pissed off a bitchy queen, but they did the next best thing. They pissed of a bitchy queen's best friend. They will regret it.

Are you gay, lesbian, childless or single? Than you're invited to my place next summer. Let's paint the barn like a giant rainbow flag. We'll see what rules they come up with then.

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