By Dawn Wolfe
As a journalist for BTL and, back in the day, the first Director of Communications for the former Triangle Foundation, I’ve witnessed a lot of the heartache and tragedy caused by what can only be called stubborn and persistent stupidity.
I’ve interviewed hate crime victims. Reported on people losing their homes when anti-LGBT “in-laws” swept in after the death of a long-time, beloved partner. I was with BTL when, in 2004, the anti-LGBT industry outright lied to change our state’s constitution to enshrine every possible discrimination against Michigan’s same-sex couples.
Even when the news is great – like the recent national tidal wave turn in favor of LGBT equality – it’s hard not to also remember that these rights, these equal rights, are our due as American citizens. Not something we should have had to fight for, but something that is ours by everything but law.
So how can I describe last Sunday’s Same-Sex Wedding Expo except to say it was like a breath of fresh air in the midst of a field full of bull-?
Outside the walls of the Detroit Marriott Livonia there are still people who believe – or claim to believe – that LGBT people are second-hand human beings. But inside those walls… couples openly held hands, hugged, kissed, and strolled casually from one vendor to another eager to help make their special day magical. Mutual respect wasn’t a surprise, it was assumed from the moment each of us walked in the door.
When the music came on, we danced – I danced, in public even! – with easygoing joy.
We danced because the tidal wave of history is definitely on our side, and we are riding the wave. We danced because we know, no matter what stupidity comes from the mouths of the Agemas and Glenns and Phelpses of the world, the light bulb of understanding is finally, really, going on over the heads of our fellow Americans.
We also danced because, when it comes right down to it, no one rocks a dance floor like family. And while we of the LGBT communities may have our differences, and while we may still be climbing uphill in our struggle for equal rights, for three hours on Sunday April 7 that’s all we were. One big, very happy, family.