Yesterday was a busy day. I wanted to write about my visceral response to Ahmadinejad’s speech at Columbia University and the U.N. I wanted to comment on how it feels to be experiencing the supposed end of the Post WWII Era. Reading through various blogs and newspaper websites, I worked hard at rounding up plenty of weighty material to use in support of my own general theme which is ‘Blech!’ (said with a shoulder shiver and a long drawn out emphasis on the ch at the end of blech, you know, lots of phlem rattling…) I was in a serious frame of mind and wanted to add my voice to the blogosphere’s din of condemnation and overall horror and disgust.
But, as that famous optimist, Scarlett O’Hara was wont to say, “Tomorrow is another day!” So, when I woke up this morning I decided that instead of retyping portions of the factual evidence proving Ahmadinejad is danger to society of worrisome proportions and off his nut in general, I want to focus instead on what Iran is missing out on, specifically, GAYS.
No gay people, you say, little Mamoud? Too bad. I have been thinking all night about a world without gay people and I realize that here is just one more reason I wouldn’t want to live in Iran; a country, where, this phenomenon has not yet occurred. It made me reflect on all my own experiences with gay people, and I was struck by the sheer amount of pleasure my life would be lacking if they had never existed.
I met my husband while on a mock date with my dance partner from my summer stock days in Estes Park, Colorado, immediately following my graduation from college. My dance partner’s name was Scott. He was definitely gay. He was also the best dancer on the planet. You could say he was phenomenal dancer. I, however, was not such a good dancer. Luckily, you would have never known it if you had seem me dance with Scott. Oh my, the way he twirled me around to the strains of “Macarthur Park” (this was, after all, 1979 the disco era!) and Donna Summers’, “Last Dance!” I had never danced like that before or since!
Often, we went on ‘mock dates’ following our show each night. There was a nice little pub down the road from the lodge where we were performing six days a week and we spent nearly every late night there.
Once seated, we would have a few drinks, and discuss various good looking males sitting at the bar. To our delight, we found, we were attracted to the same type! Once we had reached the desired state of happiness, we would take to the dance floor. Each evening, when the dance contest was held, we would do all of our dance routines from the show; blow everyone away and win. We had an unfair advantage, but hey, we were young and carefree!
One night, my future husband happened into the pub and caught that evening’s dance contest. There we were, whirling and twirling. My husband asked me to dance and the rest is history; the ultimate result being the existence of our beautiful and smart daughter. Without Scott’s smooth ability to lead me around the dance floor, Dan and I would have never met. No, I hate to think of a world where the phenomenon of Scott never existed.
Years later, when I was taking voice lessons for fun, the director of the music academy I was attending for my lessons, popped his head in to the studio I was singing in and asked me if I would join his church choir. Feeling flattered I joined, naturally. I became a part of the brief Camelot that was Ivan’s (that was his name, Ivan) excellent church choir.
Ivan was so talented. He had a DM in organ performance, everyone raved about the phenomenal way he play Widor’s Toccata in D. Butt he also played the violin like an angel and was the best choral conductor I have ever had the privilege of performing under. Choir rehearsals were the highlight of my week. I couldn’t wait for Wednesday night. Not only did we work on challenging music (this is where I first sang Vivaldi’s Gloria, Faure’s Requiem and learned about John Rutter) but we had FUN. Ivan was witty and handsome and charming and … gay. We laughed our way through choir rehearsal, and I can guarantee most of us hated to see it end each Wednesday night.
When he announced to us that he was dying from AIDS, we wept and couldn’t rehearse, until he told us we were partially the reason he had survived as long as he had. The choir ultimately became part of the large group of care givers who tenderly ministered to him as he left this world. I was privileged to hold his hand and wipe his brow. I like to think he now plays 1st chair with the angels. A light went out in the world when Ivan died. There is a blank place to this day. Thank goodness God saw fit to lend us Ivan for awhile.
These are only two examples of what gay people mean in the world. I feel sorry for the country of Ahmadinejad. What a barren, joyless place it must be - lacking people like Scott and Ivan. Mr. Ahmadinejad is wicked for supposing these people can’t contribute to society. He is wicked to deny their existence. He is wicked to reduce them to the definition of mere phenomena.
Which brings me to this: Mr. Ahmadinejad is a dangerous, tiresome, pompous little stick figure of a man. Part of the reason I have always voted Republican is to keep meanies like Ahmadinejad far away, stuck in their rigid, barren, gayless, wacky world of flying 12th Imams. There is also the phenomenon of the single issue voter. I might be one of those single issue people... So be it.
Words to Live By
"...by desiring what is perfectly good, even when we don't quite know what it is and cannot do what we would, we are part of the divine power against evil - widening the skirts of light and making the struggle with darkness narrower."
Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot) Middlemarch
Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot) Middlemarch
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