The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Freeheld

I can count on one hand the times that an Oscar win caused me to jump up and down in the middle of my living room, out of excitement. And there are even fewer that have brought a tear to my eye. Tonight was one of them, when Freeheld won for Best Documentary Short Subject. (I only hope the reason the server was down when I wrote this is because so many people were visiting it as a result of the Oscar win.

When I first read the story of Laurel Hester, and her dual battles against cancer and discrimination, I blogged it, and blogged it, and blogged it, because I wanted to do whatever I could to make sure her story was told. So did so many others. I only hope this win will mean that more people will hear this story, and more people will ask themselves whether stories like this one ought to happen. And if the answer is no, I hope they ask themselves what they’re going to do about it.

Maybe it’s the late hour, and maybe it’s the sleep deprivation talking, but in some way, tonight feels like win for all of us; a small victory. (The producer of No Country For Old Men thanking his partner was the icing on the cake.)

Sure, Michael Savage and the rest of the haters will almost certainly spew their usual bile over the fact that we exist—that we live, love, dare to do so publicly, and have the simple audacity to say “thank you” to the people who love and support us—just as they always do.

But tonight I will hold on to a little hope. After writing this, I will pick up Dylan—who generally hang out with me, the night owl parent, until I turn in—give him a kiss and put him to bed. I’ll tiptoe into Parker’s room and give him a kiss on the forehead. Then I’ll turn in myself, and curl up next to the hubby.

And before I go to sleep, I’ll allow myself the luxury of hope. I’ll let myself hope that maybe tonight, tomorrow, and the next day, that the world progresses a little closer to the time when movies like Freeheld won’t be made because stories like Laurel Hester’s and so many others won’t happen. I’ll let myself hope that the world is progressing towards a time when my grandchildren will bewildered that stories like Laurel Hester’s happened, let alone that anyone would make movies about them, just as I was bewildered by the stories of past discrimination I heard growing up Black in the south.

And in the morning, I’ll allow myself to hope that I won’t have to look back and find that I was just dreaming.

One Comment

  1. Thanks so much for this. I just checked to see if it is showing at the London Gay and Lesbian film festival [http://www.bfi.org.uk/llgff/filmsearch]. Having survived a pretty horrific cancer in 2000/2001 with my partner I can truly related to her pain of cancer but fortunately for me and my partner I survived. This is a powerful powerful film about the discrimination and inequality we all face in the LGBTI community.

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