We Won

It took 46 years but the water and wind wore away the rock.

I came out to my friends in January of 1969, almost 7 years after I first came out to my parents.

It was a busy spring. I started hormones, fought in the battle for People’s Park in Berkeley, went full time.

Across the bay in SF gay men were picketing a cruise ship line demanding non-discrimination in employment.  Even then there were gay and lesbian people agitating for the right to marry.

All before Stonewall.

Two years after Stonewall I went to a demonstration in Sacramento demanding Marriage Equality.

Now I am old.

So many people I knew then, hippies, lefties, LGBT people are dead and gone.

I wish they were here for this day.

As for me…

This fall Tina and I will formally get married.

We have been together for years.  We have grown old together.

We have a little house, we love and care fore each other.  Let the young fight the fights we shall tend our own garden.

The most important lesson I learned over those many years was to live as though our rights were a given even if they were never formally recognized.

I learned to ask why when told I couldn’t live freely and as though I had the same rights as anyone else and to defend myself when someone tried to take away my rights.

3 Responses to “We Won”

  1. Karen Says:

    “Let the young fight the fights we shall tend our own garden”

    it seems you have mellowed a lot since I first ran into you on-line about 20 years ago… 20 Years! Hard to believe has been so long!

    I remember when you gave me a hard time for staying married… and in the long run it all became a wash as now the whole issue has gone away. (BTW I am still married to the same person)

    Most of those I knew on-line from back then have disappeared from on-line – or maybe I just don’t go to the right places anymore… but then again I don’t go looking for new ones…. Speaking of old places.. I see you shut down the mailing list. I replied to the last email sent, saying I was still around but it the message I got back was that the list did not exist.

    I do wonder how others have made out an dhow their lives are going… while I never met most in person it was a imd in my life a lot was happening and I would like to know how others made out.

    I’m getting old too. I turn 60 this year … and I always thought that number made one officially old… but with age comes perspective… So much of the arguing etc back in the days seems so pointless now

    Anyway congratulations to you and Tina

    Take Care
    – Karen

    • Suzan Says:

      Twenty years ago it seemed like the same sex marriage a few sisters were able to have was privilege not a right. I let up on the matter as soon as marriage equality became a reality in Mass., the first state to grant it because it had become a right not a privilege. At that point it became a matter of extending rights.

      My politics aren’t convenient and of an ideological solid. I don’t like group think right or left. I hate identity politics and all the jargon of today’s activism.

      Tina and I have a small home, a small business and things we love doing. Marching isn’t one of those things.

      Today’s we no longer get real news, we have pundits trying to persuade us to take a position on every issue, divided along ideological lines.

      Tina and I will be officially married this fall in an non-ceremony with an old friend as witness. No expensive gowns or parties, just a simple civil contract.

      Over the twenty years you have known me I have gotten sober, although I would consider legal pot a blessing for pain management of sore joints. Now if I do drugs of any sort it is to cope with physical pain from my back usually or knees occasionally. I’ll be 68 in a little over a week.

      We have a good friend from Sweden who visits every summer. I’m back in touch with my brother and his new wife.

      Max Valerio said today: “And, “trans” can be seen as something you have done, a process you went through medically, socially, legally and not an identity that you “are”. There are more important things for people to have in common with each other though certainly this process is important but — life goes on. I think you get the drift.”

      The time comes to have a life and let new people take over activism. Better than making a career out of a cause.

  2. tinagrrl Says:

    Karen, it’s good to hear from you. Suzy is not the only one who has mellowed. You have also. I turned 76 this year — that’s old — and still chugging along. I have no idea what has happened to anyone but Suzy (and me), and feel they would tell us if they were interested, or thought we were.

    Most of the online groups seem to die off after folks realize being a post-op, or trans, is not enough to sustain a friendship beyond the first few years. I actually look back fondly to the years of the e-list — so many different people, so many who bolted to form their own groups when they discovered we did not agree with everything they said or believed. There was growth and ferment — and the ability to break away from the never-ending fight over T-this and T-that, over who (or what) is “genuine”, over every-damn-thing you can imagine.

    I sometimes wonder who was “real”, and who was playing a game. It really doesn’t matter, does it? With time and a little luck we all grow and change.

    Hope you are well, and all is going well. Our lives have changed. Smaller, less active — and yet we still move along together. That’s the best part.

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