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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Be The Change

I don't blog much.  Hardly ever, actually.  But something amazing happened last night and I want to shout it from the highest mountaintops.

Yesterday was the third anniversary of Tom Bridegroom's death.  His partner, Shane Bitney Crone asked that, in Tom's memory, we have a Bridegroom viewing party.  While that sounds like an awesome idea, in real life, I'm relatively certain, no one would show up.  Most of my family and real life friends say they are open-minded about LGBT issues, but, and I quote, "(I'm) tired of having it shoved down (my) throat".  So, yeah, a Bridegroom viewing party at my house would be an epic fail.  So, I decided, if nothing else, in honor of Tom's memory and Shane's commitment, I would at least find time to watch it by myself.

Early in the morning, my hubby was having computer issues.  He has a PC running Vista.  I've retained enough geek that I was able to spend a few hours and get it fixed and cleaned up and running really smoothly.  He was tickled and told me he'd treat me to a nice dinner.  Now, I've been a wife a long time.  I know an opportunity when I see one.  I told him that's not what I wanted.  I wanted him to watch a movie with me and promise to keep an open mind.  That's all.

A little background on my husband here.  He's eighteen years older than me.  That's never really been an issue because I'm kind of an old soul and he acts much younger than his biological age.  He still sees himself as cool in a kind of James Dean way.  So, on most things, we meet in the middle and it works.  The only issues we have are when it comes to music and social issues.  He is very old school when it comes to LGBT especially.  Whenever two men or women kiss on a TV show, I can expect to hear spitting noises coming from his side of the room.  "Sick!  That's disgusting!  Why do they have to put that on TV?"  Needless to say, he's been befuddled and sometimes angry about my writing M/M and posts he sees on my Facebook page.  I wouldn't go as far as to say he's homophobic, because he's not "afraid" of gay people and he would never hurt anyone, but other than that, he is "that guy".  The one who will never change his mind about this.  Ever.  Oh ... yeah, he grew up Catholic - went to a Catholic school, so add that into the mix and you pretty much can imagine the extent of his bigotry.

It took me awhile to even find the movie.  I don't have Netflix.  I drove all over town, searching every video story and Redbox before finally locating a copy at the local library.  I came home happy.  The hubby?  Notsomuch.  He fussed and whined a bit before finally telling me to, "Put the damn movie in and let's get this over with."

Now, honestly?  I didn't really expect him to change his views.  I was simply hoping that maybe, just maybe, he would soften them a bit and not be so outwardly hateful.

The movie starts, and, if you've seen it, you know; you're captivated from the very first scene.  I kept stealing glances at him, but all I saw was his typical TV-watching face.  The one where I can't really tell if he's awake or not.  I kept asking, "Are you awake?"

In the beginning where Shane shares pictures of their love story, I can't keep from smiling.  Tom and Shane were so beautiful together and their love was just so obvious.  The hubby wasn't grinning, but that's okay - I didn't expect him to.  At least he's still awake.

Fast forward to where Shane is talking about Tom's death and he breaks down in front of the camera. My tears are well past the point of being able to catch them.  They are just rolling freely down my face and hitting my shirt.  I'm sniffling every second or two.  I have this thing - I don't cry in front of people.  I just don't.  So, I'm at the point where I need to leave the room, but just before I get up, I hear it.  A sniffle from the recliner.  I shoot a quick glance over and he's wiping his eyes.

You guys have NO idea how huge that is.

We watched the entire DVD - all the way through the credits to the very end.  That, also, never happens.  This is a man who gets up before the last ten minutes of every TV show, every movie, without fail.

I explained to him that the movie was funded by all those people whose names appear at the end.  He asked if I donated.  I told him I didn't, but only because I hadn't known about it.  He gets irritated when I donate to things.  He doesn't believe in it, so I do it quietly from my own account.  He believes in helping people that need help face to face.  He's distrustful of donating money.  I didn't ask, but, I actually think he was disappointed when I said I hadn't donated to this movie.  I then showed him Shane's original YouTube video, "It Could Happen To You."

I don't know why I was nervous to ask him his thoughts, but I was.  I guess I figured if this didn't change his mind, nothing would, and I didn't want to hear that.  In the end, I didn't have to ask.  He begrudgingly said, "Well, that certainly opens your eyes to things you've never thought about."

I can't even tell you what I felt in that moment.  Relief?  Joy?  I don't know.  But it was something wonderful and it bloomed inside me so freaking fast.  I asked what I was dying to know.  "Have you changed your mind now?"  Without hesitation, he said, "Yes."  (Not, 'Yes, but..."   Just, 'Yes.")

We went outside and talked for about an hour.  We talked about how hard it must be to be gay and have to "come out" to your parents and friends.  We talked about how sad it is that so many kids opt to kill themselves because society has made them feel outcast.  He even made a comment similar to "love is love".  He kept saying that Shane should have just attended Tom's funeral regardless of whether he was welcome or not.

We came back inside and I hopped on Facebook and immediately saw a picture posted by Theo Fenraven.  It was a gorgeous b/w headshot of two men asleep, cuddled together.  I laughed at the timing and my hubby looked at it and said, "I don't know if I'm ready for all that cuddling shit."

No spitting. No comment about it being "sick" or "disgusting".  My heart just soared.  I shared on Theo's post about his change of heart and Theo said, "That's AMAZING.  Give him a hug from me."  I told him and he said, "I may have changed my mind, but I'm not ready for that."

That's okay.  He may never be ready for that.  But the bottom line is, he didn't make a nasty comment, and that, my friends, is HUGE!


  1. 1down. ***mumble numbers**** left to change. A home success? fabulous.

  2. True. That number is discouraging. But I have faith in the future generations. I see it in my grandkids who think it's no big deal.

  3. what a wonderful post. Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Stephen. I'm still a little giddy. Thought he might've changed his mind by this morning, but he hasn't.

  4. Wow! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Tears running down my face. I've been following Bridegroom since Shane did his first heart-breaking YouTube video and was very glad to see that his & Tom's story would be made into a documentary. I contributed to its production. I want to see it, but I know too much, having followed the story through the years and I'm not sure I could stand it. My husband sounds much like yours. He'd watch it if I asked him too, is in favor of marriage equality and had a very good friend who was gay (it was NEVER mentioned) but he is definitely old school as well. So I'll take courage from your success and give it a try. Thanks for the great post.

    1. I saw Shane's video in the beginning too, but unfortunately was never aware of the Kickstarter or I would have contributed. THANK YOU for donating, though! The documentary is much less gut-wrenching than the YT video. It's very, very well done. Good luck with your hubby - it sounds like he'll maybe be easier to sway than mine. Let me know how it goes!