So yesterday the three of us went to Epcot to tour around the front half of the park, otherwise known as “Future World”. Epcot is my favorite of the parks here at Walt Disney World.
Upon embarking on our trip for the day I noticed that Jamie was wearing one of his Hostage Calm shirts. He’s friends with Hostage Calm and has done a lot of the photography of the band. The particular shirt has large letters on the back “I support same-sex marriage”. The message is wonderful.
The worrier in me was concerned that the shirt might be a little too “politically charged” for Disney and I voiced my concern with this. My concern was vetoed and Cub held his ground. I sulked about it for a while and was overly sensitive for the first hour or so at Epcot.
I know, I’m an idiot. Plenty of people have told me that over the years but I am who I am and I’m always trying to be better. I’m certainly not ashamed of being gay, I’m certainly not ashamed of being married to a man and I have officially been out of the closet since my first day of college way back in 1986. I say “officially” because everyone always tells me there was really no reason for me to come out of the closet because people already knew. Humor me.
Here’s the thing. I grew up in a household where we didn’t talk about politics, we didn’t talk about religion and we certainly didn’t talk about sexuality. That’s all ok, and I wouldn’t change my childhood for any other, and I know that it was decades ago but some things take root and are hard to change. Add that to my firm belief that change will only come when people come to their own beliefs on their own. I don’t believe in forcing religion on another, I don’t believe in forcing political beliefs on another and I don’t believe we should do the same with one’s views on same sex marriage. Being true to ourselves and demonstrating who we are should be a big enough billboard. I have faith in people and believe that they will find that same-sex marriage is really no different than any other marriage. Each marriage is unique unto itself; it’s not the gender of the participants that make it unique. Now, add all of this to the words of a co-worker way back in 1990, “If I met you outside somewhere I’d shoot you between the eyes, you fag”, and you might understand why I’m sensitive to this sort of thing.
I know, I need to calm down.
So I’m sulking and a little bit sensitive about it all when we first arrived at Epcot. We rode the Nemo ride and then stopped for lunch. A woman came up to Jamie and vocalized her strong support of same-sex marriage (later I noticed that she was from Earl’s hometown). She was a Disney cast member and she was looking after the tables in the “Seasons” food court. Later, an older gentleman came up and voiced his support as well; his son had just married his husband in Maryland. A third person supported the message on Jamie’s shirt as well.
So I stopped sulking after the first encounter. I calmed down. No one was cranky about the shirt, I was the only one that was worried about it.
I learned a lot at Epcot yesterday.
It IS a small world after all…. one that hopefully one day we (humanity) will look back at our past and just shake our collective heads.
It’s kind of sad to me that I still worry about this sort of thing and it’s even more sad that I feel that I have to worry about this sort of thing. But it was very encouraging for Jamie to hear from those folks that agreed with the shirt he was wearing. It is a small world, after all, and that small world is starting to look a little better, even if we move a fraction of an inch at a time.