Tuesday, October 8, 2019

End of an ERA


Hi this was me last Friday night at the Equality Utah Allies Gala where they announced that their 2019 legislative goal is to ratify the ERA. America only needs ONE MORE state to ratify to make women officially equal to men! It was introduced to legislation before I was born. WHAT PROGRESS.

I've been listening Lana Del Ray's cover of the Season of the Witch a lot lately. I think there is something to it, honestly. October really is a season of my inner witch. I just feel fiery and ornery and completely out of patience. But on the other hand, I feel mischievous, and clever, and sensual in a way that makes me feel confident. This season feels good to me, like I am at home. And every year that passes I feel less shame for all of this. [Insert witch cackle.]

I'm very happy that Equality Utah wants to ratify the ERA but that means that there will be a coalition of women who will fight against it (like they did last time) and that pain is unbearable to me. The night of the gala they brought up a group of women lawmakers on the stage to make the announcement and there was one ONE one Republican woman who showed up. Afterward she said to me, "Where were all the Republican female lawmakers?" which is something I ask myself every damn day.

I was thinking the other day about how my life would've been different if I didn't speak out so much. And it occurred to me that I'd probably be working in a GOP congressional office selling my soul out to Trump.Which made me realized that speaking out had saved me a lot of pain and anguish in the long run.

Last Friday night after the announcement I asked one of the ERA organizers how I could help. "We're going to need the writers to write" she said to me. I don't know what I expected her to say (maybe get my email to join the newsletter?) but I found myself pledging to do the work. I suppose this is one way a witch might cast spells--with words.

[Cackle.]

After the gala, CK and I stumbled down the Salt Lake City streets to an after party of our friends the Urquharts. They live in a downtown high rise with a almost a 360 view of the Salt Lake Valley and are known to throw the best soirees in Utah. We have been to many, only a few I can remember with keen detail. [Wink, cackle.]

We squeezed into the party with wall-to-wall guests. Queers, beards and drag queens mingled with lapsed Mormons, legislators and influencers of public policy. We found two chairs calling our names (and our feet) in the living room. A few minutes later Billy Porter (yes, that Billy Porter) sat down across from us and an entourage of adoring fans gathered around him, but not before I got a few stuttered words out of my mouth that went in his direction. I love him. I love him like Utah women love to obey patriarchy. And I am not even being sarcastic about that.

It was a surreal moment. I sat observing the sheer joy in that room. A gentleman I've known as a state lobbyist handed me a fresh grapefuit drink inspired by his southern roots, "It's a classic," he promised to me with a wink and a blink of southern drawl. Christopher, all dressed in black and as handsome as I've ever seen him, was chatting it up with dear friends and people we greatly admire. Folks were dancing, eating, kissing, singing, laughing, gossiping, and reveling with delight. I caught the eye of a young kid with purple hair in an open red leather jacket from across the party. He blew me a kiss. I returned it.

Just then lawmaker Shireen Ghorbani--in a glamorous head piece full of flames and flowers--power-lifted a chair over the crowd and planted it next to mine. "Ok, let's talk about recruiting moderate candidates in Utah County, so..."

There is no rest for the justice-minded. Just ask Bernie. Or the witches who showed up for a thousand years threatened with being burned at the stake. Every year I get closer to becoming one of them.

And I am ok with that.

Cackle, cackle. pop.