I read something today that made me think again someone I've loved and lost and how amazed I think he'd be at the Supreme Court's ruling on DOMA. Amazed. Will left us on November 6, 2001. The arc of history really does bend toward justice. I wish it were not so long.
At the time he passed full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the Episcopal Church looked like it was still long coming. He had succumbed to social pressures from, for lack of a better turn of phrase, assholes, in the Church and lost his faith. He was a cradle Episcopalian, raised in the church and then eventually frozen out by it because of his disease and sexuality. If I ever meet the priest that refused to speak to him, I think it will take a lot of restraint not to punch that guy in the face. What happened to my friend wasn't right and it wasn't Christian. I remember thinking it was possible but it would be long coming that we would ever get it right but because of what happened to my friend, I had to try. I had to stay and fight. In 2003 Gene Robinson was elected bishop of New Hampshire and approved by General Convention. (It seems impossible that he's already retired.) The Church had a hard time of it afterward, and we lost a few of our 'conservative' friends along the way. I'm not going to lie, it was all very painful, but it was the right thing to do. I was torn between joy at what was happening and sorrow at the way people I love were reacting to it. I remember crying more than once over all the fighting. I also remember being sick to death of talking about sex in Church. A friend of mine told me that he heard a clergy person say he was sick to death of talking about 'cock' in church. I felt the same way. Bear in mind, I don't remember any queer people talking about sex in Church, it was always coming from straight people who were all hung up on what happened in other people's bedrooms. Another friend (single at the time) told me that a woman had told him what he does in his bedroom made her sick to her stomach---who else in the church did she enjoy fantasizing about and why did it even cross her mind about what was going on in his bedroom? I still don't know.
In 2012 General Convention approved same gender blessing/marriage liturgies for provisional use. What that means, if you're wondering, is they are trying out these liturgies to see if they want to keep them or scrap them and do something else. Yes, we are that bloody picky. Then something wonderful happened, the Diocese of Oklahoma approved them as well. Too many hang ups, like getting approval from the congregation, but it's a start. A wonderful, wonderful start. It means I probably won't have to write someone's wedding liturgy for them, which, though it would be fun, is really out of my purview.
I wish these things had happened while Will was around to see them. One of the last major events that happened before he died was 9/11. He said he wished he hadn't lived to see that. I would love to call him on the phone and tell him about DOMA being overturned yesterday, but I can't. I can't log on to AIM and gossip with him about how awesome all this is and how much better the world is now than it used to be. I wish I could. He helped make it happen by sticking it out as long as he could. He made us think about what it means to be the community of Christ when God puts challenges in our midst and says "Who are you to say that what I have made is unclean?"
I guess I'll have to settle for remembering him in my prayers and hoping our good Lord lets him know about all this. We have a coffee date for when I get done with my chores.