I held my boyfriend's hand the other day. I caught it and held it until we reached the main gates of University College Cork, as I usually do on campus, only this time I didn't let go after we'd passed through. We moved along the Western Road, toward Washington Street, and as we reached the innards of Cork City, something strange lingered over me.
Last week's decision in Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant could lift the ban on same-sex marriage in Mississippi forever. However, that decision is unique among other pro-marriage-equality rulings in that it came from the pen of a black U.S. district judge with a strong record of supporting civil rights.
I was orphaned when my mother Millie died nine years ago. My biological mother went back to being a Jehovah's Witness and now says she regrets being with Millie for 20-some-odd years. "Les di un mal ejemplo," she says. That's B.S. See, Millie is the one who loved me -- tender, unconditional, I-believe-in-you love.
My students saw homophobic language as obviously offensive. It wasn't something anyone, including the writer of the material, needed to point out to them. To do so was, in their mind, a waste of creative energy, perhaps even old-fashioned, like a heavy-handed morality tale. On the one hand I found this refreshing, but on the other, this discovery was also worrisome.
If you're a black man, it doesn't matter how many degrees you hold. It doesn't matter how much money you make. It doesn't matter where you live or what kind of car you drive; to some you're still a n*****, and that is the cold, hard truth about the world we live in today, and it's what my parents had to teach me growing up. I don't experience this with my identity as a gay man.
The queer saints gather to break bread together, to keep Sabbath, to pray, to watch and witness, to hope, believing in the Beloved Community of unconditional grace that we have not yet seen in fullness -- only in a glass darkly in our queer koinonia. This is true love for God, without self-interest, with nothing left to gain.