The Amazon Trail


The Brightest Month


          It may be December, the darkest month of the year in North America, but this is the June of our gay lives. June, as in the most popular month for weddings. June, as in the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. June, as in our Supreme Court victories.

          During the wonders of the holiday season, starting at Thanksgiving, we have much to be thankful for and to celebrate. Somehow the holiday lights and candles seem to glow brighter and spread more light with the knowledge that a majority of Americans are expressing increased tolerance toward our people. The dreadful Defense of Marriage Act and California’s equally ridiculous Proposition 8 have been laid to rest at last.  I’d love to send holiday good wishes to the courageous Edie Windsor and more to the righteously defiant California couples Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarrill, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier.

The frosting on the wedding cake was the legalization of marriage in Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, Hawaii and Illinois. Betrothed couples in Illinois have to wait until, when else, June, for the law to take effect.

Of course, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has a way to go, but there are fewer Scrooges among the Republicans than there used to be. And there always has to be a Grinch:  Michael Steel, Boehner’s spokesperson, quoted the head buffoon, who “believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs.”

The undeclared states and politicians are a noodle pudding of marriage confusion: they will here, they won’t there; it’s already legal, they won’t take pictures at gay marriages, they won’t make gay wedding cakes, they will make gay birthday cakes…  Federally, President Obama appoints gay ambassadors and judges, and the Republicans protect the nation from gay ambassadors and judges. Gay cadets marry at West Point when just last year they could be dismissed for wanting to. The trend is worldwide; at least 15 countries no longer prohibit LGBT marriages.

We were discussing the legitimization of gay marriage and my sweetheart came up this little questionnaire for our non-gay, married neighbors to make sure all these changes aren’t hitting them too hard.

“Hey, how you doing there?”

Neighbor is fine.

“Well,” my sweetheart asks, “We just wondered – is our happiness bothering you?”

Neighbor looks puzzled. I am trying not to laugh.

My sweetheart says, “We were concerned you were maybe thinking of checking out the other team?”

Neighbor looks horrified.

“We thought our playfulness on walks around the neighborhood might be making you reevaluate whether watching T.V. on your couch is really enough for you –?

Neighbor gets huffy.

“Or if seeing Lee take out the trash or pick up the dog poop might inspire you to help your wife with chores?”

Neighbor’s wife peers out around hubby.


“We meet your wife at the neighborhood ladies’ luncheon. It’s so much fun,” my sweetheart would say, “that we both can go! Because, you know, we’re the only couple there. Ever.” I can see her swallow a little snicker.

“Does it bother you to hear us laugh in uproarious delight for extended periods of time?”

They are mute.

“Don’t you sometimes wish your bedroom shades were pulled down at all sorts of odd and unexpected times too?”

They sigh.

“It’s really hard,” my sweetheart tells them, “to keep our happiness under wraps. So, just let us know any time our gay marriage threatens to derail your 50 years together.”

Meanwhile, in the rush for holiday gifts, dinners, travel and parties, we can buy from a lot more vendors. The Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index saw the largest growth in the survey’s history, adding 54 new businesses. The Victory Fund reported big wins for LGBT candidates. Even the Salvation Army timidly went with the flow – it removed links to two notorious “ex-gay” ministries as part of its new campaign against LGBT discrimination. Sports and acting celebrities seem to have popped out of their closets with greater frequency this past year. And personally, my sweetheart and I were able to leave an uber conservative area and move to a community where we were, literally, welcomed with open arms.

As we take the plunge into 2014, I’m reveling in this new, unexpected season of freedoms and confidently expecting the breakthroughs to continue. I remember when it was unthinkable to take a lover home for the holidays. Now, far more often, it’s unthinkable not to.  

We’re not all home, or out, yet, but this year Brazil, next year, who knows. Uganda? Russia? India? Texas? I hope so. During our festivals of light, I don’t want to see one more light go out, one more lonely queer’s life go dark when it takes all of us, and all our ways of loving, to brighten the darkest month.



Copyright Lee Lynch 2013     Inspired by Kathi Isserman

December 2013


14 Responses to “The Amazon Trail”

  1. 2 Martha December 30, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Lee, just loved your latest blog – thank you so much for saying it as it is


  2. 3 Morgayne December 30, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    You are a thousand watt candle helping to brighten our lesbian world. Thank you, Lee


  3. 4 Lee Lynch December 30, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Thanks for the nice responses! Kathi really did suggest the column, and obviously Elaine had input. I get a little bah humbuggy around the holidays, but thanks to friends and family, I come around.


  4. 5 Devlyn December 30, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Lee, thank you for your blog. Thanks to Kathi and Elaine for your input.
    Every day I watch the world become more equal. Unfortunately there are detractors from this with Russia, Uganda and other countries (and in America’s case States).
    Here in Australia we are free to be gay and lesbian BUT there is no Federal push toward equality and therefore we wouldnt expect marriage equality until at least this current government is history. We briefly saw Marriage Equality in the ACT this past month but the Federal Government worked overtime to quash this reprieve. Sigh.
    Lee, I hope you and Elaine have a wonderful New Year and that 2014 brings you much love and laughter.


  5. 7 S.A. December 31, 2013 at 7:23 AM

    Wonderful, thoughtful blog, Lee!! I loved your sweetie’s poll of the straight neighbors. 🙂 Wishing everyone a happy New Year with more freedoms and blessings to come.


  6. 9 Erin December 31, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    I love the survey!! I hope your 2014 is exceptional!!!


  7. 11 Victoria Oldham January 1, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    So beautifully said, as always Lee.
    Happy New Year to you both, and may light continue to spread throughout the world. (Gay marriage becomes legal here in the UK in March. Looks like I’ll be getting married. 🙂 )


  8. 13 Kim January 6, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    As always Lee thanks for sharing.


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