In 2004, as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney agreed to hear the concerns of gay people about why marriage is important to them. One of the top reasons they gave for marriage equality is to protect their families. Romney responded, “I didn’t know you have families.”
So he thought that all those small people around gay couples were part of a secret gay traveling circus with midgets? Honey, I am a 65-year-old straight woman living in a small Texas town, and even I know that gay people have families. Maybe that’s because I have not been sitting in a dark room counting my money or tying Sweet Nell to the railroad tracks, but I suspect it has something to do with living in the real world. And all evidence to the contrary, recent studies have shown that Texas is part of the real world. The strongest verification for this is that we have gay people with families here.
I am going to venture out on a limb and suggest that perhaps there are many things that gay people have that Mitt Romney does not know about.
First on that list would be feelings. Shockingly, in research recently reported by the crack investigative team of Gossip, Hearsay, and Thelma, gay people laugh, cry, have joy, pain, and even love. Real love. Sometimes even hunka hunka burnin’ love—the kind that makes them want to leave their estates to a spouse in case they go to that Great Pride Parade in the sky. And sometimes it’s tricycle-motor love—the kind that makes them want to cover children on their health insurance plans while they remove peanut butter, jelly, and God-only-knows-what-else off their iPads, and desperately untie knots in the shoestrings of little ones who might have been peeing on them all day. That is real love.
And perhaps, if we were good people, we would send Mitt Romney a Top-Ten List of the other things gay people have that he does not know about:
• Very cool shoes
• Occasional irregularity
• Churches that welcome and love them
• Bills, dammit
• That thing where the minute you get both your hands covered with bread dough, your nose starts to itch? Yep, gay people, too
• Friends who don’t argue with empty chairs
• The secret ability to eat ice cream all day and not gain weight (no, wait, that’s the secret ability I’m going to wish for if I meet a genie. Sorry, wrong list)
• Socks and other assorted apparel items
• A mother and another mother, or a father and father, or a father and mother, and, if they live in Texas, an Aunt Lucille. It’s the law
• And obviously, the number one thing that gay people have that Mitt Romney does not know about: voter registration cards.
Don’t forget that Saturday, October 27, is Come Out and Vote Day across Texas. It’s the Saturday of early voting, and Pride groups across Texas are encouraging gays and LGBT supporters and allies to vote on that day to show strength.
And, because I am meaner than ten acres of snakes, I am going to vote early that day and then go stand in front of the Sugar Creek Country Club voting site, profusely thanking all the old white uptight Republican men for showing up to vote on Gay Day. They’ll leave faster than a jackrabbit with six legs.
Then the next day I’ll show up and say, “Oops, I had the wrong day. Gay Day is actually today.” If I need your help to keep this up for a week, and on Election Day, I’ll let you know. The best part is that Mitt Romney won’t know about this, either.
Susan Bankston lives in Richmond, Texas, where she writes about her hairdresser at The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc., at juanitajean.com.