Did you know you're loved by somebody?One of the many benefits of having gone to a Catholic grammer school in the early 70's was how the teacher's, including the handful of nuns, tried to incorporate pop music into our weekly class excursions to mass. One of the favorites for the teachers and us kids alike was Stevie Wonder. Some songs, like Heaven is 10 Zillion Light Years Away, were obvious choices to sing in church; but the teacher's often nabbed a love song like You Are The Sunshine Of My Life for us to sing, somehow making God the object of affection in the song. Or maybe it was this idea that God=Love / Love=God, and therefore love could solve all problems, all human pain and suffering. Sorta trippy and hip, but of course Catholic schools back then could only afford young women teachers, who at least in our school put up all those huge banners declaring LOVE and PEACE that were hung in Church for our masses, and singing these cool songs from Stevie Wonder and tunes like Be Thankful For What You Got. Anyhow, so the other night, I've got the various tunes in my WINAMP player cranking out, and Stevie Wonder's AS begins to play, just as I'm doing some searching for updates on Matthew Limon.
Remember him? Exactly one year ago, the day after the historic Lawrence decision, it looked like the young man who was sent to jail for having sex with a younger male teen might be getting out of jail when the Supreme Court vacated his sentence. But the case is still in the courts, Mr Limon having lost again in the Kansas Courts, and his next hearing on the matter isn't until at least August. And here he sits, in jail, a year later.
In the middle of the night, viewing those old webpages that (prematurely at best, wrongly so far, as of a year later) declared his freedom a year ago, and the song playing declaring the power of love, it seemed like his case must be mentioned today, GAY PRIDE DAY here in NYC. I was hoping to have one of those peppy "Celebrate Our Diversity" posts, to sort of counter the too many cynical 'been-there-done-that' 'it's-all-so-commerical' and 'I-hate-all-those-rainbows' posts that are just, well, too...... no point in putting anyone down in order to make my point, which was.......????
Ok, let me be frank in my not-quite sober, but waking up and trying to get this written so I can bathe and run off and watch shirtless men and forget I'm alone and lonely for a little while. I doubt this young man, who may or may not even be gay for all we know (some 'news reports' list him as 'bi') but who was jailed for having gay sex, would even want to go to a Pride March. But the rest of us, we get to chose. We get to decide if we want to remember the folks who've gone too early in life, or who are suffering injustice by being jailed for a common teenage sex act, or who have jobs where they fear coming out or being found out..... We get to decide if we want to remember them, honor them, and yes of course, celebrate the victories, and the progress that has been made, and the freedoms that many of us take for granted (which is OK), and yet know that there is a lot further to go. I just want to be part of that, regardless of how it is portrayed in a newspaper, on a televsion show, in a right-wing website or an 'over-it' gay blog. I know why I go. I go to remember, and to remind myself. In so many ways it's hard to belive how far we've come, and yet, envisioning that young man, having served several years already in jail for something we all do, (or want to do), having his youth taken away from him, his future scarey and uncertain, it overwhelms me with saddness, it makes me question my core belief that love somehow does matter, that love somehow can make a difference.
I rarely pray. And it's never in the form of one of the prayers we learned in school. And most times, it's not even to God. My prayers are usually to the person who's attention I want, who's heart I want to reach. And I pray that dear Matthew Limon knows that there are folks out here who are anxiously awaiting his freedom, his chance to get his life back, and I pray that he feels something in his heart today that gives him some hope, some little something that helps him get through the day, and reminds him that he is not forgotten, he is treasured for merely being one of God's children, and that he is loved.
And the rosebuds know to bloom in early may
Just as hate knows love's the cure
You can rest your mind assure
That I'll be loving you always
As now can't reveal the mystery of tomorrow
But in passing will grow older every day
Just as all that's born is new
You know what I say is true
That I'll be loving you always
(Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky)