I got a surprise phone call this morning. It was Jerame's mom and she was all worked up.
She and I are tight; we talk more than she and Jerame do and I drive down to middle-of-nowhere southern Indiana to visit more often too. Usually when she calls in a tizzy like this, she's ticked off at Jerame's dad.
Still, you have to realize the history of homophobia in Jerame's family to fully appreciate this story. When Jerame came out his father forbid him from stepping foot inside the door again (it lasted for the first eight years of our relationship and had started well before we got together).
His mom wasn't all sunshine and roses when Jerame came out of the closet either. He was young, had a toddler girl and not a lot of money or education. Throw in being queer too and she came unglued.
His parents are, well, back woods Indiana. They moved from a town of 40,000 people because it had gotten "too big" and out in the country so far the radio only plays that damn song from Deliverance. They are not politically correct, nor do they understand why they should care.
As moms always do, Sherry was the first to come around. She'd visit Jerame when he moved to Bloomington, a small liberal college town a short distance from his hometown. Jerame and I met in Bloomington.
After we'd been dating for a while, it was time to meet his mom. She drove over and we went out for lunch. By now, she'd accepted that Jerame was gay and that it wasn't going to change. She still wasn't too happy to shake hands with proof that her son slept with guys though. Throughout lunch she just gave me a walleyed stare and didn't really say much. Quite obviously, she didn't like me.
After almost a decade now, she's realized that I'm not quite the threat she originally assumed and that I'm probably not going anywhere any time soon. Ever a realist, she capitulated and eventually so did his dad. While they've come really far very quickly, they're not quite PFLAG parents either.
At least I didn't think they were PFLAG parents yet.
This morning Sherry called to ask me if I'd seen "60 Minutes, 20/20, whatever in the hell that show was that had gay soldiers on it." She meant the 60 Minutes piece on openly gay soldier Darren Manzella that Steve had blogged about. While I hadn't watched the show, his post had tipped me off that it was coming up.
"I knew you'd know about it. You know everything gay. You got that website."
I think that was a compliment.
She was seriously livid after watching 60 Minutes. She went on a 20 minute diatribe about the injustices of Don't Ask Don't Tell and how it all fed into stuff like the marriage amendment and the daily issues that the LGBT family face.
"You get on that there blog and you tell 'em Jerame's mom says 'That ain't right,'" she said. "Don't nobody care anymore. They's lettin' 'em stay in there now even when they tell. The troops ain't got no problem with it. You are who you are."
What's even better is that there was some other woman there (I have no idea who she was) that was also chiming in and getting all worked up too. Between the two of them it was hard to hear! But even though I know all the reasons why DADT is bad policy and how Indiana's proposed amendment will hurt some families, I listened and I "listened good."
I heard more than Jerame's mom. You can too if you listen hard enough.
That's the sound of change, my friends.