It gets better

I’m not really very good at self-evaluation or at giving advice (and I’m certainly not going to capture myself trying to do either on video, as that wouldn’t make anyone feel better), but I really admire Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project, so I thought I’d write something up. Because in my experience, it really does get better.

Now, I don’t want to dwell too much on the parts that sucked, because young gay people are keenly aware of those, and rehashing them feels kind of like talking about how, in my day, we had to walk to school uphill both ways in the snow. And since I’m reluctant to make any sweeping generalizations about how my life is emblematic of anything except my life, I’ll just kind of describe the weekend so far with my partner of 17 years.

This was a really long work week, and we were both kind of exhausted, so we were really glad that there was leftover lasagna in the freezer to have for dinner on Friday. We were also glad that we had all of the ingredients for bourbon and cokes. (Okay, that’s just bourbon, coke and ice, but still…)

On Saturday, we dawdled around the house in the morning, and then we went to the Buckwheat Festival in Preston County, which is even more rural than where we live, but it’s mountainous and beautiful, and we were feeling like we don’t do enough local stuff. The Buckwheat Festival is basically just a county fair, but it’s always fun to go somewhere, eat junky midway food, look at 4H exhibits and livestock, and listen to the local high school marching band play “Poker Face” without a trace of irony or self-consciousness. Seriously, listening to a rural high school marching band play a song about ambiguous sexuality by the gay-friendliest pop star to emerge in the last decade while sharing a funnel cake with your partner of 17 years? That’s a great Saturday.

Last night was kind of uneventful, though our elderly dog got us up in the middle of the night. She’s fine, but she’s old, so we figure she’s entitled to some occasionally freaky behavior. And one of the cats had scared the unholy crap out of her while she was napping, so that might have factored into her sleeplessness. (The vet called her “a dinosaur” the last time she had a check-up.) This morning, we cleaned the house, ran errands, clipped the other dog’s toenails (no blood!), and now are waiting for cinnamon rolls to finish rising so we can bake them. I posted some pictures on Facebook from the festival, and I checked up on my nephew and his partner to see how they’re doing.

So while none of that is particularly exciting or transformative, and it certainly isn’t the life I imagined for myself as a traumatized teenager (which involved penthouses and, for no particular reason, grand pianos), it’s pretty great. Life got much, much better.

6 Responses to It gets better

  1. Rose says:

    Thank you, David. This is lovely.

  2. Eva Volin says:

    Sigh. This right here is why you will always be my imaginary internet boyfriend. Nice work, David.

  3. […] In response to an epidemic of violence and harassment directed at homosexual teens, columnist Dan Savage has organized the “It Gets Better” project, in which he encourages gay adults to share their post-high school experiences with teens, providing them with positive role models. David Welsh contributes to the discussion with a lovely reflection on his married life. [The Manga Curmudgeon] […]

  4. Alex says:

    Hey, this is kinda late but I just want to say thank you for posting this. While I am 22 and not a teen, I am away from home and living with my partner for the first time in the gay mecca: San Francisco. It’s wonderful and exciting but also isolating and hard. There’s so much support for LGBTQ folk here which is fantastic, but my partner still has to come out to her extremely religious Christian parents and that’s going to suck. We’re also having a hard time meeting people and adjusting.

    Anyway, I don’t mean to illustrate my life’s story. I just wanted to explain why hearing about your weekend with your partner was exactly what I needed right now. In 17 years, I want to be with the same person I am now and doing our own version of what you just described. I hope that can happen.

    • davidpwelsh says:

      Illustrate away, and heartiest congratulations on the new chapter! I hope it’s great for you both. And I hope your partner’s parents pleasantly surprise you.

  5. […] In response to an epidemic of violence and harassment directed at homosexual teens, columnist Dan Savage has organized the “It Gets Better” project, in which he encourages gay adults to share their post-high school experiences with teens, providing them with positive role models. David Welsh contributes to the discussion with a lovely reflection on his married life. [The Manga Curmudgeon] […]

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