What A Great Day To Be Alive!
BY DAVID MIXNER
There are days I wonder why I even got out of bed. The papers are filled with horror and my work seems dreary. Even the weather is dark and stormy. All I want to do is crawl back in bed and hope the world comes to its senses and that my life will find new purpose.
Saturday, May 10 was not one of those days.
LGBT Americans woke up on Saturday morning to the news that marriage equality had come to the Bible belt state of Arkansas. Who would ever have imagined just two years ago that LGBT couples would be lined up at the county clerk offices in The Natural State to obtain marriage licenses. After all, the latest polls showed that only a mere 27% of the state's citizens support marriage equality. That is one of the lowest levels in the country.
Yes, it is possible there will soon be another one of those impedimental 'stays' from the courts but as of this moment there are same-sex couples married in Arkansas!
This news alone would have made it worthwhile for me to get out of bed. But wait, there was more!
By the afternoon, the news swept social media that a gender bending contestant had won Eurovision! Conchita Wurst, a bearded drag queen representing Austria, took the annual competition by storm. How wonderful in this day and age of President Putin and his punks to have the gender-bending Conchita chosen as the winner. Not only is Conchita a great symbol but an amazing singer who deserved the honor.
Finally, the day had one more gift in store. Although this one kept many of us on pins and needles until nearly sundown.
All-American University of Missouri football player Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams. While this made history for the National Football League with Sam becoming its first openly gay player, it wasn't without its stressful moments. Sam was expected to be selected in the fifth round at the latest. But in the end he was picked next to last in the seventh round! There is no question that this late selection was just not right. Small schools such as Marist College had their players selected before Sam. Come on! Sam was a star in player in on the Southeastern Conference (SEC), one of the toughest leagues in college football, and was named SEC 'Defensive Player of the Year'. As I was sitting through selection after selection I became increasingly convinced that Sam wasn't going to be one of them.
Then, better late than never, history exploded once again on our television screens with the announcement that the Rams had selected him. Interestingly, it was the Rams franchise (when they were in Los Angeles) which picked the first African-American player in 1947 to play in the NFL.
The Rams clearly love history.
Following his belated selection I let out a yell when he kissed his boyfriend Vito Cammisano (see above) in a nationally televised moment! Vito is himself a championship swimmer at the University of Missouri! It just doesn't get any better than that!
As I went to bed last night, I was sure glad to be alive and felt totally blessed to have been allowed to witness such an historic day. No doubt many of you felt the same.