I am not from New York. (Warning: this post will be emotional, therefore The Thespian has reverted to first person narrative).
Yet, I rejoice tonight. I cannot think of a better place to hear the wonderful news that the New York State Legislature passed the gay marriage bill than during the curtain call of The Normal Heart.
I believe we are all human beings. I believe that we are all equal. I believe that we are what our DNA constructs us to be. Just because your DNA makes you love a person of the same sex does not make you a second class citizen anymore than the color of your skin makes it reprehensible that you might fall in love with a person of a different skin color, or religion, or national origin.
I do not believe that HIV/AIDS is a plaque sent to purge us of our sins. It is a hideous disease that has struck too many for too long. Yes, I am old enough to remember when it began and I admit that I sobbed uncontrollably as I relived the events preserved by the courageous Larry Kramer in his groundbreaking take no prisoners play, The Normal Heart. And, yes, I have lost too many colleagues, mentors and friends, including one of my best friends.
Yet, I celebrate the New York triumph tonight. I celebrate when I hear a female friend and colleague share the joy of falling in love at first sight with her wife. I celebrate when Neil Patrick Harris tweets to his followers how much he'd love to marry the other father of his children. I dream of a day when the state that I live in, the Commonwealth of Virginia, will someday come out of the 19th century and embrace common human decency instead of now when the Attorney General tells the commonwealth's state colleges and universities that they can't provide the same constitutional protections to someone simply because they are homosexual.
I dream of a day when we don't read of bullying someone because they are different, or see on the internet stories of teenagers and young adults driven to suicide because they feel they that it won't get better. I dream when it stops being okay to mock someone by telling them "that's so gay". I dream of a day when we stop making excuses for our families and friends who tell us, "I don't have anything against gay people" and then proceed to explain in the next breath exactly why they do. It's wrong and I swear that I will never hold my tongue and let it slide anymore.
Being a theatrical professional I have had the privilege of working with persons of all stripes. It has opened my eyes to all the world has had to offer whether good experiences or bad, friendships with persons of all races, nationalities, religions, and sexual orientation. One thing we all have in common. We are all human with our strengths and weaknesses, yet we all deserve the same rights and privileges.
Therefore, I embrace the step that the New York State Legislature has taken tonight. It was an honor to celebrate with the audience, cast and crew of The Normal Heart on Broadway.
The Thespian now returns you to your regular blog which will include a review of The Normal Heart coming tomorrow.