A Day in the Life of a Gay

December 11th, 2008 • Posted in Life
5:00 am At least, I think it’s 5:00. Who knows. My eyes are still shut but I can hear Pip putting on his shoes and picking out which glasses to wear for the day. Every morning before he leaves for work, he gives me a kiss goodbye. As soon as hear him walk out the door, I promptly fall back asleep.
6:30 am Alarm goes off. It’s cold so I stay snuggled up under the covers listening to the radio. They mention Day Without a Gay on the news. I heard about it a few weeks ago and decided I was going to participate because I’m not happy with the outcome of Prop 8. Since I am a tax-payer and we live in a democracy and not a theocracy, I want my marriage to my partner of sixteen years to be recognized like any other civil marriage. Day Without a Gay is a way to take a lot of the energy that’s been generated since the election and focus it on doing something positive. I decided to take a vacation day so that I could give back to the community. I have been talking about doing volunteer work for a while, and now is the perfect opportunity. I called around on Monday searching for places to go and decided to spend the day at the San Francisco LGBT Center.
7:00 am I finally get up. I log on to my work email and turn on the “out of office” notice. I decide I am not going to check emails until the end of the day, which is hard for me because I do it all the time out of habit. I’m an email addict.
7:50 am I’m out the door. Time for some coffee before I head over to the center. The air is cool and crisp on this sunny morning.
9:00 am Arriving at the center, I’m welcomed by Gayle, a director at the center. She leads me up to the third floor where she introduces me to the task at hand — sending 1500 fundraising letters. We have to fold personalized letters, stuff them into envelopes, affix address labels, seal and stamp them. We’re joined by three gentlemen who have taken the day off from the United Way — Enrique, Angel and Jose. Between the five of us, we get into a groove and slowly make our way through the stack of letters. The repetitive nature of the work feels almost meditative. As we work, Gayle tells us about the center, and I learn about the many things they do at the center. They do all sorts of stuff I didn’t know about, like help with housing, business relocation, and child care.
2:00 pm Someone walks into the room and says that there is a news crew outside. They are covering Day Without a Gay and want to film us at work. I’m fine with the filming, but I was feeling shy and not really interested in being interviewed. We pretended not to notice the cameras as we worked. The reporter interviewed Angel, and it looked like she was done, but then when she found out I was the only person in the group not from United Way she wanted to talk to me. I figured, why not and decided to not be so shy. They say that the footage will be used on the Channel 36 News at 7pm.
3:00 pm By the time the group adjourned, we had made a big dent in the stack of letters. I think we finished about 1200 of them. It felt good to contribute time to the center, so I leave with a smile on my face. I walk home, enjoying the unseasonably sunny weather.
4:00 pm In addition to community service, we were encouraged not to do today was spend money today. Gay money helps support the economy, people! Although I want to abstain, I realize that today is the only opportunity I have buy something for a potluck at work on Friday. I’m going to a concert tomorrow night. I go out and try to spend as little as possible.
6:00 pm My project team at work is having a holiday get-together, so I decide to join them. It’s been a long, busy year at work, so it was good to hang out and celebrate with the team. They are happy to see me, although somewhat surprised since they know I’ve been in the city all day. I’m not protesting alcohol, I joke. If you’re buying, then I’m drinking!
8:00 pm I come home and watch the beginning of the 7:00 news that has recorded on the DVR with Pip. You know that feeling you get when you hear your recorded voice for the first time? I had a weird, anxious feeling. “I look like that? I sound like that? Why didn’t I shave?” It was only a fifteen second clip, but I got say what was on my mind, so generally I’m happy with the result. I spend the next hour or so going through work emails, so that I’m somewhat caught up for tomorrow.
10:15 pm As I talk to my best friend Kurtis on the phone, I start getting text messages and Facebook notifications. Apparently, my interview was also used on Channel 2’s ten o’clock news. The response is positive all around. (They posted the video online late last night. You can see it on the KICU website.)
11:30 pm Pip’s already lightly snoring as I climb into bed. I drift to sleep as I think about the day’s events…

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