I will never forget that day. How much we sang, how we danced. Once the clouds had cleared, the sky seemed to be the brightest it had ever been, and bluer than blue.
We could hardly believe what was happening, could we, do you remember? Our hands kept covering our mouths in a mixture of shock and elation that this day had finally come, especially with it coming so soon after racism had magically disappeared, with anti-semitism, sexism and misogyny before it. We’d had to wait until last so we could finally be the community we always should’ve been, no longer turning on and othering those who didn’t quite fit our narrow view of what it means to be gay, to be part of the LGBT movement. Boy, were there some hand-wringing thinkpieces about that, remember? Intolerance clung on for dear life, right to the end.
How clever of them, we said, to make everyone – straight and gay and everything in between – take the magic cure, so there couldn’t be a trace of hate left in any corner of the world, no vestigial glimmer of intolerance to ruin it for everyone.
All of it gone, swallowed in a second with water holier than any you’d find in a font. And the ones who wouldn’t take it simply disappeared, evaporated into air – because why would you want to be in our world if you wished to see the hate live on? They were gone, mere ghosts, and as we celebrated, it was like all those who died in the name of homophobia were with us again, dancing among us. We smelled their scent and heard their laughter, like music, and they whispered to us that they were glad we hadn’t forgotten them, that we had continued to fight, because today was our day.
Had we ever danced so well? Had food ever tasted so good as it did that day? We couldn’t be sure. We’d never know now, because nothing on that day felt like it had before – all was new, refreshed. We ate and drank the imppossible. Gorged upon it.
Our eyes had never been so wide with joy, we had never been so happy. As we all hugged each other in the street, our limbs were streamers, our mouths klaxons, and our favourite music played. Straight people came up to us and said they were sorry and how glad they were it was all over, and we could all just be free and be there for each other and how nothing else mattered because all the hate had gone.
Some friends messaged us to say they were finally coming out, because now there was no need to be frightened. Nobody would spit at us anymore, or whisper behind our backs, or tell us we were worthless because of who we loved and how we had sex. We would not die for this anymore. It was all over.
And then you kissed me, right there in the street. It felt like no other kiss we’d had before. It felt so full and free, so passionate, and we kissed on and on because we now knew there’d be no repercussions, only the good-natured ribbing of mates saying “Get a room!”
Eventually when we could dance and laugh and celebrate no more we tumbled home to the flat we shared, the home we’d feared might never be ours because of our sexuality – that we would put off the estate agent giving it to us. We were exhausted and hysterical from the bliss of it all, but we didn’t want to sleep, to admit the day was over. We always wanted to feel like this. So we stayed up and talked and watched it all over again on TV and wished everyone we’d loved and lost could’ve been there to see how this was the best day ever.
Finally we fell into bed, our arms around each other, eager for the rest of our lives to start, knowing we were safe for ever, that the world wanted us, that we were all equal – our stupid, idealist hearts barely comprehending the history that had been made. And all for us to see.
I will never forget that day. I still dream of that day.