Not asking and not telling

I did a lot of gay stuff on my recent trip to San Francisco. And probably not in the way you might be thinking. I visited a huge shared studio space for queer artists called The Big Gay Warehouse, where painters, street artists, clothes makers and writers create their work in an intentionally inclusive environment.

I filmed a local musical duo, the Troubadours of Divine Bliss — who also happen to be lesbian sweethearts of more than 15 years — on their U.S. tour. And I promoted a screenplay I have been working on, which features a gay central character. So, I may not have attended a drag queen march or San Francisco’s famous Gay Pride Parade, but, overall, there was a lot of gayness going on for me in the Bay Area.

Looking back on it now, there were only about five hours of my trip when the idea of homosexuality did not somehow present itself as even mildly relevant, and that was on the plane. On my flight out to the West Coast, between Minneapolis and San Francisco, I sat next to a sweet little old lady, who I will call Marge. She was a 75-year-old on her way to Honolulu with her grandson, on a trip she would normally have taken with her husband, who passed away three years ago. She never wanted to be anything but a housewife until she turned 40, when she decided to go to nursing school. She has four sons, one daughter and a slew of grandchildren sprinkled across the United States. They call her Grandma Honey, because she always calls everyone honey. And how do I know all of this? Because we talked during the whole flight.

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