A few days ago, along with millions of others, I read the news that JC Penney was refusing to capitulate to the discriminatory pseudo-religious group “One Million Moms”, which seems to have formed simply to launch boycott threats against companies and broadcasters that refuse to make gay people invisible in their ads and programming.
One Million Moms actually has only around 47,000 members, but like the Westboro Baptist Church they’ve gotten more publicity than their numbers — or their cause — warrants. Maybe this is a good thing in a roundabout way. After all, I wouldn’t normally have gone shopping yesterday. I didn’t really need anything, least of all a new dress. I haven’t worn a dress in decades. My standard femme-side of lesbian uniform is jeans and V-neck t-shirts and the occasional black or gray suit for business meetings.
I’ve been feeling differently lately, though. Maybe it’s the domestic nesting I’ve been doing in my new cottage. Maybe it’s that I’ve lost a little weight. Maybe it’s because I feel like the world is finally changing and I don’t have to be so careful to hide my sexuality — and this is giving me the confidence to try new things. Maybe, as the fear of being met with hatred or even violence because I’m gay is diminishing, I’m just feeling more free. To be more open, to be softer, to expand the boundaries I wasn’t even aware I had in place.
Thank you, JC Penney, not just for taking a stand against discrimination, but for being proactively inclusive. And thank you to the actual millions of people who are striving to make this world a safer, less frightening, more accepting place.
Just one thing. I have to exchange this dress today. I bought it in a size that’s now too big. And I’ll have to see if I can find some cute sandals to match.