I don’t usually date.  In fact, let’s just round down and say, “I never date.”  To date means to go on a series of dates, to be strung together on a string of pearls known as the beginning of a relationship.  My string of pearls sucks.  I don’t count my prior attempts in the past as relationships, kind of like how you don’t really count when someone does one push-up and then drops from pathetic exhaustion.

Through an inexplicable series of events, I am dating now.  Not just dating, but in a relationship.  Wrap your numbing arms around me now, Facebook, I request entrance into your elusive status.  My mixture of elation and terrified disbelief at this turn of events can best be described as being bought an expensive dinner from a rich grown-up.  First, the momentary hesistance.  Second, the search for a catch.  Third, the sheepish “Should I just order a small appetizer and iced tea?”  Then, finally, the leap into the abyss: “Gimme a Sake Bomb and the Oysters Rockefeller to start!”, maniacal laughter as I await the fall back to Earth.

Did you get lost in my belabored mixed metaphor yet?  I’ll simplify it.

I love my seven weeks-strong boyfriend, Michael.  My friend noted that my Dad’s name is Michael.  This is wrong.  Clearly, my Dad’s name is Dad.  And that’s that.

Michael and I are, for the moment, long distance.  He’s finishing a nursing degree in New York.  We’ve already flown to see each other twice, with a third on the way.  We Skype everyday.  This relationship is everything I need, not just for now, but for my life.

My favorite part about his non-industry New Yorkiness is that we have no repeat stories.  And I also know that, unlike LA guys, he has no stories that include “Bryan Singer romanced a friend of mine”.  When I say “romance,” I mean a cocktail that’s one part Vegas weekend, two parts free Jaguar, a splash of cocaine, all poured into a tall glass of “Make It Stop.”

Michael being a New York boy also means that I got to spend 4th of July with him in that great city.  Independence Day 2011 in New York was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for this recently coupled gay guy.  To quote Sherlock, the facts are these:

1) This is the almost-10 Year Anniversary of 9/11.

2) The new Towers are well underway.

3) Osama Bin Laden is now dead.

4) New York just passed marriage equality.

5) I was with a beautiful native New Yorker who loves me.

The city was full to bursting with freedom and promise.  There was less talk of what used to make up that skyline, and more of what will soon be there.

This is my first post I’ve written knowing Michael.  It’s strange and delightful how all-encompassing and important his presence is in my life now.  I usually write here about gay rights issues with passion; passion that usually arises out of anger.  Anger and frustration at the reality of how slow and laborious the path to Equality is, and how often it’s at the mercy of cowardice and indecision.  I plan to return to writing about gay rights with passion.  But this time, it’ll be out of love.  I have a focal point now.

After leaving New York, awash in love of Michael and respect for New York, I drew this map of the United States…

The states in blue have civil unions, the states in pink have marriage, and the white ones have nothing.  We’re going to get them all.  The law DOMA that bans marriage federally will be killed, and a new federal law recognizing all 50 states’ marriage rights will be born.  I’m more sure of this now than ever.  Love is stronger than anger, and I am stronger now.

Michael has given me a finish line.

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Written by Adam Sass

Adam Sass

ADAM SASS is a journalist and copy editor for Mediaplanet, which prints in USA Today. His short story appeared in the anthology STARLING SCI-FI: NEW TALES OF THE BEYOND and was nominated for Best Science Fiction Story by Writer’s Digest. He lives in New York City with his husband and two dachshunds.

Keep up with Adam’s pop culture blogging at GeeksOut.org and on his (over)active Twitter: @TheAdamSass.