Well that changes things.

Click for story from Equality Florida

So next week, all the adult citizens of Florida will be able to get married regardless of the gender of their spouse. Somehow I just don’t believe it. I don’t believe it’s finally going to happen here in Florida. I love my state. My Bennett Bay collection of stories are really love letters to Florida–a Florida I want to be real. But the Real Florida has a mean, nasty conservative streak running through it which makes me mistrust civil rights advances in this state. It’s a bizarre disconnect. Florida has a large gay population yet our gay rights are abysmal. I’ve never figured that out.

The other thing is I’m not sure I really believe that queer folk being able to get married is real. I’m not saying we shouldn’t. It just seems so weird. I’m of an age where that wasn’t something even thought of. Life long relationship–sure thing. But a state sanctioned contract? Marriage? Is that real? The old man is still trying to wrap his head around that one. It’s a wonderful bemusing thing.

And then there is the editing. This ruling changes things. I have three novels I’m trying to finish up and release at the same time. And they need to reflect this, because hey, my boys can now get married–like for real (fictionally real) in Florida now. Wow. Two years ago when I started one of them, I would of laid money down that it wouldn’t happen this fast. I love being wrong.

Congratulations and blessing to all my sisters and brothers out there that will be able to have their relationships recognized and normalized.

Author: Stephen del Mar

Stephen del Mar lives in the Tampa Bay area and writes in the Southern Literary tradition. His stories are character driven with rich settings. They often have a touch of the paranormal, supernatural, or magical realism. Although he writes about serious subjects, they are sweetened with humor and wit. He says, "It's a southern thing."

2 thoughts on “Well that changes things.”

  1. I really want it to be true for my son and all the other’s in this state who deserve to be who they are without apology. But seeing how hard it is for him to just get someone to hire him, an obviously gay man in a very conservative section of central Florida I have my doubts that it could be this easy. His current dream is to get a job (or win the lottery) and have enough money to move far away from here.

    1. Katy, thanks for the comment. I grew up here and then moved away late in high school. Coming back as an adult was shocking. I live in the Twin Cities for 15 years and couldn’t believe how backward Florida is. I hear the Orlando area isn’t too bad and of course SE FL down by Miami is nice too. The Tampa area is getting better slowly, but it is hard. In many respects, I feel I’m sliding back in the closet because I just don’t feel as free here as I did up north. And for a man of 53, who’s been out and proud since I was 20, that is very odd.
      Your son is very luck to have a supportive mom! I hope he can find some gay friends, that makes all the difference in the world. Supportive straight friends are really important, but somethings they just don’t get, which is okay. Give him a hug for me and I hope it works out for him. Things are changing at an amazing pace and yet it isn’t fast enough.
      –Stephen

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