In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.
I fell in love at PSG.
Now, I'm neither the first nor the last to fall in love at the Pagan Spirit Gathering. With the children conceived at PSG alone, I'm sure, one could fit out several Grand Covens.
But it was 1982. And we were two guys.
Eric: gods, what a beauty. Pretty enough for two, which was just as well. (My beauty lies in my dynamism. Stills just never quite manage to capture it.)
So we spent the entire week attached to one other in that obnoxious way the newly-in-love do.
That's when the amazing thing happened.
To this day, in 2014, in most places in most American cities, two men walking down the street holding hands are going to hear hate. If you have even the slightest doubt about this, give it a try. What you hear will horrify you.
But not then, and not there. Instead, all week, people (there must have been at least 50 of them, no exaggeration) came up to us beaming and said: “You two are so cute together. Can I take your picture?”
We did make a cute couple, Eric and I. There was something mythic about the two of us together: the Dark Twin and the Light, like the Two Faces of the Witches' God. Skinny as staffs and pretty as pictures.*
In the face of all this overwhelming approval, there were still a few folks at the festival who were obviously discomforted seeing two men together. And here's the thing: they were peer-pressured into dealing with it.
As a gay man, it was the very first time in my life that I'd ever had peer pressure working in my favor.
That was when I realized the power of this amazing thing that we are making together. “If this movement is capable of creating this much social change” I thought, “there's no limit to what we can accomplish. And there's no way anyone can stop us.”
32 years later, I still feel the same. What we are making together, folks, is epic. Epic.
Eric, wherever you are, my blessings on you, and my thanks for a beautiful summer.
Gods, we really were cute.
*Regarding skinny, my friend David says, “It's like rolling around with a bag of deer antlers.” Me, I like deer antlers.
Image: Heidi Lange