This past week I was in Santa Monica, among other places. One of the most amazing parts of being in California was the fact that nobody stared. Nobody gave me awkward glances. Nobody even gave me any kind of a problem whatsoever.
Similar to the story in the book I wrote about Portland, Maine, it was incredibly relieving to walk down the street and not get any awkward glances. Maybe when you get to live in California, seeing someone who is visibly queer isn’t that big of a deal, but when you have to deal with the stares and accusative glares more often than not, it feels like being in a different world.
I did a photo shoot in Santa Monica this weekend, and there were literally throngs of people on the pier. Not one of them gave me even the slightest of problems. Not one of them questioned my name when I said it was Marissa. Not one of them saw me in a dress and made a snide remark. Not one of them questioned what bathroom I should be using.
Sometimes the conservatives talk shit on California like it’s this dystopian wasteland, apart from the “real America.” Well, in the supposed “unreal America,” I was treated better by strangers than my own neighbors in Pennsylvania. For all the shit spoken on California, it must be hell to go to a place where people are accepted for who they are and don’t have to hide. It must be hell to walk down the street and not have to fear who the crazy or anti-LGBT people are. Even the LA Republicans at least leave you alone.
Why do we have to have this disparity? Why in my own country do I have to pick out certain areas that might be “safe?” Why is it that a certain segment of the country has such a problem with what other people do with their lives, and are also the same ones bitching about government taking away their “freedom?” I think when people complain about losing their freedom, they’re usually talking about losing their freedom… to be racist, homophobic, sexist, transphobic, and bully without consequence. If your biggest problem in life is that you’re no longer allowed to be a shitty person, you need to re-evaluate your priorities.
One store owner had the sweest remark of all. I made a joke in the Purple Galore store (PURPLE EVERYTHING!!!!) and said it was nice to be in a place where nobody was giving me a problem. She gave me the most innocent of looks and said, “why would anyone give you a problem?” Completely clueless as to what I’ve meant. Why can’t I live in that country? Why do I have to live in the one the right people fight hardest for is the one to hurt other people? And why is fighting against that somehow equated with weakness and snowflakes? Bullshit.