Since I have nothing to add to the gender debate that hasn't already been said, I am going to talk about something else that happened at Pantheacon. In fact, this is probably something that most people don't even know about.
You see....Saturday night while I was busy shaking my buns at the drum circle, there was a wedding reception happening downstairs at Club Max. The (very young) happy couple were having fun and getting extremely intoxicated; as were their wedding party. There were several young men randomly wondering around the Pantheacon scheduled events.
One of these men was waiting in line right behind me at the 9 o'clock time slot. He was asking other P-con goers how he could "get into this party". He was going down the line soliciting hugs and stumbling around from room to room. An hour later he was upstairs and eventually he was escorted out by hotel security. (Not quick enough in my mind...but whatever.)
I figured this would be my only encounter with the strangest wedding party ever, but noooooo, I was treated to much more.
As my group of friends and I were leaving the drum circle the inebriated Bride and Groom (plus several members of their bridal party) were leaving Club Max. The Groom stopped us in the lobby. He was very concerned for our well-being, almost to the point of anger.
He wanted to let us know that Jesus loved us. He started to get insistent, as if it was his mission in life to convert us heathens and show us the path to God. I am not a fan of confrontation, so I kept on walking, but the Groom started to corner the people in my group and he started to get a little 'handsy'. As his insistence increased, his beautiful new wife started to loudly ask us drunken questions like, "are you all fags?" (Nothing prettier than a beautiful young woman in a gorgeous white dress yelling "fag" across the lobby of a hotel.)
I was nervous and more than a little worried that these messy drunks might escalate things to an ugly place. I wanted to keep moving and get away from them, but they weren't making that easy. Finally my partner said, "I know Jesus loves me and I love Jesus too".
The energy shifted. The Groom was relieved and wanted to hug us. Suddenly we were part of his brotherhood again. We were acceptable and everything he thought about us a few minutes earlier was out the window.
Sometimes I forget that other people aren't as lucky as I am with being out of the broom closet. I live in a place where people are mostly accepting and open minded. I never expected to run into something like that at Pantheacon of all places. It was so late at night that I felt vulnerable. My group of five friends were up against an inebriated group of six or seven. It easily could have been ugly. And yet, the power of Jesus shifted everything.
Even thinking about this now, several days later, I am struck by how sad, scared, and angry the whole situation made me. I was really mad when we got back to our hotel room. I almost wished that I had picked a fight. They were so ready to come at us with anger and righteousness when we were the "wrong ones", but when they learned we were on the same side, suddenly it was all okay? Uh, no, I don't think so.
Now that I think about it, there are actually a lot of parallels between this situation and the gender debates.
Lucky for me I had a chance, later in the weekend, to let go of what they said and my anger towards them. I wish the couple all the best in their new marriage. I hope they have a long and happy life together and that they truly use the teaching of Jesus as their guide.