My sweetheart and I returned to the city for more cleanup and collection of important bits. Due to some schedule shifts, Miss Taz winded up going with us. Cleanup at the old apartment was short, and we went to the Castro district for shopping (at the amazing Cliff’s Variety and the sadly-closed-for-Labor-Day Imagi-Knit).
To young Miss Taz, the day was amazing. After we got past the boring clean up at the scary messy apartment, we went to Castro and WOW! Look at all the rainbows! There were rainbow banners and the rainbow crosswalk and rainbow posters and rainbow clothes and rainbow charms. There’s this whole community here that just celebrates rainbows!
And then some nice retail clerks were just delighted to help Miss Taz hunt down a full-length Supergirl cape so she could be Supergirl for Hallowe’en. And then she wore the cape around for the rest of the day (to the glances and delight of the town) and IT WAS AWESOME!.
The glances and delight didn’t end at the Castro district border, or San Francisco for that matter.
It served as a delightful reminder of the social clime of San Francisco, specifically the wide variance of dress and behavior that is regarded as normal and acceptable. The naked guy, the diva flouncing in the outrageous feather boa, or the stuffy Victorian gentleman, or the penis mascot who works for the government are all just par for a day. Compared to them, I was pedestrian. Not just pedestrian, but downright square.
Compared to them, Supergirl is yet another citizen of Penny Lane.
To me, this is what the LGBTQ rainbow flag stands for, an acceptance of all colors, all walks. Nothing is too strange for town. Conformity is so lax that Mr. Naked and Mr. Stuffy can chat over tea and biscuits without notice anything is odd, let alone take offense.
It’s what it should look like when we talk about the United States being a pluralist nation.
But our nation is not like that at all outside San Francisco. That rainbow sparkle rapidly dwindles as one wanders from the district.
In Vacaville, that sparkle is remote, the distant glory of the Rainbow city. You can show some pride in modest ways around here, but not too much.
It’s something worth discussing with my therapist (which I did). Here in Vacaville, the clime is more like that of to the suburbs of Los Angeles: I am outside the realm of what is normal. For most I’m well within that range of what is tolerable. But I do worry that the fanatics that live in these parts might decide that my oddness is a menace, or indicative of malicious intent. They have faith and guns, and I try to give them the benefit of doubt. I try to not fear them as I do others in the news with alleged faith and guns.
But in San Francisco the background noise is enough to obfuscate peculiar characters way, way more vivid than I ever was.
Vivid like rainbows.