Let’s see... Next we stopped at a private island, a sliver of land owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines. Here we could do all our ghastly anti-family stuff away from prying eyes, like beach volley ball, bbq’n, and snorkeling in the warm Caribbean waters.
Oh and look, here’s a picture I got of Rosie, our leader:
In that picture I think she’s saying something bad about Donald Trump or undermining our troops or something. Call me, Enquirer, if you want to buy the rights to the photo; I'm reasonable.
After the private island, we then headed back to New York. It's kind of sad to head home, but it took a couple days. And even at sea there’s a lot to do, from constant eating ;-) to the comedic entertainment (we had Sandra Bernhard, Judy Gold, Alec Mapa, and Jessica Kirson, hilarious). As one of the gayest things I've ever seen, one night we had the songs from Annie performed by the original Broadway Annie, Andrea McArdle, with Rosie as Miss Hannigan. I'm not saying if I enjoyed any bit of it.
My favorite event, one they always have towards the end of the cruise, is the Teen Panel. Here about 10 teens from gay or lesbian headed families on the ship put together a discussion panel, where they give their point of view on growing up in their family, discuss the ups and the downs, and take questions from all us nervous parents yet to hear our kid’s voice change. They are amazing kids, very congenial, smart, eloquent. Each year this event takes away a good deal of my worry for what’s ahead.
Let’s see… Then one night we all wore pink, it was in our gay cruise contract (it was one of the theme nights). I normally wouldn’t conform but you’d be surprised how having kids can make too cute seem reasonable.
ugg, Rob and I are even matching. :-)
Finally, I think I’ll end with this: a bit from my journal from the end of the trip, somewhat edited for web viewing. It pretty much sums up the week.
Today we are at sea and I was walking the ship as the kids napped. The cruise is almost over and I was just taking it all in again. The spirit on the ship is amazing. As I walked by the hall where all the photos are displayed, I almost began to tear up. So many beautiful children, families, and parents.
There’s the cute young couple I saw at disco night by the pool adeptly dancing, only like a gay man could, with their adorable bouncing toddler. There’s the lesbian mothers of 5 from Memphis. There’s that couple with their beautiful daughter who was the princess to our princes for fairytale night. There’s [Brian’s friend] and his sister with the most adorable smiles. So many beautiful families, wonderful children and parents, and couples. I know the ship is a business and they take these pictures because they want to charge us 20 bucks per print, but who cares? It’s about 25 yards of amazing families, most of whom have fought past some great obstacles, done what they knew was right in their life, and made it. What a beautiful sight.
After I passed that hall, I headed into a crowd of the same great families. There was a pack of middle school-aged friends playing on the elevators, parents with twin infants strapped to their chests, and kids skipping behind their family to dinner. I was overcome there by one of those amazing swells of love, where it just feels like the universe has taken you gently by the hand, or heart. It’s futile to describe such a feeling, I suppose; funny how some of the most capital-R Real feelings are those most difficult to put into words. Regardless, it was beautiful and comforting.
In looking at those families and thinking on all the people we’ve met and thinking on my boys sound asleep with their dad back in our too small room, it hit me so clearly. This is why I shouldn’t worry, why no politician or religious idea will hold up against our families, as long as we’re not taken back out of existence. It’s as plain as day.
The other side will have to come around or hurt the very thing they claim they’re defending. They can say all they want about what they think they know about God’s plan for our lives. They can construct as many elaborate arguments against our so-called non-ideal families as they want. It won’t ultimately stand up to the firm and beautiful fact. These families know why they were created, and why it’s right. Regardless of the hang-ups of others--sex, genetics, race, or disability--the simple truth of what makes a family and orientation is so clear here. And these families will all go home. They will all live their lives and their neighbors will see it and know what I know. If any families are meant to be, then these families are meant to be. If any marriages are deserving respect, equality, and defense, then these marriages are deserving. If any parents are important for their children and for society, then these parents are important too. Now, if only we could get every US citizen a ticket for the next cruise…
Anyway, that concludes my cruise posts. I’ll leave it with this photo.
It’s Brian sound asleep as we pulled back into New York. That’s the Statue of Liberty in the background. It was a great trip.