This past Monday, just by chance, I actually—really—heard the lyrics for Macklemore’s “Same Love.” I saw the video last February in Australia and loved it, but hearing it on the radio and truly meditating on the lyrics a few days after the Supreme Court overturned Prop 8 was particularly poignant. Not to mention that it was Gay Pride weekend in Seattle and that the Seattle Mariners flew the rainbow flag on Sunday, a first in Major League Baseball. A good week.
Macklemore’s song highlights the fact that pre-conceived notions and stereotypes concerning gay culture are as widespread as similar notions were to African American civil rights up until the late ‘60s and women’s rights until more recently. We live in a country and world at this moment where it is still largely acceptable to say someone is a “faggot” if you are trying to belittle that someone. It is somewhat okay in large parts of our culture to say, “That is so gay.” I’ve done it. You’ve done it. Black or white, male or female, a lot of have said it.
A friend and I were recently discussing how bad ass it was for the Mariners to fly the rainbow flag. He was telling me how the Seattle Seahawks have proposed to fly a rainbow “12th Man” flag this season, and how some of the Hawks more blue-collar season-ticket holders may be a bit flustered by it. He is right—football is a bit different than baseball. But hopefully, Seattle will rise up to this occasion if and when that flag does fly. We passed the Referendum making same-sex marriage a legal thing after all.
In “Same Love,” Macklemore also states that same-sex marriage legalization is really just a piece of paper, and that the document doesn’t mean it’s going to change how people talk behind closed doors, or more succinctly, what kind of things people post on YouTube with aliases or whatnot. But same-sex marriage legalization is a start. Those prejudices will have less room to roam free.
Interracial marriage was illegal in many states here in America until the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. When we now look at this fact, most of us think how fucking archaic it is. Let’s hope what the Supreme Court did last week will be a giant step towards our kids looking back in 20 years and thinking how archaic the same-sex marriage ban was.
That is really all there is to this week’s column. Just a thought to chew on a bit. Love is indeed a universal thing. Even my kids know that—and they haven’t even experienced young love yet.
It’s a no-brainer, I’m glad to have seen it come to pass, and I’m proud to be a damn American, especially on weeks like this. Happy 4th of July!