mama loves you 5: the freedom to love and code (or not)

pride

Dear Dalia,

Have I ever told you about the time I got locked in my tenth grade computer science classroom?

It was a nightmare for many reasons, the first of which being OMG I HATED COMPUTER SCIENCE. Apart from the subject matter, at which I was utterly hopeless, our teacher was a religious fanatic who wrote a pamphlet about abstinence that he regularly passed around to his students. AND, the internet was, like, a toddler, and still really novel and the guys in my class had just discovered a website with pictures of dead bodies.

My issues with coding and creationists and dead bodies aside, the real problem of my being locked in my computer science classroom was the reason: hundreds of angry students marching down the halls, slamming lockers and screaming.

“NO GAY CLUBS!” they yelled, according to the Newsweek article written about that day. “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!” I remember people chanting. It was the first time I had heard that chant.

The reason for these protests — riots? — was the recent formation of a club called the Gay Straight Alliance. The Newsweek article (yep, my high school was on the cover**) mentions that it took 6 months for this club to get permission to form on campus.

I hope when you’re in high school, everyone shakes their heads in horror that anyone would have rioted over such a thing. “Our parents’ generation was so weird,” you’ll say to your friend via some communication device that hasn’t been invented yet, “my mom couldn’t code and gay people couldn’t have clubs.”

Today, your dad and I are celebrating our six year anniversary two days after same-sex marriage became legal in this country and the same day as Minneapolis’s Pride celebration. It feels really special to me to share this celebration, and although we didn’t make it to Pride this year, my goal is to bring you as often as I can. I hope you grow up in a world where everyone is allowed to do their thing. I hope it’s not even a question.

Mama loves you (no matter who you love),

D

** P.S. — “Newsweek” was a magazine. A “magazine” was a bound collection of articles and pictures that was delivered to your house every week or month. A “cover” refers to the very front page. KIDS THESE DAYS.

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