This Thing Called Courage

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Will Malachy Hayes at Seventeen Months

IT SEEMS PROPITIOUS to post these pictures of my precious godson, Will Malachy Hayes, on St. Patricks Day, the 17th, when he turned 17 months, after being born 17 months ago-- and sicne my birthday is on the 17th of May, it's always been my lucky number. So how could I resist. It was interesting to note that Irish officials invited the only openly lesbian member of the New York City Council to be one of the marshalls of Dublin's St. Patrick's Day Parade, in answer to NYC's St. Patrick's Day Parade still banning GLBT people from a role in the parade. Dublin has become such a European city, and Ireland such a free-thinking, forward-looking country-- we could learn a lot from it. It used to be the USA led the way on such issues-- now we are slipping backwards, thanks to the conservative yank rightwards this country has endured by unenlightened creatures scurrying out from rocks and other slimy hovels. I think so much of it has to do with education and encounters with good books and travel-- all ways in which we encounter 'other' and learn to leave our puerile prejudices behind.
Back in the early 1990's, Mary Robinson was elected the first woman president of Ireland. A brilliant woman, she was teaching law at Trinity when she was 25 years old. On the evening of her inaugral ball, rather than the usual movers and shakers and politicos and celebrities that attend such gatherings, representatives of those groups thought to have been previously marginalized by Irish politics and society were invited-- gays and lesbians, Travelers, single mothers, and the like-- Ms. Robinson said that this to signify that the new Ireland would be open to all, and that all would benefit from what society had to offer.
In many other ways Ms. Robinson was a president to admire and learn from-- I sometimes dream how wonderful such a person would be in our country. Alas, it would be almost surreal at this point.


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