It seemed like everyone felt Friday, June 26, was going to be the big day. The U.S. Supreme Court was running out of time to announce its decision on Obergefell vs. Hodges.
Sweden is six hours ahead of Washington, DC, so I mostly just had to stew for the first several hours of my Friday as the US slept. By the afternoon I was on a lovely boat tour of the archipelago around Stockholm. The boat had good wifi access, and I couldn’t stop looking at my phone. Has it happened . HAS IT HAPPENED?!!
It wasn’t just me. As the afternoon approached, Facebook started going crazy with anticipation. I started seeing “Go, SCOTUS!!” posts everywhere. I added my two cents:
I had barely finished posting that when I got a FB message from my friend Charles:
ZOMG. The moment I had been waiting for, the moment so many had been waiting for, was finally here! And I was alone on a boat in Sweden. Now, that’s not a bad thing, and of course I realize it was a great privilege to be able to be on a boat in Sweden.
But in that moment, I really needed to celebrate. I had to talk about it.
There was a table of men in front of me who I had heard speaking English. I interrupted their conversation, apologized and explained that I just had to tell someone the news in person. They were very nice. “What does this mean for you?” they asked. “Well, all I need is a date!” I replied.
By this time Facebook was absolutely exploding with rainbows. I soaked up all of the jubilant posts like a recently-released death camp victim let loose in a grocery store.
I had fully expected this to happen while I was on my trip, but I realized that spending the evening alone was simply not an acceptable idea. I got back online and put out the call for help:
My friend Joakim Zetterberg came to the rescue. He connected me with a very nice guy named Shannon Kile. Shannon was getting together Friday evening with “an international group of friends” and I was invited to join.
I almost didn’t go. I got back to the hotel room, tired and glued to Facebook. There was the President ecstatically receiving the phone call with the news about the decision! There was the right-wing going crazy! There were all the clever new memes detonating all over social media! Things like this:
I thought, I’m just going to sit here and relax. And soak in Facebook’s unicorn rainbow party.
Then, thank goodness, I thought, “You idiot. You’ve been invited to join some nice Swedish gay folks to help you celebrate this incredible day.” I showered, got dressed and headed out to join Shannon and his friends.
And what a good decision that turned out to be. Shannon and his buddies couldn’t have been nicer or more welcoming. We toasted the SCOTUS decision over and over. We talked about Bergman and history and America and children’s books and Stockholm.
It was also a very cool place, called Mälarpaviljongen, and it was right on the water not very far from my hotel. It was a joint that sits on pontoons right on the water on the south shore of Kungsholmen, one of Stockholm’s major islands.
And something else really interesting happened at the bar that I’ll tell you about in a later post.
Anyway, we closed the bar down and I walked back to the hotel, exhausted but still jubilant and jazzed and jolly.
Even though I missed my friends terribly on this special night, I was thrilled that I had been able to properly celebrate this most special of days.