Wake Up, Pilgrim. You’re a Guy on Gal’s Saddle

It was a long day and a lot of driving on a light breakfast, now nearly 3 PM.

So, when I left the Stonewall Museum conference, I was eager to get to IL Mulino Cucina Italiana, a short distance north on Sunrise, from the Courtyard by Marriott. With the torrential rain the day before, I could have been more in Venice, Italy than Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

Soon as I was seated at IL Mulino’s, I ordered a glass of merlot, and still was I thinking how awkward it must be for LGBTQ+ community members to live in such a “normalized” sexually regimented society.  Still in that programmed playground where girls lined up here, boys over there; men’s restrooms vs. women’s restrooms, pink toys for little girls, blue ones for boys.  I wondered how many of my fellow Republicans would appreciate whence comes the color pink?  Oops, sorry guys.

Yet, these were salient points raised that I guess were so subliminally impactful at the conference sponsored by Stonewall Museum, a client of our PR firm, shortly before all the LGBTQ Pride events, parades, and festivals were to take place throughout the Southern United States.  

No!  I don’t think our stalwart, masculine Gov. DeSantis would be attending any of them in such a bright, juicy-red state like our fastidious Florida known for banning books and “Don’t Say Gay.”

When the urge had become noticeable, then paramount, I got up and started searching for IL Bagno, the restroom at IL Mulino.  When I found it, I couldn’t help noticing inside there were no urinals.  But it was too late as I had already made a beeline to one of the stalls and started to relieve myself. 

Then omg, I noticed to my immediate left was a built-in place to change baby’s diapers, and suddenly a woman walks in.  Embarrassed, I apologized for being in the “wrong” place at the “wrong” time and with a somewhat redder face I hurriedly retreated to my cell, or my table at IL Mulino, where I had been sentenced… excuse me, seated!  Yes, I had broken the law and felt guilty as hell.

It was an experience that seemed powerfully related to points raised at the LGBTQ+ conference that must have had a subliminal impact on me as I normally vote Republican, normally go to men’s rooms like a “real” man is supposed to and as a kid growing up, one of my heroes was rough and tough cowboy actor, John Wayne!   You got that, Pilgrim? 

But today the Duke would have thrown a bucket of water on me for I was way out of bounds on the wrong saddle needing a sobering wake up from just that tiny amount of merlot hiding out in a large glass.

Yes, I had crossed that solid line that divides us until we’re happily married and living with our respective genders comfortably united at home, using the same bathroom.  Meanwhile, Pilgrim, I promise when out, I’ll be more Waynefully careful as out there we’re all as far as you can get from united.

Tom Madden is a marksman with words.  He shoots out articles, blogs and books like Duke Wayne used to knock out crooks and cattle rustlers in those wild west movies John Ford directed starting with Stagecoach (1939).  Tom’s stagecoach, the PR firm TransMedia Group, is hauled up in as far as you can get from badlands, Boca Raton, FL