When I heard that Fun Home was going on a National Tour, I got very excited and hoped it would come to Chicago. It did come to Chicago. It’s running right now. I bought my ticket as soon as I was able. I’ve been giddy about it!
Until today. Today, I considered skipping it. I considered swallowing the cost of the ticket to just stay at home.
You see, I was afraid to go. I had one ticket so I would be attending alone. I’d have to walk between the parking garage and the theatre alone. Then I’d have to walk back to the parking garage alone. I’d be seeing a play about a lesbian. I’d be in an audience with other lesbians and gay men and bisexuals and transgendered people and our allies.
What if something happened?
Yeah. Fear made its way to the surface. And then someone “liked” the blog post I wrote yesterday. It prompted me to re-read that post. And then I re-read a couple more. I realized that I was giving into fear right after saying that I wouldn’t do that very thing. So I got off my ass and started getting ready to go.
I got pissed!
I love the theatre. I love musical theatre. I love theatre in Chicago. We get the big shows that come out of New York. We get World Premieres before they head to New York. We have great regional theatre. I mean, we are a theatre town!
That joy was tainted. Because there are people who voted to legitimize hatred. Because there are people who voted to legitimize violence.
In the past, I’d update my Facebook page to say, “Whoo hoo! I’m going to see [insert awesome show] tonight!” When I arrived I would take pictures outside the theatre – of the marquee, of the show posters, of the crowd. I’d check in at intermission saying how much fun I was having. I’d get home excited to write about the experience.
Today, this is what my status said:
For the record:
I’m seeing “Fun Home” tonight at the Oriental Theatre.
I will check in once in the theatre.
I will check in again once I’m back in my car.
I will check in a final time when I arrive home.
And then, I followed through and provided “For the record” updates when I got to my seat, when I got back to my car, and when I got home.
This is what the world has come to. I needed to let people know where I was and what I was doing “just in case.” I got to the parking garage and found a spot near the elevator and then waited in my car until I saw a group of people. Then I went to the elevator to ride with the group. When I got to the theatre, I went in immediately and headed directly for my seat. I did not relax until I was there. After the show, I made a beeline for the parking garage, but I stayed with the crowd – I didn’t break away and walk by myself; I didn’t enjoy the nice night; I didn’t revel in the excitement of the theatre crowd after a great show. I nearly ran from the elevator to my car and immediately locked the door once I got in. It didn’t matter that they would lock automatically once I put the car in gear.
People who voted to legitimize hatred and violence have impacted one of my great joys.
So, yeah. For the record, I’m pissed.
Carleen, I’m so sorry you, no, we are impacted this way! Just when some of us were learning to be comfortable in our own skin and space. Some don’t realize the degree to which this changes many of our lives.
As a black American woman in the south I have felt a similar level of anxiety, sometimes on a daily basis. And now, ‘they’ have managed to take away yet another of the places I felt somewhat ‘safe’.
No platitudes from me. Just let me know if you figure out a plan. ❤