Thursday, January 24, 2008

Utah's men - a series

"Fairness, & justice, dignity and worth. Families, honesty and openness." That was the slogan of his campaign to win the legislative seat vacated by Duane Bordeaux and awaiting an election against the formidable Jen Seelig. The slogan is the result of the meeting Gordon and I had over dinner at some fabulous restaurant downtown SLC one night while brainstorming. I was working with him to come up. I find meetings over meals very productive - that is why companies provide expense reports. Personally, when I am working on "personal" meetings, my hobbies, my advocacy work, I love a glass of wine - it adds to the ambience, and the ideas flow freely - everything in moderation.

Gordon Storrs is a Log Cabin Republican ran for the Legislature against a certain individual after a close friend of mine stepped down after the death of his mother. Gordon has served in his community council, on the board of Neighborhood House, is a member of Equality Utah and lives in a fabulous house in the City's Fairpark area - it should be on the "tour of homes." It is not necessarily the house that is usually featured, but the architecture, interior, landscaping and small and narrow lot size make it a perfect place for those numerous odd-shaped and reasonably priced lots in Salt Lake. Maybe I will contact my NY Times contact, Christopher Gray, renowned architect and author of "Streetscapes" and see if he wants to do a story on that, along with some other homes of note in the city - not those ones, the ones that divide communities. You all know them, or should.

Gordon has been in my home more times than I can count - he drives up in his yellow Mercedes 280 SL or something (pretty embarrasing for a woman who loves cars and went to the Frankfurt car show for years when living in Germany). I can tell it is Gordon because the engine purrs. I have sat on my couch and sobbed over teen drama a few more times than I can count, and he drove me to the ER on the night I was suffering from shakes and horrible side effects - aka - a HORRIBLE reaction to Lithium. I was worried - when they wheeled me into the room and brought the CAT scan machine. Gordon had just moved in with his partner and they were trying to figure out how to get two homes into one - they succeeded, it is an eclectic mixmatch, but it works. They were having as many of us - a little stress in the relationship as a result of the move. Finally, at 3 a.m. I told him to go home. I had $5 for a cab if I needed it. I suppose I could have called the home teachers, but I only saw him twice and really didn't want to impose. I had not suffered a stroke, thank God. I took a cab home dressed in my nightgown and a hospital blanket. I had to bang on every window in that well-insulated duplex of mine - try waking a teenager under any other circumstances - in the middle of the night - it was around 5, I eventually roused him. Yes, he could have come to the hospital with me, but he had done it a few too many times and I needed to spare him this one. He should have been able to drive me, but his driver's permit was "lost/mixed" up in the transition from Kearns High to West High.

Gordon and I ate a lot of dinners before I left Utah. He really did not want me to go. Lots of people said that, actually - it became annoying to be truthful. I was homeless, that is, living doubled up on the loveseat of a friend because I could not find "affordable" housing on my $9 an hour job.

I went to a fabulous Halloween party at Gordon's place and met his wonderful friends - he served as the counselor for gay students at SLCC. We laughed, talked, drank wine, ate delicious soup - yeah, I know the stereotype, but I am here to say that they can't all cook:)

As I was leaving, I joked for the hundredth time that I was going to take that male nude - created by Rick Graham the gifted artist and SLCC professor - and stick it under my jacket - pretty hard to do, since I was dressed as a gypsy and there would have been no place to hide it.

As only Gordon can do - he surprised me - he took the picture down and gave it to me. The picture is carefully stored in Utah to be hung in my bedroom when I get my "own" place soon.

One day as he dropped me off, he brought a sign for one of the Mayoral candidates - hey my roomie worked for Hatch - I can't help it! I spoke to Gordon the night of the election - I knew how hard he had worked on that campaign. I commiserated with him. It is what friends do. Hey, I was married to a gay man who is also a Republican - we had Bob Dole signs up in our yard one year - that is what love is - yin and yang - give and take. I attended a rally for Bob Dole, not because I wanted him to win, but because the man I loved was working on the campaign ceaselessly - I wanted to support him. One of my kids asked me about that recently - he was convinced I had been a Republican while married to his dad - funny - kids do say the darndest things.

Gordon served as a counselor to an LDS Bishop. He spoke frankly to neighbors about his coming out and painful decision to leave his wife Carol. I am sure he was ostracized - that is the way it goes, I hear over and over again. He has found a new family, and whenever I see him on the arm of Orlin, his partner - I am reminded of love, and the relationship I hope to have with a great guy again someday. Then again, maybe I already know this guy - I have quite a few on my dance card these days. God, I love New York!

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