She has always been one for grand gestures, romantic getaways, and surprise trips. It is one of the many things I love about her, her sentimental nature. I remember studying in the medical school library one day, cramming as usual for some test the following week. She kept smiling sheepishly and acting amiss. And, per usual course, she couldn’t contain the secret much longer than a few hours. She eagerly pulled me aside to tell me. She would be taking me to Red Rocks for a Florence and the Machine concert for my birthday. It would be an insanely quick trip, in and out of Denver in less than 24 hours, but so worth it.
Red Rocks is a natural amphitheater outside of Denver, where tall slabs of rock cocoon concertgoers in a little nest of sound. The acoustics are incredible and the overall vibe intimate. Florence captivated everyone in the audience with her whimsical nature and astounding vocals. It is still to this day the best concert I’ve ever been to.
Something else stuck with me that night. It being Colorado, there were dozens of lesbian couples walking around openly holding hands and showing affection. Coming from Texas, I was shocked and so very relieved. I suddenly felt so much more comfortable in my own skin. I felt validated and supported, and slowly inched my way towards permitting myself to express my love for Whitney publicly. As I look back on that moment now, I realize how far I have come emotionally in accepting who I am and how much more empowered I feel because of it. It was an epiphany of sorts, the sudden awareness of the commonality I shared with other couples. It was the closest I had come to community and it meant everything to me.