Liberty and Produce For All

PRODUCEThis week I checked a long overdue item off my to-do list. For as long as I can remember I have heard about the joy of experiencing the farmers market at the Volusia County Fairgrounds which takes place every Wednesday. I am a fan of them but had never gone to this one in particular until now. We made plans to go many times in the past, however, my wife is not exactly a morning person. Getting her up and out of the house early in the morning is rare and her love of sleep usually trumped the promise of cheap fruits and vegetables. The thought would cross our mind each time our produce drawer was bare, but the timing of this usually happened on the day after the farmers market was open.

I was a little too excited to finally begin this outing and realized that this was the main event for the week so far. Note to self: I need to get out more often. We arrived and began our quest for fresh produce. It was clear that we were new here. While walking in, we noticed many were pulling carts with wheels and looked like they were heading into a theme park for the day. The farmers market was a sprawling event and brought in a quite diverse crowd. A variety of vendors lined the property. We like to watch people. I can say that we were not the only people watchers in the crowd. As usual, we held hands while we walked from the parking lot to the entrance. Of course there were those who smiled at us, and those, well, not so much. As we shopped, our hand holding ended as we figured out how to lug around our twenty pound bags filled with our twelve dollars of produce.

Even in the full throws of our farmer’s market euphoria we were reminded that who we are is not okay to some people. Over time, we have grown used to the reactions of those who may be viewing lesbians in their natural habitat and milling about with the rest of society for the first time. It is a part of life for us and we are pretty good at not letting it bother us like it used to in the early days. We are who we are and prefer to offer kindness and a smile to those who may be looking at us with a sideways glance. This really throws people and I admit that we do have some fun with it. It just never gets old.

Near the entrance was a vendor who was peddling a variety of miscellaneous kitchen utensils on a long table. It reminded me of what my kitchen would look like if my two utensil drawers decided to throw up on the counter. I may or may not have seen blood on a few items, but I am not certain. His beat up custom van was parked behind the tent and large posters encouraging repentance were placed in the rear windows facing the table. On our way out we strolled by holding hands and told him to have a nice day as we passed by. He shook his head and that was that.

I should probably not take so much pleasure in moments like this, but I do. The reason why is not what you may think. For me, moments like this are reminders that we are meeting our goal of living fearlessly and authentically despite how others may react. These are not opportunities to shove the “whole gay thing” down anyone’s throats as some would say. Rather, these moments inspire us to be bold in showing that we are here, we are human, and we love a good deal on gargantuan zucchini just as much as the next person, gay, straight or otherwise.