This last weekend. I don't know if I'll ever get over it. We all went down to Palm Springs for Billy's 40th birthday, where he had rented a large home with space for 15 people or so. I had been looking forward to this trip for some time, but after the horror of last week's elections and the days following, this trip seemed critical — to vacate my mind, to vacate real life, to just get away and recoup and regroup and refocus. We got all that and an incredible catharsis.
You can talk all the noise you want about safe spaces and echo chambers and what ever else have you, but the balm of being surrounded by people you love, by people who just GET YOU, who understand you, who support you — people you trust, people you know, people you cherish — man, it just can't be overstated how healing that is.
These men. So smart, and kind, and witty. So loving. We spent hours in the pool, we hiked around Joshua Tree, we ate delicious home-cooked meals. John and I made a bonkers strata for breakfast one morning (sourdough, italian sausage, roasted tomatoes, bacon, cheddar, spinach), David and Adam put together a sandwich bar for the gods for lunch, James and Daniel made simple but elegant roast chicken and potato salad dinner. On Saturday night we had a party for Billy, where Brad sang a song he and James wrote, a riff on Dolly's "Coat of Many Colors" called "Caftan of Many Colors." He was pretty nervous, but it was SO wonderful, and while funny and silly, also spoke sincerely to love we all feel for Billy, off the gratitude for he and Richard's open home, to the sense of family and belonging he has helped create among us. We were all pretty teary afterwards. From there it was an absolute pageant: something like 15 drag lipsync performances in homage to Billy — some hilarious, some avant garde, some verging on erotic. It was amazing.
To look around that room... I've never felt so grateful. Colin and I talked about the power of being able to just embrace who you are, to let your guard down, to be femme, to be vulnerable, to be soft with one another. Billy remarked on how blessed he felt to be surrounded by so many loving friends, a sentiment we all shared, but also on the magic of people from different circles in his life immediately embracing one another and clicking. I couldn't have agreed more. As one of the newer addition to their group via John, I've been humbled and deeply moved by how many relationships I've made at Billy's house over the past months, but even on this weekend alone.
I love these guys.