A Story of a Kiss for a Friday

Here's a brief story for you:

In the early 1990s I was at a New Year's Eve party at a friend's house in Tennessee. It had been a genuinely fun evening, with wine and weed and music and dancing and heartfelt conversations on the back deck and joke telling on the front porch. The people were a mix: gay, straight, black, white, men, women, older, younger. I was in that latter group back then. One man in his 50s, Lyle, had been flirting with me, and I was pretty clear that I wasn't interested. Near midnight, Lyle found me and, when the clock struck 12, he came up to me for what I thought was a friendly hug. Instead, he put one hand on the back of my head and the other on my neck and, as I resisted and pulled back, he pulled me in and kissed me, sticking his tongue in my mouth. I was stronger and shoved him off me. Almost no one saw, and I made a split-second decision not to say anything and not to make a scene. I told the one person who asked about it that it was no big deal and got another drink. "Yeah, Lyle does that sometimes when he's drunk," the friend told me. The rest of the night, Lyle kept smiling at me as if we had just shared a special, secret moment. I finally left around 4 and headed to Waffle House with some other friends, several of whom had their own Lyle tale.

Now, I'm not telling this story for sympathy. I don't need anyone to wish me well. Give those sentiments to people who have been through far, far worse than that. And I'm not telling the story because I'm trying to say that I understand what women go through, especially, now, the women who are saying that Donald Trump has done the same and more to them. Lyle had no power in my life and was, at best, a distant acquaintance. I had no reason to fear him, no reason to care about him since he could do nothing to me. So I was in very different circumstances and won't pretend to be anything other than an ally to the women who are accusing Trump now.

The reason I'm bringing it up is this:

Trump and his people ask why these allegations are coming out now. Other than the fact that they'd been coming out over the decades and just ignored, that's just a stupid question. If Lyle were running for president and if Lyle had told the entire nation that he had never done anything like what he did to me, then I would go to the media and tell this story because I'd believe that it's important for everyone to know what kind of person they were voting for.

So while I might not be able to fully understand what the women, what nearly all women have experienced, I get why they're speaking up. Trump was attempting to be elected by denying his own actions. He had to be held to account by someone. I'd feel a duty to do so. The weight of responsibility must be heavy on the women coming forward, especially as they are attacked by Trump's idiot hordes and dismissed as liars and slanderers by Trump. But they are still speaking, more and more every day.

Courage these days comes from stating the simple truth and standing by it.