Not being one who has ever solicited anonymous, or even well-known,
sexual liaisons in public settings, I wasn't aware of the Larry Craig foot-tapping dance which seems so imitative of certain insects that tap on leaves and stems to communicate either territorial limits or a need for mating. Thanks to Senator Craig America has received a birds-and-bees nature lore lesson hitherto known only to a relatively few wildlife specialists.
But I do know there is a wafting of sexual pheromones in public parks after dark at certain locations in Oklahoma City (OKC), Will Rogers Park being one of them.
I recently attended a neighborhood political event at Will Rogers Park that, after I had helped pack up the event, found me walking back to my car after dark at 8:30pm. I had parked at the botanical greenhouse thinking the event I was attending was located in that area. After finding the event I realized I should have parked by the amphitheater instead. I didn't want to walk back and move my car after finally finding the event as I felt no qualms about walking in the dark after the event was finished.
The picnic pavilions had security lights that came on as darkness set in and there were utility poles with lights that came on around the amphitheater, but as I walked back towards the greenhouse parking lot down by the arboretum I noticed that the street lights, even though there are many of them and they couldn't ALL be malfunctioning, were turned off--all of them.
It occurred to me that these lights were turned off intentionally to encourage the lewd sort of behavior that results in brownie-point arrests for the police department, fines for the city's coffers, and humiliation and other negative social effects for those arrested such as job or housing lose, and registering as a sex offender on publicly available websites.
Is the darkness a passive policy of enticement purposely engineered by OKC city government? Is the darkness being used as a low-maintenance bait for entrapment? If the city was really interested in reducing lewd behavior in public parks wouldn't the lights be on throughout the night? Why weren't all those sensors operational?
If street lights can come on automatically in residential neighborhoods to promote safety shouldn't they also be effective in public areas where unwelcome behavior is known to occur?
Shouldn't those lights be turned on not only to discourage alleged lewd behavior, but also to lessen the threat of vandalism?
There were about three or four cars within a stone's throw of mine and as I was loading my trunk another car pulled in and an individual got out and walked away from the parking lot. I could see another person sitting in a car outlined by the flashing burglar alarm light on the dashboard, as if the occupant were a summer lightening bug signaling for a mate.
I'm no fan of toilet trollers or lover's lane Lotharios of either orientation.
As a repressed minority in the USA and a target of brimstone-eating bible bangers we gay people need to do better. When we achieve the full recognition of our citizenship, then like most straights who are observed in public sexual congress, we'll be given a warning and told to move on without the victimization that comes from puritan policymakers.
I thank GOPer Senator Craig, a 62-year old man from Idaho, responsible for running several successful election campaigns, for showing the USA what responsibility he can be trusted with. If one is old enough for sexual activity, one should have the responsibility to do it in private.
James Nimmo is active in progressive issues and believes no one should be denied their equality because of the accidents of birth and circumstances.