Amy B. Smoyer, PhD

Incarcerated Lives, Health & Social Work

Florida Love

First couple of Key West
Where does your heart live? In my 45 years, I have lived in thirteen places and feel a strong allegiance to each of these domains. All this love can make for a confusing narrative. The Southeast Mass Jamaica Plain girl from Florida via Swarthmore who lives in New Haven. Born in the USA, married to a Spaniard, and now I think I'm Danish. I'm like the Taco Bell Breakfast Waffle Taco: Weird combo.

So from all these magical places, I could never pick a favorite, but don't even get me started on my Florida love. Heat, Art Deco, Cuban coffee, ocean air, mangrove trees, old people, young people, beautiful highways. Much love and so happy this week to see the Sunshine State join the list of now 36 states that allow same-sex marriage. This is a fight that has raged in Florida since the 1970s when Anita Bryant came to town peddling hate and fear. I hold this moment for the men I met in my work with people with AIDS in Miami Beach during the early 1990s who weren't allowed to decide about their partners' health care, couldn't hold onto assets, and had to move out of their apartments when partners passed. Your struggle is not forgotten.

Today when I was driving to my new favorite place, Providence, RI, that Macklemore song came on the radio. I know it's yesterday's news, but I still find it stunning and astounding that song plays on Top Ten radio everywhere, even in the red parts of my blue state. And now in Florida. What a year it has been. #samelove