Archive → November, 2008
November 7th, 2008
Something dramatic has shifted in the mood of gays & lesbians I’ve been in contact with. It started Wednesday, after the euphoria of the Obama election started passing and the realization that we had somehow taken two steps forward and three back. We, as a group, have found our anger and our voice. Because, this wasn’t the CHANGE we were hoping for. The promise of change was not supposed to strip us of rights. The promise of change was not supposed to be just for some. The WE, of Yes we Can, was supposed to include me, too.
And so we must respond. And protesting has begun. I am, and most people I know are thrilled by the prospect of an Obama white house. That does not mean we shut up about the injustices of Tuesday.
I urge everyone who supports equality to start making some noise. Take to the streets, write a letter, skip a wedding. Do something.
Today I received a note from a man in California who moved there from NY 6 months ago to marry his partner. I can not begin to imagine the pain he must be feeling now. From his sadness, I imagine will come anger, from anger the conviction to fight. It’s a feeling so many of us have now.
On facebook where I have my group The Marrying Kind, several hundred people have joined since Wednesday night. They in turn have invited their friends. Several other protest groups have formed.
This election was joyous but also shined a harsh light on the reality of life for gays and lesbians in America. Something has shifted. I don’t think we will be complacent any longer.
You see, we heard the message. Followed the man’s call. Supported, fought and believed.
WE STILL BELIEVE: CHANGE
Yes, we can.
November 6th, 2008
My mother called me this afternoon. That’s nothing new, we talk several times a week on the phone. For the last several months our conversations have been mostly about politics. We’re on the same side of issues so our chats were never heated, except when we were both upset about something the “other side” had said or done. Or we’d both seen Elizabeth on The View.
Today, she asked me how I was doing using her I-love-you-and-I’m-very-concerned voice.
“I’m fine,” I said.
“I’m so, so sorry.”
I wasn’t following.
She was referring to the contests: Prop 8, Florida, Arizona, Arkansas. “It’s horrible,” she said. “I just don’t understand.”
When I first told my mother that my partner and I were no longer attending weddings as a form of protest, she said “okay but couldn’t you just send your regrets without getting into the reason.” She didn’t want to offend anyone.
Today she was speaking in a very different way. How, she wondered, could someone vote for Obama and then also vote for hate? Did they not understand the message of CHANGE?
I had no answer for her.
Before we hung up, her voice began to crack. “I want you to know something. As far as I’m concerned you and Marcus are married. I pray someday the country will recognize that. I’m so proud of you.”
I’m proud of you too Ma, I wanted to say. But the words didn’t come.
November 5th, 2008
Today, everywhere I look I see smiling faces on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Last night history was made with the election of Barack Obama. I heard the cheering crowds, and I joined them. Hope renewed.
This morning I awoke to discover that same-sex marriage bans had passed in Florida and Arizona. Arkansas passed legislation keeping gays from adopting. And proposition hate (I mean, will likely pass.
How is it that all of these Americans excited by the prospect of change do not want change for gays and lesbians?
Today is a joyous day. But it is also for me terribly bittersweet. Our journey will be long, our road filled with obstacles, we must persevere. We must fight. For CHANGE is for all of us.
I urge you all to say how thrilled you are about the results of this presidential election. And then add the But…. But I am saddened, frustrated, recommitted to the cause of equality.
We have seen a black man become president in our life times. I don’t believe we will see an openly gay or lesbian president in my lifetime. It certainly can’t happen until we have equal rights. If we can’t serve in the military, If we can not marry, we can not lead our country.
Please, if you have not already, join me in boycotting federally recognized marriage until every US citizen can wed.