Posts Tagged → Andy Towle
November 16th, 2009
I’m guessing it was sometime in late September of 2008. I was sitting at my desk working on my second book. My first, The Marrying Kind, was at the time still unsold. I wasn’t in great spirits because I kept getting rejections from editors who said things like: great, funny, touching, I don’t think I can sell it. Gay fiction doesn’t sell.
While I will probably never write anything quite as “gay” as The Marrying Kind again, my second manuscript also features some gay characters. And apparently, as I was told, readers are not interested in gays.
So I’m writing, or struggling, and it’s the fall of 2008, and the phone rings. And I think, let the machine get it, you’re writing. Then I look at my blank computer screen.
I answer the phone.
It provides a welcome distraction.
There is a pause after I say, “hello”. So I know it’s a solicitation. But I’m not writing anyway, so I hang on.
It’s a call from the DNC. They want my money for Obama. Well for Obama, of course. I pull out my credit card. I can’t give a lot. I am an as yet unpublished author (of a book featuring gay people) and a massage therapist.
But for Obama I can spare $50.00. I mean, it’s OBAMA!
I’m about to give my info when a little voice in my head says “Barack Obama does not support marriage equality, why are you giving him money?”
I looked at the credit card in my shaking hand. “You know what,” I hear an angry quiver enter my voice. “On second thought, forget it!”
“Pardon?” The confused DNC volunteer asks. “I just need your card number, sir.”
“No. Not a dime for Obama.”
I sense the campaign worker might hang up on me. And really, can I blame him? But I don’t want him to hang up. I want him to know why he can’t have my fifty bucks.
“I am a gay man,” I say. And now I can see Sally Field as Norma Rae thrust the STRIKE sign above her head. “I will not,” I thunder on, “Give one dime, not a penny, to a candidate who does not believe I deserve the same rights that he enjoys. RIGHTS, I might add, that his own parents would have been denied in some states when they were wed.”
Now I was on a role, “Please tell Mr. Obama,” I say this like the future president and the poor, put upon volunteer on the phone are best buds. “Tell him, when he decides to support my civil rights, I will reward him with contributions to future campaigns.”
I hung up. Had a moment of triumph. And then pictured Sarah Palin and John McCain in the white house.
“Oh my God! What have I done.”
I didn’t call the DNC back. Nor did I tell anyone of my boycott–I was totally on the downlow.
I did vote for Obama.
When he won, I was very glad he had done so. And I was more glad that he’d won without any of my money.
Still, I said nothing about my boycott.
Now I hear we’re all hanging on to our dollars until Obama and the DNC make equality more of a priority. (About time!) I read that leading activists including Pam Spaulding, Andy Towle, Michelangelo Signorile, Dan Savage and David Mixner are requesting that folks put a freeze on their donations until Obama actually lives up to his self-proclaimed title of “fierce advocate” for GLBT issues.
So I guess I can say it now: I’m in, everybody. I’m in.