Wednesday, November 5, 2008

At least the anti-choice folks didn't win

I turned on the computer this morning fully intending to write a glowing, beaming, disgustingly happy post about Obama, about progress and change and the spirit of America. After falling asleep to the sounds of celebration in the streets, I was ready this morning to jump up and down. I had a title ready – “The Bradley Effect can kiss my hot, victorious bootay.” It was good.

And then I sat down and started reading. It started with Virgin in the Volcano. Normally I count on her blog for some laughs, but not this morning. This morning she wrote,

“There were happy honkers here in Boston all night, celebrating Obama's victory and the blue turn of the House and Senate. After 8 years of Bush disasters, people finally had something to look forward to and felt good. But I don't feel good at all. In California, Prop 8, with 91% of the vote reported this morning, looks like it will pass, once again denying homosexuals the right to marry. Florida and Arizona passed props banning gay marriage. Arkansas passed a prop to ban gay couples from adopting. And in California, you know who voted overwhelmingly for Prop 8? Black people.

So exactly what kind of moment is this in history? I don't think it's the amazing triumph the newscasters are touting. A black man became president, sure, but the vote really wasn't for him. The vote was for whomever not connected to Bush, to the Republican party, who has steered the world into the worst economic crisis since the 1920's. People voted for their jobs and pension plans, the value of their mutual funds, the ability to obtain a line of credit. And when those things were not involved, they voted on the same old hateful lines. They voted to say, no faggots welcome.

The new myth of America, the one that drones on about change and humble beginnings, is the old myth of America, and I am tired of it. I am ashamed. I can't protect the people I love from institutionalized hate. My parents will have to pull out their No on 8 signs from the front lawn, feel over and over the ugly things the country has said about their son.”

I read the results of all of the ballot measures. I cried. It’s a resounding blow to gays. A resounding statement that America is not behind us – this hopeful, changing America.

I feel like the cheers were stolen right out of my mouth.

And yet…

Obama DID win. A black man will be the president of the United States of America.

I am disappointed that the country is not where I want it to be.

I am disappointed with the black voters in California.

I am personally hurt by the votes of people who want to deny people like me the right to marry the people we love or to adopt children.

BUT I can’t ignore the import of what happened yesterday. I can’t ignore the fact that the people of this country – black and white and hispanic and asian and everything in between – voted Obama into office.

Despite the pain of these ballot measures, I am moved by this election. I still feel hope. I can’t help myself. In a country where less than 50 years ago, it was not illegal to keep a black man from voting, a black man has become president. That message of hope and change is for all of us – even if today wasn’t our day. This election has shown us that impossibilities are possibilities and that our day will come.

So, I can’t jump up and down, but I won’t cry in the corner either.

Yesterday on my tour of the Supreme Court, the guide pointed out the different animals represented in the architecture of one of the courtyards. Lions to represent protection. Owls to represent wisdom. And turtles to represent the slow and steady pace of justice.

Slow and steady she goes….


Virgin In The Volcano said...

Is it really slow and steady? Or is that just a convenient phrase to hide the failings of man? Only a 50% vote is required to overturn a state supreme court decision. I don't see anything slow and steady about that.

Ugh, I'm sorry to rant at you. I'm just so disgusted by all of this. Heart hurts.

(In)Sanity Gal said...

No need to apologize, Virgin. My heart hurts too. And I vacillate between depression and hope. I saw a picture of people cheering about 8 passing, and it was so painful to look at. They were cheering like it was the happiest day of their lives. I don't understand.

Trannyhead said...

I'm disgusted by Prop 8's passage. It seems to me that the Obama victory is two steps forward to get beyond discrimination in our country and yet one step back with the passage of Prop 8.

It's a horror show.

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