goodness, life

It bends toward justice

Being an adult who keeps up with politics can be an emotional roller coaster.  We were electric the day Obama was elected president, but that evening I attended a protest in West Hollywood with a devastated crowd: Prop 8 had passed.  I stood among throngs of people, angry, confused and disappointed by their fellow Californians’ callousness, and held signs that asked passing cars, “When do I get to vote on your right to marry?”

I realize I never posted the photos I took there.  It seems appropriate to post them today to commemorate our disappointment and burning desire for equality.  Almost five years later, the nation has changed for the better.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”  Let’s keep fighting.

media exposure was minimal, given Obama's election win that same day

media exposure was minimal, given Obama’s election win that same day

finally, those signs speak the truth.

finally, those signs speak the truth.

poignant

poignant

holding his adopted daughter, this man spoke eloquently to a reporter on the passage of prop 8

holding his adopted daughter, this man spoke eloquently to a reporter on the passage of prop 8

our numbers swelled, and eventually there were enough of us to claim the Santa Monica/San Vicente intersection

our numbers swelled, and eventually there were enough of us to claim the  intersection (today, it has rainbow-colored crosswalks)

we received a surprising amount of support from inconvenienced commuters as we marched east on Santa Monica Blvd

we received a surprising amount of support from inconvenienced commuters as we marched east on Santa Monica Blvd

she asked if she could climb onto his hood, but the taxi driver thought she was asking for a ride and yelled at her to get down

she asked if she could climb onto his hood, but the taxi driver thought she was asking for a ride and yelled at her to get down

the police were calm and gentle with the few protesters they arrested, including this man in the blue striped shirt (far left)

the police were calm and gentle with the few protesters they arrested

I stood with the people in this last photo in a kind of mutually respectful standoff with the police at Santa Monica Blvd and La Cienega.  There was a sense of defiance and desperation in the air.  An officer on a megaphone told us to get out of the road and back onto the sidewalk.  I stayed where I was, along with almost everyone else.  The officers were discussing something and pointing toward our section of the crowd.  I had positioned myself in the front of the group to get some good photos, and was rethinking that decision.  I thought about how much trouble I would be in with my very conservative, white, Republican boss if I didn’t show up for work the next day because I had been arrested at a protest for marriage equality.  There was a very real chance I might be fired, which worried me (the job market was gut-wrenchingly bad: I had put in 50 job applications, gotten two interviews, and one job offer in order to land that job, which I hated).  I took a breath and elongated my perspective; I saw my future self reflecting on this moment when I would quietly comply, or be escorted to a police car.  I stood very still.  As the officer approached us I felt a hand on my arm, and was gently pulled backwards into the crowd by a woman who seemed to be accustomed to attending protests like this.  “They’re going to arrest someone,” she said calmly.  “Back up.”

They took the guy on the far left in the blue striped shirt.  The crowd yelled and cheered as he was slowly led away toward a waiting police car.  No one harassed or boo’d the police.  We had effectively stopped traffic on two (now three) of the busiest streets in Los Angeles, and we recognized they were just doing their job, regardless of moral standing.

this should really feature her now famous neon sneakers, but who can complain?

this should really feature her now famous neon sneakers, but who can complain?

My Facebook feed is lit up today with support for the end of DOMA, the renewal of weddings for gay and lesbian couples in California as early as next month, and the federal legitimation of already existing gay and lesbian marriages.  But it was a victory for women of all sexual orientations today, too: Texas Senator Wendy Davis (D) successfully filibustered an anti-abortion bill that would have threatened to shut down “all but 5 of the 42 abortion clinics in the state.”  Thank you, Senator Davis.

As an English-speaking, American, white, employed, middle class graduate student, it’s easy for me to say: I dread not future, for I am its architect.  My goal as a teacher of English as a foreign language (and a supporter of marriage equality) is to share this sense of empowerment with others, every day, one word at a time, and watch as the arc of American history bends toward justice.

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uncategorized

Human rights: a new anthem

I probably cry more at work nowadays than anywhere else, since it’s there that I read articles about the state of the world, and find videos like this.

Upworthy is right: equality just found a new anthem.

But now what?  What can I do?  Watching a video, clicking ‘like’ is not enough.  What now?  What do I do now?

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goodness, humor

Still str8 against H8

This collection of pro-gay marriage protest signs made me smile today.  Nothing like a sense of humor to invigorate your cause.

My personal favorites:

LMAO

"get back in the car, honey."

finally, irrefutable evidence

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badness, goodness, life

Progress

I don’t often post my political views since I know what they are, and this is meant to be a journal of sorts to help me remember my life as it is today.  I guess I just assume I’ll always feel the way I do about important issues.  Then again, I used to be anti-death penalty.  So I suppose things change.

New York legalized same-sex marriage recently, and people are pretty excited about it.  California must be next.  We’re so close.  The opposition seems hateful, afraid, and for the most part, incapable of logically explaining why they believe the gay community shouldn’t be able to marry.

supporters brought umbrellas to shield the couples waiting in line at city hall from protesters with "god hates fags" signs

Then again, there are stories like these where Jerry Sanders, the conservative Republican mayor of San Diego, held a press conference to explain his about-face on the issue of same-sex marriage, and broke down in front of reporters as he talked about gay family and coworkers from whom he could no longer withhold the privilege of marriage.

The day after the election that put Obama into office, the second headline on the front page predicted Proposition 8 to pass.  Devastated and incredulous, I read the headline through the plastic door of a newspaper stand on the sidewalk, and wept openly.  Later that day, while sitting at my desk at Real Estate Job, I got a text from a number I didn’t recognize asking me (and others) to meet at Santa Monica Blvd. and San Vicente to protest.  By 9pm, we had blocked off traffic along Santa Monica, and began marching east.

that traffic wasn't going anywhere

I walked alone in the crowd, chatting with random protesters and snapping photos.  I overheard two lesbians in front of me releasing their frustration: “It’s all the straight people who voted against us.  I bet there aren’t even any straight people here.”  I had to speak up: “I’m straight!” I yelled.  A small radius of people around me let out a cheer as the two women turned to see who had shouted with a mixture of bemusement and shock.  They hugged me and thanked me, but could not forgive the straight community for butting into their personal lives.  I couldn’t really blame them.  They were right.

At some point during the protest, the police asked us to stay out of the street.  Most of us listened, a couple were arrested (and loudly supported) as they shouted “Gay, straight, black, white, marriage is a civil right!”  I was so impressed by the police.  They were very patient, and gentle with the people they arrested.  They clearly just wanted us to get our protest done without any problems or violence.

This story posted yesterday on BBC News about two women who got married in New York is just fantastic.  Yeah, I cried a little.  They’re just so happy.

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goodness, life

Mushy heart-shaped mush

what a fucking mess

Boyfriend is never far from my thoughts these days.  He pops into my head at random parts of the day.  I was wondering why I’m so hungry today after finishing lunch, and suddenly I’m thinking about how much I love him.  This has been happening a lot recently.

We’ve chatted a few times about how happy we are together, and how we hope to stay together forever.  At first he thought I was talking about getting married soon, like this year.  I’m not trying to get married right now, and as soon as I said so, we were  on the same page again.  As long as we’re happy, we’ll be together.

All the same, I’m trying to hold back from telling him too much about how often he sporatically pops into my thoughts (I mentioned it to him last night, and he seemed pleased).  Still, I don’t want to freak him out by being all, “OMG UR MY WIDDLE POOPOO, I WUV U THIIIIIIIIISH MUUUUUCH” all the time.

Not that I would.  Just sayin’.

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