okay, so we lost. we have another four years of bush. but everything happens for a reason... and i feel like this is our kick in the ass to make a difference.
i came to this realization on wednesday, when i woke up in the morning and saw that ohio STILL had not been counted. ohio... the place where i grew up, where as a young pup in high school, i fought censorship and the removal of the pop machines in the cafeteria. i didn't do much else... but i learned early on not to blindly listen to authority. and i did it in ohio. i moved away from ohio when i was 21 years old... i moved away because of the gay thing, the female thing, and the career thing. and these are the same reasons i can never go back.
i'm getting ahead of myself.
i started thinking of equality. the whole 11-states-passing-gay-marriage-bans was echoing in my head. i keep telling people, it will happen for us. america will come to realize this is NOT a big deal, that love between two consenting adults is not something to be discriminated against. they will realize that the things wrong with gay marriages are the same things wrong with straight marriages. and someday, we won't even need those qualifying adjectives of gay and straight. it'll just be marriage. this might not happen in 10 years, it might not happen in 50... it could easily take 100 years. but it'll happen.
and you know what? it's worth the wait.
so i'm thinking of this. i'm thinking, how can we be surprised that we can't convince all of these people in the midwest, all of these archaic lawmakers who are so set in their ways... we can't expect them to change their minds overnight. two guys marrying or two women marrying is WEIRD. let's face it. it's something different than we're used to, and i feel like only gays who have been out for years or are SUPER comfortable with their sexuality and SUPER well-rounded think differently. but you know what? it's not a bad weird. it's a DIFFERENT weird. it's just different. plain and simple. and it's a difficult fight to try to convince a white 60 year old guy that he should accept it.
so this was bumming me out, naturally. and then i thought... wait. in 30 years, that white 60 year old guy will be dead. most likely. and who will making the laws then? the 30 year olds of today. wait... that's me! okay, so i'm only 26. but you get the point. all of these progressive thinkers, all of these people who DIDN'T VOTE but who can't believe that bush got re-elected, THESE are the people who are going to be making decisions in 30 years.
even MORE brilliant... in 50 years, it will be the 10 year olds of today. and here's where the light went off in my head. i don't know how i couldn't see it before. these kids are 10! there is still time for them. who will teach them? who can we rely on to teach them that being gay is more than a guy in a drag waving a rainbow flag? who, you ask? i know you kids are waiting for the answer.
the answer is us. WE have to teach them. yeah, so it's obvious, but i just realized it the other day. and it's scary, because it requires so much of us. for gay people, you have to come out to everyone you know, and spend time educating those who don't get it... especially the younger generation. don't waste your time on grandma and grandpa or great uncle roy or whoever. put your energy where there's still a chance for change. be a good role model. be active. show these people that gays are just like everyone else.
and for those of you who aren't gay but who have no problem with it, you have just as much responsibility as us, if not more, because you're coming from neutral ground with the straightfolk. help. make a difference. do it.
and THEN i was thinking how scary this is. how vulnerable i will have to make myself, but how there is no other way, and how i can't complain about it unless i do something about it. and i was hating the fact that i had to do it, that i live in a country and an age where i have to fight this fight, and as homer says in the episode where he's the trash guy: "can't someone else do it?" who says i'm the right person for this fight?
and then i saw a bumper sticker, faded from three years of sun and rain and wind since 9/11. it had a flag and an eagle, two images which i respect but am desensitized to. but it had a simple saying on it, one which usually i would ignore but this time i thought about it: "land of the free, home of the brave." home of the brave. i don't mean to get super-patriotic here, but come on, america is a great place to be. it may not be at its high point right now, but we're growing. and if ANYONE can change people's minds, it's us. we're taught that from such a young age, the whole american dream...
i don't think any of us thought we'd actually have to fight for anything. but we do. and we will.
it's worth the fight, and it's worth the wait.