Today, as many know, was the (inter)national day of protest against Proposition 8 and for marriage equality. The number of people that showed up in my city was incredible for a small to medium-sized city. I happen to live in a city that has a university, so the city is more liberal than surrounding areas, and we enjoyed a massive amount of support in the way of protesters and simply people honking their horns and giving us thumbs up. I forgot to make a sign so I simply used a fairly generic sign they had made already that said “Marriage Equality”, but some people made some very original signs. My favorite was “Canada welcomed us with opened arms. Why won’t my country welcome my wife?” It was so sweet. One of the organizers went around with a megaphone asking people to share their names and why they were there. One man, of indeterminate age (my guess was roughly 45 or 50) gave this very beautiful speech about the progression of marriage rights, and in the end he said “we will win this, history is on our side”. This one old man, a double amputee, was there the whole time, and the only thing I heard him say was “I married my sweetheart, why can’t everyone?” It was so touching to hear someone from a generation less likely to support marriage equality, come out and say something so wonderful in its simplicity.
At noon, after two hours of standing on the same four corners of the intersection, we marched down to our town’s farmer’s market, filling up both sides of the sidewalk and getting even more people honking. When we got to the market we stood at the entrance and chanted for about ten minutes before we had to break up.
I am so glad I got up early this morning, because I really feel like I made an impact.
It was all about love.
Let us celebrate tonight. Let us scream our heads off in pure unadulterated joy. For today we have this moment, this feeling of ultimate satisfaction that we have elected someone to break the Bush reigh of terror and lead this country in a new direction.
But what about tomorrow? What about the days that Bush still has in office? What will he do to make life difficult for our president-elect?
My roommate told me she was afraid that someone was going to try to shoot him while he was on stage giving his beautiful speech; “Now that he’s off stage he’s safer”, she says. But what about tomorrow? Will he have to be constantly protected from the masses of people, racist, bigoted masses who want nothing more than to see him gone and someone safe (to them), old, and white in office again? What about his daughters, his two little girls and his wife? Will they be safe?
Will Obama be good to his campaign promises and speeches he’s made across the country about supporting the poor, equal protections for GLBT people (although not marriage, unfortunately), and his commitment to the education of children? Or will he bow to pressures from the other side in the name of bi-partisan politics and being more centrist?
My hopes for his presidency:
- He appoints Supreme Court justices (some are due to retire in the next four years) that uphold a woman’s right to choose and maintain that GLBT people are due those rights and privileges straight people have had for years, should cases of that nature come to the court.
- He does not bow to pressures from conservatives to become more centrist, while still recognizing that he needs to keep as many people as he can happy. No, I don’t think these are mutually exclusive.
- He makes sure that his daughters get a good education, because there is nothing more precious in this world than knowledge and with knowledge comes power.
- He looks back and learns from history, and is not doomed to repeat it. In other words, that he isn’t swayed to believe that continued or new war is the answer to any question other than what w-a-r spells.
- He entertains bi-partisan efforts to rebuild and restrengthen our economy, and realizes that we can help the world’s countries strengthen theirs as well.
I know we all have hopes and dreams about this. My hope is to see a world where I feel safe and secure as both a LGBT person and a young woman.