Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dear California

Dear California

It is with a sickened soul and a broken heart that I type this. Prop 8 passed in California, 52% to 48%.

I knew all long that this would be a close battle and although I thought a part of me very strongly understood that we could lose our fight, it didn’t really sink in until this morning.

I am shocked that so many members of a state I have come to love would be so willing to strip people of their most basic rights.

Civil rights activists battled in the South and somehow overcame adversity and won. I never thought a civil rights battle would be born in California and might lose. My beloved gay next door said to me yesterday, “I have to believe that people are inherently good.” I remember being asked that question when I was growing up in public school in Connecticut (I think after reading The Diary of Anne Frank), whether the students believed that people are inherently good or evil. When the teacher directly asked if any of us thought that people were inherently evil, I was the only person in the class that raised her hand. I have never forgotten that moment. For years, I looked back on that moment believing that my opinion had to do with years of untreated and unaddressed clinical depression. But now I don’t know that I can so easily blame that thought on a disease.

I write this with my office door closed this morning because I can’t seem to stop the tears from falling after I opened my email at work and found this message from my beloved sister:

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Whatever happens with Prop 8, I am so impressed and grateful for your commitment and ACTION for the cause. Thank you for not being silent, and please don't let this diminish your joy on an otherwise historic day. Justin, I'm not sure how you were voting presidentially, but the election of a black president is something I did not expect to see in my lifetime and I think it speaks volumes about how far we have come as a country that this day is even possible. Change happens slowly, but sometimes far more quickly than we expect. I am very proud of you both.

Dear readers who I actually know, for those of you that said nothing during this long battle, I honestly have nothing to say to you. Your silence has spoken measures to me, and now so will mine.

17 Comments, shout outs, and other gold diggin' love:

Supergirl's Neighbor said...

I too am sickened by the state of CA's decision today. You and Mr. FGD are both amazing and inspirational to me as you showed such guts by standing up for what you believe. I am proud to call you both my friend.

NorCalMrs said...

I am so sorry this happened. You have done such an amazing job to spread the word to stop the hatred. I really admire you for that. As my husband always says, "the world would be a great place, if weren't for people." My only hope is that this will be overturned and all will be right with the world again.

Christine said...

i'm right there with you, girl...i got a text message from eddie earlier today saying "only in CA do we pass a bond to save chickens but deny californians human rights!" i am deeply saddened and disappointed that prop 8 passed out there, and it makes my stomach turn. i know i don't live there, but if i did, i would've voted NO a million times over if i could have. i applaud you and justin for standing up and speaking out for the cause, and am very proud of you both. stay strong, and don't stop believing; change _does_ take time, and i am more hopeful now than ever that a better future lies ahead for us all...and that prop 8 can be overturned as it SHOULD be!! love ya, keep talking!! :)

Jessica said...

I've spent a lot of time last night and today crying, and I wish my tears could do something. I wish something could come of them.

I can't even describe what I am feeling. Shame. Disappointment. Disbelief. Shock. Embarrassment.

I have admired you so much through the course of this election, you and Mr. FGD both. You have done so much for this cause and it has been inspiring. I am not usually vocal about my politics, but your constant reminders really did prompt me to talk to more people about this prop. I don't know if my talking changed any minds (I can think of one NO vote it brought about, so I guess that's something), but hopefully it got people to think, and those people have your inspiration to thank for it.

There will come a day when we will look back on this outcome and we as a people will be disgusted with the way we treated our gay citizens. Some of us are disgusted now, and soon all of us will be disgusted. I hope that day comes sooner rather than later.

The fight isn't over.

amber said...

:( it does temper some of the excitement of the historic election.

i'm hopeful though that the courts will over-rule this. but still sad that the courts have to, once again, intervene at all.

WeezerMonkey said...

These are times when I am glad to have an office door.

My blood boils.
My tears flow.
My heart aches.

ahandal said...

I woke up this morning...after shedding so many tears of joy last night...for being part of a history-making event...for being able to share such an extraordinary day with my beloved friends and my beloved Kevin...only to be overwhelmed by a deep sense of sadness and disbelief about the passing of CA Prop 8, FL Prop 2, and AZ Prop 102. A bittersweet moment indeed...I can only hope that someday we can treat each other as human beings, without discrimination, whether by race, class, gender, or sexual orientation. We must continue to make our voices heard. As we witnessed yesterday, Yes We Can.

linkergirl said...

Your sister's e-mail was beautiful. Makes me sick.

Mr FDG's college buddy said...

Since the birth of our daughter and my wife's resulting crippleness we have fallen off the face of the earth. Although I new you were against 8, I had no idea you and Mr. FGD were so involved until a couple of days ago. We were to no votes in a sea of yes coming from north OC. Having recently discovered your blog and catching up, I am now racked with guilt that I didn't do more for the cause. How strange to be so proud to be an American because of the new President, yet so ashamed to be a Californian. My apologies for not single-handedly bringing Garden Grove into the fold.

wan-nabe said...

i'm sorry that something you cared so deeply and fought so long and hard for didn't go your way.

nabum said...

I am so incredibly disappointed. I keep trying to remind myself that nothing worthwhile comes easy. :/

Trisha said...

I heard that Prop H8 was winning last night before I went to bed and I kept thinking positive thoughts, hoping that those ballots from larger, more progressive counties hadn't yet been read. I woke up this morning and wanted to cry when I heard the reality. I can't even express how disappointed and heartbroken I am. In fact, I'm starting to tear up as I type this. I feel embarrassed to be a Californian and I know I'm going to have a hard time looking people in the face and saying that this is a liberal state that protects people's rights. As I said on WeeMo's blog, I truly believe that one day, future generations will judge us as harshly as we judge the racists from the civil rights movement. And it will be well deserved.

I am now looking forward to the legal challenges being presented by various constituents and the ACLU. I am keeping the hope and faith that those cases will gain some traction.

Thank God Prop 4 was killed.

Ashley said...

I'm so sorry. We are all so proud of you and the work that you did. Don't stop believin'!

Sugar & Rice said...

wow, that quote is so amazing, and truly puts things into perspective. I too cried when I saw that prop 8 passed, weezermonkey said it best - its just not fair. thank you for writing this.

Claire said...

I am so proud to be friends with someone who not only believes strongly in something, but became so involved with spreading the word. The story about Justin gave me the chills, and this post brought me to tears.

I am still heartsick that so many were convinced by the twisted, sadistic spin that prop 8 proponents put on this.

10yearstogether said...

I'm so proud of you and J for your commitment to this cause. I didn't expect that 8's passage would affect me as it has, and reading about how it has affected my friends like you hurts me to the core. I won't even pretend that I can relate to how you and J feel, and I'm so sorry for how this turned out. Don't give up hope.

Kimberly said...

and just when I thought I had cried all the tears I had to cry, I read your post. I am proud to call you a friend.

ps...I think I need to stop catching up on blogs in public places, people are giving me weird looks.

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