Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Moment of Un-hope

After I started to get past the initial agony and depression of prop h8 passing, I started to feel a little better by simple things, like all the comments left on my Dear California post, finding out people I had feared voted Yes had actually voted No, reading blogs like WeezerMonkey's and Sable Crow's, and all the people I saw starting to ask, what can we do now?

On Saturday, Mr. FGD and my gays next door and I participated in the National Day of Protest of prop h8. We set-up camp in front of South Coast Plaza in 90+ degree weather with our now beaten and battered signs. Mr. FGD suffered for the cause and stood right in the center of the beating sun. My gays and I were a bit more fair-weathered and stood off to the side in the shade.

WeezerMonkey protested in LA. Sister FGD protested in Boston. Big Pepper and his family protested in Irvine.

And yet I find myself sitting here on a Sunday night, having just looked at WeezerMonkey's expectedly incredible photos of the protest, feeling not so much sadness as I cry, but just a deep sense of loss. Because it's from here I don't know where we go. I've cried more in the past week and half than I'm fairly certain I've cried since a post-18 induced decade of anti-depressants. And yet different from other bouts of depression and hopelessness, I don't see how this one has an end. I know, without a doubt, one day things will be different. I know that one day, we will all be allowed and afforded the right to marry who we love, regardless of who they are. But I don't feel like waiting 10 years, or 20 years, or 30, or however long I'm supposed to wait. And yet what can I do?

No one really knows.

Each day, I sit at my desk at work watching people go by outside my office, and all I can think as certain people stride by is, you took away the rights of your neighbors, your co-workers, probably even people related to you. And yet you walk around like nothing ever happened. Like today is no different than a month ago. Like your life wasn't affected. Because it wasn't. But like any person I know with a good sense of morality and a heart, our lives were affected, whether we label ourselves straight, L. G. B. or T. And yet here we are, what I consider the good of humanity, beaten down and lost. And many of us without any rights.

I want so much to feel the hope I felt the very first time I ever read Maya Angelou's Still I Rise poem. But I don't. I just feel lost, angry, sad, and lonely. I feel abandoned.

I feel enraged.


Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

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

WeezerMonkey said...

I applaud you, your gays, Sister FGD, and Mr. FGD for standing in the sweltering heat.

Do not fret. We know not how long this will take.

But we know that it will take.

Sara said...

This is my FAVORITE Maya Angelou powerful!! Good for you and Mr.FGD and SFG for protesting in this and WM+Sable Crow are SO inspiring!!!

trisha said...

Your voice is powerful and strong. You have encouraged me to talk to people I know to help change people's minds. That might not seem like a lot, but it's meaningful (to me and to those with whom I speak).

Keep up the good fight!

ssinca said...

civil rights weren't created overnight. as sad as this situation is, we've already progressed more in the past few years than we have giving women the right to vote and AA's the right to be equal.

wan-nabe said...

i'm speechless.

and in awe of you.

Jessica said...

Ugh, that poem still gives me chills.

It will happen. It will.

amber said...

i love that poem for so many reasons. stay strong. things will eventually change and my thought is it will happen sooner rather than later.


Greg said...

Why can't the 52% see like you & I see? This post expressed so much how I've felt post election. We too have been so depressed and defeated. We know its just a matter of time. But our kids grow by the minute. Time matters. Your heartfelt support means the world to me & my family. From the depths of our hearts, we thank you.

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