Are You A...
Democrat, Liz Doughty, are you? Yes. Not the dance-in-the-streets or go door-to-door type, but the 'cast your ballot that way' type, which in the end, I think, counts as much as the other two types since it's all about that vote of mine.
You probably knew this if you know me, like, in real life, not just here through my own carefully constructed slice of life, you'd know this already. But since I have already voted, making any lobbying you might be inclined to do worthless, I'll share.
I'm a Democrat because, to begin with, I grew up in a community packed to the gills with Republicans. Typically, the most vocal of these people were the more wealthy of our upper-middle class enclave, and in turn (though it still baffles me why this goes so nicely hand-in-hand there) weren't the nicest people. These people's children were the most popular, most athletic and yes, yes of course, the most likely to pick on kids who weren't like them, kids like myself and Dan, who huddled in our own liberal enclave waiting for high school to end and our lives to begin.
That's ridiculous, you say, you're a Democrat because kids were mean to you? Well, no, that's not quite it, their parents were pretty snotty, too. Decked out in their Civic Association golden jackets, they'd strut down Northwest Blvd. each 4th of July, showing all of our town how very suave they were in their homogenousness, a stream of white men ready to leave the world exactly as they found it.
Knowing what I know now about commissions, city governement and park planning, I have no doubt that they did more good than harm but that group will always represent the stodgiest of the stodgy and in turn, their offspring, the meanest of the mean. Because I don't forget, I can't forget the way those people, young and middle-aged, acted toward scores of kids like me, kids, who for whatever reasons were different than their own kids.
That's where it starts, but here's where it ends. Those people are the stodgy Republicans of my youth, the difference-haters, the oppressors. In adulthood, my decisions are based on a more robust set of criteria, that in the end, returns to that feeling of unabashed hatred and bias.
There is no way, in good conscience, that I could vote for a President who seeks to outlaw my life, to marginalize me even further by creating an amendment that would forever prevent me from being able to marry. Rather than re-write what I've said already, I'll share what I sent to my birthmother's husband, a sweet man who I adore, who happens to be a fervent Republican. From his love for me, I know he'd never be more proud than if I announced a party change, but we both know that's simply not meant to be for me, any more than it is for him. We're still friends, though.
....Now, I have to admit that I never expected to have the right to marry in my lifetime, though I would marry Andrea in a heartbeat were it to become legal for us (no, it is very much not in California, though we have a Domestic Partnership agreement that gives us about ½ of the rights of a married straight couple). In a world where straight people can meet, marry in a Vegas chapel, then divorce two days later, a world where the divorce rate remains around 50%, a world where marriages like Kathy and yours, like that of my parents, are more anomalies than the norm, the argument that gay marriage would somehow impact the moral fiber of society simply seems weak. Consider that my relationship is about to enter it’s 9th year, that many gay and lesbian couples have weathered the societal storms that attack our relationships, faced hate from attitudes that make it okay for anyone to use the word ‘fag’ as an insult, built lives around relationships that stand as a testament to the nature of commitment and strength, in light of that kind of commitment, it hardly seems enough to say that we’re asking for anything special.
It seems a frightened cry of lawmakers who don’t see the face of gay American, who can’t recognize that that face doesn’t look a whole lot different from their own, or that of their children.
So, though I respect your passion and always will, I can’t even begin to think that what those Senators are doing right now (and yes, your beloved W as well) to try and stop me from fully living my life, is simply too much to bear. When I read those stories, it brings me to tears. To think that our nation’s leaders are so united in hate for people they don’t even know, people who are me, hurts at the very base of my soul.
I’ve always felt that being who I am, living as an openly gay person with a healthy relationship was the most I could do for gay rights, that I didn’t need to protest outside government buildings or be arrested in support of my cause. But I’m no longer sure that’s enough.