Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fighting Upwind

I always try to go upwind when I go out in a boat. Kayak, row boat, canoe- doesn't matter. Upwind makes the ride home easy. I push myself as hard as I can, then when my arms are rubber, turn around and drift easy.

Del Martin, one of the bravest lesbian civil rights pioneers, died yesterday. She had been married two months.

She knew what it was like to push upwind, for decades.

Until 2003, the historic decision handed down by the Massachusetts court, I imagined I would maybe someday, when I was very old, I would see marriage equality happen in our country.

Not only has it happened, it's flourished. Now I can imagine, in the next ten years, federal recognition for our marriages.

Del fought for years. Trying to explain, over and over, being a homosexual was not a crime. It was not a horrible affect. It was simply who she was. The pictures and video of her wedding, she seemed slightly annoyed with all the attention. I can only imagine a lifetime of working hard against the current boiled down to a single "I do" would be frustrating.

She did so much more.

As we tune in tonight to the convention to listen to Obama speak, let's take a moment to appreciate another long, upwind battle. The first African-American man is going to be the democratic nominee for President.

There are ways in which our community, the LGBT and the African-American community, have struggled against the same winds, and times we have fought very different battles. To label our fights as one and the same would be a slight to both communities, but we have weathered many storms where the wind, the sea, the waves were a common foe.

May Del Martin rest in peace, able to turn and glide now.

And for the next two months? It's time to fight the same wind and get the first Black man in this country elected.

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Blogger Seda said...

Thank you, Sara, for that beautiful post.

We still have a long fight ahead of us, and I want to remember that. But it is so important to take these moments to celebrate. I love Medea Benjamin's comment: "Sustainable movements cultivate the power of joy." Joy in the simple uttering of those two short words, "I do," that culminate a lifetime struggle.

I am so proud to be a part of this movement, to fight for equality for all people - LGBT, black, all of us. And I feel tremendously inspired by you.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Suzy said...

I only caught part of his speech and he is definately a chrismatic speaker. My kids were even drawn into the speech and that in itself is a diffcult task to accomplish. I wanted to go out and vote and not have to wait till November and have to be subjected to the ADS.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

His speech was good. I don't think amazing, but good.

I find the media incredibly annoying. Can we focus on the fact that it was a good speech, that it was historic in having not only a African-American man accepting the nomination but that he spoke to 80,000 people in a stadium, THE LARGEST CROWD IN HISTORY.

that's historic. enough with the pressure on this man to utter gold every time he speaks.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Sue J said...

Wonderful analogy with the boats. And you are right -- even though our efforts against the wind are not the same, there are commonalities that we share. We are a better society when we acknowledge and respect those shared struggles.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Firebolt said...

I have been reading your blog for a few days now and I must say that I love it. Your posts are very interesting, and also beautiful, like this one.

The LGBT community in my country, India, still has a long struggle ahead of it. But there's hope, and it is getting bigger. Activism is picking up and we will not give up what we're being denied.
It is not only equal rights we are fighting for. Homosexuality is a crime in India.

The world needs to change its ways, and soon.

USA is now facing a long overdue situation. After Clinton, Obama is the next best candidate to take charge and change everything that is going wrong with the country. If he loses, America shall lose again. She has already lost her chance of having a first female President. Don't let her lose Obama too, now.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous donald said...

sorry to hear of her passing, she fought long and hard for equality.

and, sorry i fell asleep during the speech and made you watch it all by yourself. you know, it WAS way past my bedtime!

3:58 PM  
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