Thursday, November 06, 2008

What Can I Do?

I've read some armchair evaluations of the No on 8 efforts. I have to admit, it hurts too much to read the criticisms of the campaign.

Was it perfect? No. Even if we won it was not perfect. No campaign ever is. But everyone worked so hard to make it happen. To quickly type off statements that include how much better it could have been done it feels disrespectful to all the volunteers and staff who only wanted to do the right thing- always.

While the rest of the country celebrated a great win for Obama- sweeping, commanding mandate for change- I can't help but feel completely kicked to the curb. My rights? Not so important.

I am deeply grateful for the efforts to get Obama elected. I can breathe now that our supreme court will be fair. that women's reproductive rights are safe. the war, education, health care... the list is long.

But I am hurt.

And angry.

So before anyone writes to opine about how it shoulda, coulda, woulda- which I do believe we need to do in order to learn from the mistakes which will only help other states in similar efforts- stop for a moment and ask yourself what could I have done better. Look in the mirror first.

The next ten years will be the most significant shift in LGBT rights in history. That cannot be stopped. We will need all of us, working together, to move forward.

Today? I woke up, ready to reach deep down and remember, it's time to make the world change for LGBT people.

It will.

I promise.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Morgan said...

It will change Sara. Living in Seattle, I was immune to a lot when it came to LGBT issues. After moving to Indiana, I questioned my sanity in positioning myself in such a quagmire of ignorance. Sometimes the process moves forward if in only small steps and other times it moves backwards in what seems giant leaps. We raise our glasses and celebrate the small steps and move onward to make up ground on the giant leaps. You have done a wonderful job and we all appreciate it.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Lula de Montes said...

You know, in every movement that steps up to defend the rights of a group, there will be setbacks. It took African Americans hundreds of years to get to a president elect; it took suffragettes until the 1940s to achieve what they set out to bring about. Likewise, gay rights have moved forward a lot, maybe not as far as we would like them to be.
But as I posted on my own blog, using Obama's slogan: yes, we can!
And although it may seem a huge effort at this point in time to dust yourself off and pick yourself up, you know you will do it, because it's a worthy cause. And in the meantime, we applaud the efforts made. Because someone did step up (including yourself). And at the end of the day, in my eyes, that is a phenomenal thing to do! Keep the faith.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Heidi said...

When you said you were heading to CA to fight, I was surprised. I didn't realize there was a real threat until you pointed it out. I always felt that CA would do the right thing involving fairness and equality. I must have had it mixed up with emissions!
Anyway, I was crushed at news of the defeat. But so inspired by your actions. I feel that getting together and taking to the streets is the only way to change minds; to show others the passion behind the cause. You did that and don't for a second think it didn't have an impact. Sadly this ain't horseshoes, but please know that your steps have a ripple effect that won't be undone.
Go Sara... don't stop. I'll do whatever you need.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Having had a couple days for all of this to sink in, as a Californian, I don't know that I would feel much better or different if Proposition 8 had failed. (The fact that my area went 69-75% in favor may have something to do with that)

Remember Sara, in many ways this was a lose/lose situation for us. Proposition 8 should never have been on the ballot in the first place. The mere idea that we would put the civil rights of our citizenry up for a popular vote should be unthinkable to anyone with a real knowledge and respect for American democracy. The campaign itself, in demonizing my family fairly established that there are a lot of people out there who I am just never, ever, going to like again.

If our side had prevailed, our victory could have added fuel and credence to the people who suggest that the ballot box is how gay rights should be decided.

I took some time yesterday to read the writ filed by the ACLU, NCLR, & Lambda Legal challenging Proposition 8 and I have great hope that it will not be implemented and ultimately invalidated -- not overturned -- but invalidated completely because I believe the Court will agree that it never should have been on the ballot in the first place.

So take heart, the great advancements in civil rights have never come from the ballot. We'll get there eventually.

12:13 PM  
Anonymous charlotte gordon said...

Sara, even your discouragement is inspirational. Because of you I followed the news from CA, as carefully as I followed the national election. Your blog makes a huge difference. I hope that the prop. will be invalidated. Keep writing. Keep educating us.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really think it will be tied up in court for many years, don't you? And will perhaps get a not so enthusiastic defense from the state of CA. I hope, at least.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever help I can render, other than monetary help, I flat broke, Just ask and I will help.


Your little rebel/activist,
E

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am flat broke* I have been writing for too long my eyes just slips right over my mistakes.

E

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Ian said...

Slip* damnit

E

6:35 PM  
Anonymous donald said...

we will never give up the fight! and one day we will have all the rights that all americans should have.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Polly said...

I want to thank you, Sara, for coming out here (the Bay Area) to lend two more able hands and one more strong heart.

I'm with you, too, in the ambivalence: so many people worked their @sses off; critique of the campaign will be necessary to learn all we need to learn for the next battle. But it is so hard to even breathe deeply yet, still.

I had half hoped I'd run across you in the fray while you were here, and was way too busy (as were you, I'm sure) to do more than keep my eye focussed on the next potential "wrong way voter" or "undecided."

If I had seen you, I'd have given you a hearty thanks, maybe even a hug (dunno; I'm a Californian; we hug readily). And also a wistful glance, for what you have in MA and what we were about to lose in CA.

I hope Jennifer's optimism bears out. Right now I'm putting hope in the freezer for a while. (Not the trash bin; the freezer. That's my gesture of optimism.)

7:10 PM  
Anonymous lez zorba said...

Well, that this issue was brought to the ballot is democratic violation #1. And this was certainly not our fault. We were thrust into a position of having to defend our rights and this should never have to be the case.

Then to negatively critique the effort of our minority contingent is much like blaming the victim. Losing something like this is bad enough... A healthy debrief can come later. For now, let's all try to keep the spirit as bolstered as possible. In terms of the movement... onward!

9:03 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Ian, stick to school and do well. Talk to your peers, talk to your teachers. Be reasoned but firm.

I love you for your offer. Your forum is right where you are.

and everyone else, you are right but I am not the most patient of people. I never hope to be patient about my rights.

Civil rights should never be up to a popular vote. The whole point is that we need to courts to protect us because THE MAJORITY IS AGAINST US.

duh.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Rev. Bob said...

The next time somebody tries to strip away our allies, present and future, one by one, by badmouthing their culture and values, I'm going to hurt them. Bad.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Rev. Bob said...

P.s., I'll hurt them nonviolently, but bad.

It's time for allies and friends to come out and come out loudly!

I've been confronting Christians with 1 John 3:15 and telling them that the words they spoke and wrote ended up harming people in California. And I ask them, "What will YOU do to make amends?"

10:51 PM  

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