Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Notes from a protest march

I don't know why yesterday's California Supreme Court decision on Proposition Hate made me so angry. But I was shaking when I read about it. I will never understand—even when I factor in the inherent irrationality of religion—why religious (and even non-religious) people work so hard and so passionately and so proudly to hurt gay people for no logical, compelling or even plausible reason.

But I took some deep breaths, dove into my workday and emerged at the end with my husband domestic partner husband at the Chicago rally protesting the decision last night. I've never been to a rally before, and I have to say it was kind of ... lame. The speakers said nothing new, the crowds incessantly chanted oversimplified little rhymes (which I guess is the best way to counter the gay haters' oversimplified arguments against marriage equality), we walked a good two miles down Halsted Street in baby Jesus' tears over the decision the rain, and by the time we got to wherever we were going the anger I'd felt in the first part of the day had been completely eclipsed by the hunger I felt after not eating for eight hours. But we were there, we lent our bodies to the impressive crowd of people, and we did feel solidarity in our shared indignance.

While we waited for the event to start, our friend Marc took a picture of the two of us. I have no idea what the FML on the sign behind us means, but I can assure it's not some transgender acronym that describes our relationship. Though if it had said SPF, I might have remembered to stand in the front as the shorter person when this picture was taken:

I took this picture with my camera phone at the end of the march, right around the time one of the speakers was yelling into a microphone that he was "the ancestor of oppression" (which was at least something new). The crowd had grown pretty big by this point, and I'm amazed my cheap little camera was able to capture its depth. I tried to get a picture of a sign that had a really clever pun making fun of DOMA, but the yellow sign kept getting in the way ... and I'll be damned if I can remember what the pun was. (UPDATE! I remembered: DOMAPHOBE)

We didn't stay for the end of the rally; our hunger got the best of us. And it was raining. And cold. And I hadn't left the house that morning dressed to play an angry activist defying the elements to demand equality. But we did shiver our way back up to Boystown to eat dinner at a restaurant that we knew supported us. Stupid straight California voters may choose their god or their hate or their pathological irrationality over our right to equal protection for our relationships and our homes, but we don't have to risk accidentally rewarding their Chicago bretheren financially for it. Not when we have choices. And merchants who see us as equal citizens. And my little marching-to-Boystown-in-the-rain-to-punish-unknown-oppressors protest felt the most satisfying of all last night.

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