Photo credit: the sickening minds at Logo TV
Photo credit: the sickening minds at Logo TV
I’m voting NO on Minnesota’s ballot question on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, of course. For a while I was convinced that regular readers of my blog didn’t need me to itemize the reasons, including but not limited to the appalling notion of discrimination being enshrined into state law. Yuck.
My heterosexual hubby, Matt, and I even had a depressing conversation about how the totally symbolic nature of the amendment fight (for Minnesota already has a state statute banning same-sex marriage) is draining untold millions of dollars from actual, honest-to-gawd, on the ground work that both sides could be doing to achieve a more just society. Catholics and other religious groups are NOT feeding the hungry and healing the sick; lefties like yours truly are NOT fully funding Lambda Legal, the group working on the LGBT rights movement’s version of Brown v. Board of Education.
Instead, an estimated FIFTEEN MILLION SMACKEROOS is going to ad agencies, television studios, lawn sign assemblers, radio announcers, t-shirt printers, leaflet copiers, et cetera. I’ve mentioned that I’m burned out, yes? Cynical, exhausted, ornery, drained, annoyed, jaded, the works?
Last weekend my hardened heart opened up again, and I remembered why I got into this business in the first place: because I love children and care desperately about their physical and mental well-being.
To be specific, I love and care for a child that my regular readers know as Mia. This little girl is as dear to me as my own daughter. I met her only hours after she was born, and I’ll never forget the joy of nuzzling her squishy pink nose and telling her how happy I was to be a part of her life. Nothing activates the protective instinct more than a vulnerable newborn, so tiny and dependent upon loving grown-ups to nurture and protect her.
Mia is a third-grader now, and her vulnerability is different: her parents revealed to me that she has been driven to tears by the barrage of advertising by those who call this a marriage “protection” amendment. Mia cried when she saw strangers on the television tell her that:
Imagine all of that crap entering your head when YOU were only nine years old. What would YOU do?
You’d probably cry.
This post has been pinging around in my own head for two days, moving from brain to fingers to webpage with great difficulty, for every time I imagine Mia crying, I start welling up. There are fat tear splotches on my keyboard right now, so please forgive any egregious spelling and/or grammar mistakes.
The vote on the amendment tomorrow won’t change any laws. It is symbolic–but what a symbol it would be to a little girl like Mia, a kid being raised by two loving and committed parents who just happen to be women. What a symbol a resounding rejection of this amendment would be to the thousands of Minnesota children who wonder where they fit, not only on the rainbow of queer identity, but in the fabric of our community.
Is there another symbol that could so powerfully represent a cultural shift away from fear and towards love?
I can’t think of one.
Not many people know this, but I am a massive Lesley Gore fan and have been ever since I heard her wail on my mother’s scratchy old 45s. I love her so much that I sat through all of the cheapie 1965 B-movie “The Girls on the Beach” to watch her star as the primmest Alpha Beta sorority sister.* She sang “Leave Me Alone” and she fucking KILLED it.
But who knew that her greatest performance was yet to come? In a You Tube PSA for the 2012 elections, no less?
Says Lesley: “I recorded ‘You Don’t Own Me’ in 1964. It’s hard for me to believe but we’re still fighting for the same things we were then. Yes ladies, we’ve go to come together, get out there and vote, and protect our bodies. They’re ours. Please vote.”
I love it. And it gave me a brilliant idea.
Could 2016 be the year that we have a new and improved Clinton/Gore presidential ticket??
OH MY GAWD, I HOPE SO!
*okay, okay, I also watched it for the Beach Boys. You got me.
I didn’t watch last night’s Veep debate. I didn’t watch the Presidential debate last week, either, and I don’t plan on watching the next two.
Though I am nowhere near as adorable as this kitteh, I don’t feel guilty.
Skipping the debates doesn’t make me ignorant about the issues at stake in the election. Quite the contrary! As every idiot with a wi-fi enabled laptop and smartphone knows, we are never wanting for information. The amount of information, and the volume and tenor of that information, can be totally crazy-making.
When our kids near tantrum stage for not achieving the high scores of their dreams on any of our four Just Dance games, we say this: “If it’s not fun anymore, stop.” Sometimes this dose of reality works. Sometimes, of course, there is an explosion of tears and curses and AA batteries as the Wii-mote hits the wall.
The Romney-Ryan philosophy of governing makes me ill. They are not fun, and I can no longer watch them.
Happily, they inspire jokes and memes that are hysterical. I love the @FiredBigBird Twitter feed and the P90X caption contests. Thanks to social media, the debates can be GIFed into a form that does not make me want to scream and destroy my household possessions. That’s FUN we can believe in!
Speaking of social media, this Audre Lorde quote has been making the rounds among my connected friends and social justice allies lately, which proves that I’m not the only one experiencing severe political burnout:
Dear readers, don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. Remember:
If it’s not fun anymore, stop.