The rally today was really amazing.
There were so many people who showed up against Eric Miller’s psychotic Advance America group. Of course, all of those Baptist fuckers got to stay inside while we froze our toes off for two hours. I skipped two classes today, but this was so much bigger than English and Psychology as a Biological Science. It was cold outside, but everyone’s hearts were warm. The crowd was huge and the noise was deafening.
We were supposed to be allowed inside to lobby our congresspeople, but at the last minute they drove us off. We had just crowded in and had been chanting for about 10 minutes, off and on, at the bigots who filed out between us. I don’t think they were supposed to be allowed to do that. Some people were pushed off by the police because they ended up on the other side or they had signs, which we weren’t supposed to take in. People from our group were lined up against either side of the statehouse and the bigots began to chant things at us. At one point I think some of them were shouting “God hates fags,” but we responded with a roar of “God loves gays.”
A little while later someone yelled “What do we want?”
And we responded “Justice!”
“When do we want it?”
A few other selections were chanted at the Advance America people. The sad thing for me was seeing all the really young people, some of whom were probably gay but will never have a chance to live freely. They’d been pulled out of school and had the chance to go in to our representatives to spew hate and ignorance they’d been taught by their parents. No one on our side was younger than 15 from what I could tell, and those kids were from a local GLBT youth group. We weren’t forcing anyone to say or do or be anywhere they didn’t want to be. The worst was when the Advance America Assholes started chanting at us “Moms and Dads!” As if there weren’t hundreds of moms and dads standing in front of them, fighting for the right to legally be called parents, husbands, and wives, if that’s what they wanted.
That made me angry, but the rest of it was really inspiring. It felt good to be a part of something so much larger than me and my day-to-day worries. Jay and Scott were there; I saw Dylan and Steve from the bookstore I used to work at; Shae, Kit, and JenFu; and even a girl from campus who proctors one of the labs I use.
Going back to campus for a meeting with my advisor afterwards made me sad. Not only because I had lost all feeling in my feet, not just because it was a pointless meeting that made me waste two hours, but because the kids I passed seemed so disconnected from me. Every day that I’m on campus I walk past someone who’s having a conversation “on purpose,” like they’re trying to be really cool, or a hardass, or a bitch, or really sassy. They’re always saying “Pay attention to me and what I’m doing!” And I wonder if I could find a single person in my classes with whom I could hold a 10-minute conversation without getting bored or frustrated.
But today was worse because I thought of all the people that should have been at the statehouse, protesting the “Defense of Marriage Act.”
Young people in college are supposed to be idealistic, they should want to make change in the world. Instead they all had their collective pretty, bleached, straightened hair stuck up their asses, worrying about their makeup, their grades, their boyfriends, their girlfriends, their parents.
I may be married, almost thirty, and haven’t dated a woman in years, but I still identify myself as “queer,” because I won’t ever stop being attracted to women. Just because I got married to a man doesn’t mean I don’t still have empathy for the GLBT community. In fact, being there today made me miss the side of me that used to be so much more political.