Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hate is not a family value

Yesterday dealt a serious blow to the community, but as somebody at the D.C. rally said, this is just a minor setback. We are, by no means, backing down from this fight.

I won't reiterate what every other blogger is saying. But wow, the rally in Dupont Circle yesterday was absolutely amazing. It was breathtaking to see the circle fill up with people, all coming together to fight for what we all know is right. It was phenomenal.

I was waiting with baited breath to hear the decision of the court yesterday. Tyson, president of our campus Gay/Straight Alliance and my token gay male buddy, sent me a link to watch the footage live on I was in the library at the time and, thus, had really shitty internet, so I raced back to my room, only to fiddle with my Flash player and plugins until 12:59PM, when I finally got the video to work. 'This is it,' I thought as I gripped the sides of my wooden dormroom chair. 'It's been a great morning and this is going to make it even better.'

I watched in silence for a minute or so, not being able to get the sound to work. The swarm of people standing outside the courthouse was astonishing to me, though I had no idea what I had or hadn't missed. Then, I saw people beginning to file away. "What happened?" I literally shouted at my computer screen. "Where are you going?"

The sound kicked in, and I heard a reporter: "Ma'am, why are you so upset?" he was asking somebody off-camera. The mysteriously downtrodden woman went on to explain that she was still considered married, but nobody else was allowed to get married now, and she didn't think that was fair.

I was livid. I had been so anxious, so excited, so... hopeful. All for nothing. Upstairs, Tyson was screaming in his room. My first response? A bitter Facebook status. This turned out to be the right way to go, because within minutes I had at least 15 responses, one of which told me that there was going to be a protest in D.C. that night. Without question, I raced up to Tyson's room and knocked on the door, right below the Post-It note that read, in ink that was probably still wet, "I hate you, California!" Tyson opened the door. "Dupont tonight?" he asked. "Dupont tonight," I replied.

We headed for the Metro station at 5 and made it into D.C. by 7:30. We visited Lambda Rising (which turned out to be more porn and less pride, much to my dismay) and the HRC store (which I have my own moral reservations about, but anyway...). When we passed the circle after emerging from the Metro, there were a few people scattered around the fountain. We couldn't tell who was there for the rally, except for the ones with signs and posters.

When we went back at 8:15, it had filled up like the ladies' room at intermission (oh theatre jokes). Tyson and I immediately pulled out our rainbow flags and held them up, which garnered much attention. We were interviewed for a blog (which can be found here!) and had our picture taken for various websites/publications (coming home that night, we received many text messages saying something akin to: "I JUST SAW YOU ON TV!").

The speakers at the protest were absolutely phenomenal (this is a great video of the highlights from each speaker). I was hoarse from screaming by the end of the night.

I feel so privileged to be able to take part in something this monumental. For those of you that can, get out to a protest and show your support for equal rights for all. For those who can't get out to a rally, write to your senators, congresspeople, and the president and tell them that separate is not and never will be equal!

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