Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A new day

I am having an emotional hangover today. So much happiness, so many tears, so much history and just pure joy.

It seems to me though that what happened here in California was that the dam broke. We have been treated badly by our national government for the last eight years. Our needs have not been met, people have become more poor, struggled more, became sicker and hopeless. Now whether it is because we now have had a spirited debate in the Democratic party talking about change and hope or whether love won out this week I don't have the answer. Either way, the humanity of our state that has repressed and mocked for eight years burst through like a magnificent sunrise filled with love, hope and the promise of not just a new day but a new life.

Ministers in Kern county where the county clerk refused to marry people met people in front of the county building to marry members of our community denied their rights by those who want to live in darkness and judgment. Santa Cruz county workers watched the live streaming of the weddings and cried at their desks with joy. One of the Santa Cruz city council members, the lovely Emily Reilly, broke down in tears as she was officiating a marriage at city hall. A staff member of gay Assemblyman John Laird told me how overwhelmed he was with wave after wave of couples. It is one thing to go to a wedding, it was another, he said to see so many couples and to see so much hope for everyone. He was just overwhelmed.

Me, too. I am overwhelmed with hope in our humanity. I feel that relief like when ya stopping hitting your head with a hammer. I feel joy with every breath and liberation in every moment. When Bush and his thugs leave, it won't just be the joke of the Bush countdown clock. It will be a return to our humanity.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A letter to my teacher

Dear Obi Wan-

When we were last hanging out together, you had the great news that marriage had been legalized here. Now it has become real.

Yesterday Jo and I went to Del and Phyllis' wedding at City Hall. Today we got our license. I have been crying non-stop with a break for a nap today. This has been so emotional, I cannot believe it. We went to Santa Cruz today to get our license and the diversity of our community and the sheer joy of this day blended together to create a true moment in time.

We had some friends who were married by two lesbian zen teachers. There were children and nieces and nephews, parents and siblings all joined by the miracle this day brought. One friend of ours said that there was a sense of home in Santa Cruz we had all come home to get married. WE have all been crying, joyous in our relationships and the liberation of this day, this moment in time.

The stories are many. The marriages were being streamed all day at Santa Cruz county into the county building. We heard that the employees were watching the streaming all day and just crying non-stop with us. An acquaintance said it was just overwhelming to see wave after wave after wave of people come in to get married. It is one thing to go to a wedding, it was altogether different to see so many people finally reaching our goal, to be free and equal citizens of California.

All the newspapers are covering this and the homophobes have no message but hate and fear. And old roommate said she felt sorry for those people because their god must be so small. Amen sister.

Today the tears are joy. I will not forget Del and Phyllis, a couple of 80 year old women who were the first and certainly not the last to be married History is made in small steps and lots of tears.

I am so blessed to I have seen this moment in our history.

And this is us getting our marriage license, issued by the state of California, county of Santa Cruz and not one marriage ended today because of this.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I am sure I will remember other pieces of today's moment in time. Meanwhile I will just share a couple of snippets:

As we were walking up, we followed behind Jewelle Gomez. Encountering some of the more vocal homophobes, she never broke stride and just said "Fuck you" as they tried to get in her face. I, of course, howled.

There was a shit load of media there. When the elevator door opened, I just said "Holy shit!" seeing the sheer numbers. All this for a couple of 80 something women.

What an honor to see such a moment in time. Not a person in the room didn't realize the history being made not to mention the love in the room. Phyllis keeps telling me I don't have to cry but it is so nice to win a battle and share the love at the same time.

Due to my continued feet problems I worse sensible lesbian tennis shoes today. One of my friends made a crack about those shoes after seeing me on TV. Fashion simply has to be pushed to the side sometimes.

Del and Phyllis wore the same outfits as when they were married last time. As I said, fashion must be pushed to the side sometimes. Especially when the priority is sentiment.

the first marriage

Here are some of my pics from inside Del and Phyllis' wedding.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

This is what equality feels like

Tomorrow I wake up as an (almost) fully equal citizen of California.

Today at San Jose Pride, the excitement was so palpable. There were many more people interested in our Stonewall booth, asking how to get involved, where can they sign up, give me that Obama sticker and we are getting married on Tuesday. You have no idea what it was like to look in the faces of our sisters and brothers and feel the pure joy, unleashed into the world and our community. We have arrived at the wedding chapel door and are about to be let in.

At one point I was talking with a group of women about my age. We have known little bars in shady parts of town, the only places where we could dance together, use the right pronouns and put our arm around a woman without fear. We had to hide who we were from our families, our co-workers the world. Everyone except our softball team, of course.

But tomorrow is different. Del and Phyllis will make it real. They will get married in San Francisco City Hall, in the Mayor's office, in the daylight with joy and tears (that's my part) starting a new chapter of our history. It is a new day for all of us. I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Monday bliss

We have been invited to Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon's wedding on Monday. Gavin will be doing the honors in City Hall. They will be the only couple allowed to be married on Monday in City Hall.

I get so overwhelmed with them, I just cry and cry. I called and talked to Phyllis the other day and she said we were invited. Then I just started crying, I am so happy for them. I never thought we would see it happen for them. But both of them told me and they are saying it in the paper that it is not about them but all of us.

Oh no, my godmothers, this is for you. There is not one door I have gone through that you haven't opened in some way. Thank you so much for your strength, vision, and bravery for all of us.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

It's all Obama now

So now that Senator Clinton has gracefully bowed out of the Presidential campaign, we can look forward to the general election in November. I am so afraid, though, that we will see how racist this country really is. At least certain generations continue to hold on to that racism that has kept them on top of the heap.

I went to a party today and had a short discussion with some people there. One of the comments was that people will not vote for a black man. I cannot tell you how sad I am that we, as a nation, have not evolved past this statement being allowed to be expressed. I said that the country could not survive a McCain presidency which they of course found absurd. We had survived Bush after all. But McCain, after 8 years of Bush will be the tipping point. And many of us will not survive a government that doesn't believe in helping its citizens. They will give up hope and wither away in the richest country in the world.

So while many of us will no doubt survive, we as a country that prides its self on its freedoms, on its alleged fair playing field, on the opportunities available to all will not elect a man because he is black. And people will do this in the privacy of the voting booth while all the time proclaiming their lack of prejudice. In fact I would be they would say that they have black friends and gay friends and Latino friends hence they could not be prejudiced. Oh I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard that!

So while the lgbt community struggles away trying to get our equal marriage rights in order some of my own community will, I am sure not vote for a black man. And then we wonder why nothing changes and why people are prejudice?
Evolution is slow and scary and requires many people to give up their prejudices, all of them. Know what is else is even scarier? Having compassion for the pain that those who will vote for McCain because he is white.
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