Alright, voting day is today. If you live in NC and you didn’t early vote, then go VOTE AGAINST TODAY! Polls are open 6:30a-7:30p. If you don’t know your polling place, search here and go vote. If you need a ride, let me know.
This morning, I want to talk about it one more time. And I want to talk about it a little differently. Spend some time at Protect All NC Families if you want issues focused discussions of the Amendment. It’s voting day; I’m just going to put my heart out there.
(and while you read, some pictures from Sunday night’s rally at Pinhook)
Yesterday I got the following text from my dad: “Hey, know you’re busy with the vote tomorrow. Thinking about you. Much love, Dad.” My father is from West Columbia, SC.
In college I really wanted to get away for the weekend with the lady I was dating, so we went to visit my grandparents. When we arrived my grandparents welcomed us without hesitation. My granpa spent at least two hours that night sitting on the couch with my then girlfriend, showing her my baby pictures. A few holidays ago my grangee was recounting the visit to family, there was no special mention of the fact that I was with a female when I visited, just how nice it was that one of the grandkids visited the old family home on their own. That family home was in Gaffney, SC.
My brother was 9 when I came out to him. To my memory the conversation went something like this: “hey, you know […] and I are dating, right?” “yeah, sure.” “you okay with what that means?” “yeah, can we play N64 now?” That was in Columbia, SC.
My sister got married last year and put the following disclaimer on her program: “thrilled to be tying the knot today, but they recognize that many of their friends and family are denied the right to marry the ones they love.” The wedding was in Charleston, SC.
I could go on and on with stories about my family. But they’d all come to a similar point, my family is awesome and supportive and awesome. We grew up this weirdly liberal family in the middle of conservative South Carolina.
As many stories as I have about my family being awesome, I have stories of the world not being awesome. Of being teased and bullied at schools, made to feel unwelcome in churches, losing friendships, questioning everything about myself because I wasn’t “normal.” And sadly, the bubble of my family being awesome wasn’t always big enough for me or my fears to fit inside. But I know it was more than some people have/had and will always be grateful for it.
I realized Sunday at the rally, that the amazing thing about this amendment fight is that it has made me realize just how big that bubble has grown and how it continues to grow, how many allies we have. When this Amendment battle began, there wasn’t much national attention because the assumption was that it would pass easily. Through the amazing efforts of many groups and individuals, we’ve made this into a fight.
My new camera has a greatly improved panorama mode, and I used it to great effect at the rally Sunday night, but even in pano mode, I couldn’t capture the entirety of the crowd.
I mean, look at all the people. Just amazing.
And I keep looking at the crowd photos of the show on Sunday, and thinking about how I grew up, about what this vote says about Durham, about NC, about history and change. And I keep coming back to this:
As we pass from one century to another, one millennium to another, we would like to think that history itself is transformed as dramatically as the calendar. However, it rushes on, as it always did, with two forces racing toward the future, one splendidly uninformed, the other ragged but inspired.
It is a race in which we can all choose to participate, or just to watch. But we should know that our choice will help determine the outcome.
– Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States
Our choice will help determine the outcome.
And the choice you make is truly up to you, but for me, I know which side I stand with. Mine is the ragged but inspired side, fighting to make sure all people are treated with dignity and respect, and that families and love are honored and cherished as the precious commodities they are.
I have the first two words of a quote tattoed on my shoulder. The words are “post proofs.” The full line goes,
Post proofs that brotherhood is not so wild a dream as
those who profit by postponing it pretend:
-Norman Corwin, “The Prayer”, On a Note of Triumph
Post proofs that you stand on the ragged but inspired side, that you support families and love and your friends and your family members (and yourself): Vote Against This Amendment. Educate your friends. Ask people if they’ve voted. Talk about what this amendment means.
vote against, post proofs, and continue.
(full photo set from Sunday is here)