i’m in America; the elections are over, and after arguments, debates and ballots have been cast, i still feel the wake of it all. i’ve read a lot of comments on gay issues on people’s ‘social media’ sites recently – twitter, facebook, etc. – as well as doom and gloom from people who are unhappy about the outcome of the election. i feel the need to press my two cents into cyber space, for some reason i can never explain.
i am a liberal Democrat, if you must know, and voted accordingly. i support same sex marriage, as well as a woman’s right to choose abortion. having said that, i also support opposite sex marriage, and a woman’s right to choose NOT to abort.
America isn’t about homosexuality, or religion, or health care for everyone, or abortion. America is about FREEDOM.
a few years back i stopped going to a restaurant i consider to have excellent quality foods and service, and completely delicious dishes. why? well the owners are Christians. but that isn’t WHY. i stopped going because the owners blatantly promote their religion. there is a huge electric sign that stands in front of the restaurant glaring at me and quoting me Bible verses that are supposed to make me want to convert or confess. there are Bible verses on the menu, and a cardboard box on the counter for prayer requests.
i don’t have anything against all of these things in particular; praying for others is awesome, and having a guideline to follow in life is both helpful and respectable. i DO have a problem with trying to come in for a meal and being bombarded with someone else’s religious leanings. if i wanted to get a good dose of guilting i could go to church; what i really want is the big summer salad with extra cheese and nuts, and a side of that Amish bread please.
but all this is true on the OTHER side of the coin. if i go into a coffee shop for a latte, i want a latte. i don’t want someone to shove their views of gay marriage down my throat. i am FOR gay marriage, but the appropriate place for this kind of discussion is NOT in a coffee shop through signs, or clothing messages, or cupcakes named after famous gay people.
i’d like to see things swing back to center slightly. i’d like for people to remember what respect and freedom are about. my right to support gay marriage is as equal as someone else’s right to OPPOSE gay marriage. my decision to be a liberal is no better than someone else’s decision to be conservative. we should have the FREEDOM to choose certain things in our lifetimes, but that necessitates that others have the SAME freedom to choose oppositely. we all just need to grow up, stop name calling, and accept the fact that we will always have differing opinions; that is what makes us great; that is what makes us interesting; and the freedom to have these differing opinions is far more important than what the actual opinions boil down to.
Saturday the beautiful people of Lansing marched the streets in a Gay Pride Parade. Rainbow socks, roller derby babes, and interesting, colorful people roamed the streets.
Unfortunately my sister and I missed the whole thing. oooops. This is what comes of sleeping in on a Saturday. We were busy trying to caffeinize ourselves into some semblance of human being while the crowds waved their flags and danced on the square. Well, we’ve gone before, so what’s two less people this year?
We did get a chance to boogie down to the Capital and see the very tail end of things: people leaving holding hands or drinking iced beverages; dogs pulling their owners away from the scene, excited to finally get that walk in; and of course the Religious Right with many signs waving in the air. Interestingly it was the nay-saying-sign-wavers that were the last to leave the party. And as my SISTER and I walk the streets, a clump of nay-sayers walk by, and one man sticks his Bible in my face and says something about God sending me to hell.
ummmm…dude, I’m the LEAST gay woman you’ll ever meet. I love men so much, it’s become unquantifiable. I have the sex drive of a man, sure, but it’s all directed to the OPPOSITE sex, not my own. So if God is in the mood to send homosexuals to hell, well I’m not on that bus. I’d be on the cursing-pill-popping-liberal bus.
I can’t really understand why Christians want to go to a Gay Pride festival. But more on that later…
So as the sign-wavers cheered me on to hell, we took the street toward the Comic Book Shop! (hell bound for sure) On the way there we did happen across a few straggling homos who posed for the camera with enthusiasm. I got shots of these cute chicks who were very adorable.
I’m pretty sure they were early college age, but once you’re as old as I am, everyone starts to blend together. They could have been in high school.
I’m not sure if they are paying her for kisses, or for her fabulous vagina, or because she loves vagina. But any way, she’s pretty damn cute and worth spending a few bucks on, as the cute hat girl is clearly seeming to do. This rainbow smoking vagina loving sign holder must have run into the same Bible-wielding-send-you-off-to-hell guy that I ran into, cause check out her hand:
It’s ok if I go to hell, though I’m planning on re-incarnating myself. I’d like to be a courtesan in a next life. Or an assassin.
there used to be something in town called “the Clothesline Project”. admittedly, i havne’t looked into it to see if this is a nationwide thing, or just something here in Lansing. every year during the East Lansing Art Fair (held over by Michigan State University) the Clothesline Project would go up. people would write whatever they wanted on tee shirts, or paint a picture, and then these shirts would be hung up for viewing. most of the ones i saw were for empowerment or healing; people trying to deal with cancer or AIDS; someone recovering from alcohol or drugs; a victim of domestic violence or rape. these shirts saying “I Am Powerful” or “I Can” or “Love Makes the Difference” – whatever the message, these tee shirts strung up on a clothesline had a powerful impact on me every time i saw them.
this art installation -though perhaps not empowering in the same way – is a beautiful piece of work, and at the point i have taken the pictures, it has withstood the weather beautifully.
Used to be I was a drone bee, like all the other drone bees. I would wake up at the ungodly hour of 6:00 in the morning, get ready, go to work, bustle about with whatever I was supposed to be doing -half asleep because I hadn’t had enough coffee – and spend the entire day doing what everyone else was doing, which was thinking about all the things we COULD be doing instead of working, like playing video games, or going to the movies, sleeping in, having sex, or spending some money at the local mall. I told you, this was some time ago…I don’t really go to the mall that often anymore. Unless I need some cute earrings from Claire’s, or something sassy from Hot Topic. Shut up; yes I HAVE seen that South Park episode and it’s hilarious. I still shop at Hot Topic.
Today makes me glad I finally gave up working the normal work-a-day business hours to go rogue. It’s raining steadily right now at twelve noon. I went for my walk, as the rain poured down on me, and breathed in the smell of toast that permeated the air. Lunch time, I guess. I still hadn’t had breakfast. I had a chance to see a baby muskrat running through someone’s yard. I got to hear the morning church bells, which always remind me of Switzerland. I made myself a cup of coffee, wishing I had my secret ingredient to make it Russian style, and sat myself down to write out a little blog. Perhaps I could squeeze in some work on my Twilight Zone project, if time allows.
Back in the day I wouldn’t have the chance to do all this. Back in the day, I would be collating paperwork right now, or ordering up lunch for some executives, or wondering why my boss’ deposit slip never seemed to match the till. (hint: weed growing in the back yard, which I didn’t find out about for a long while) Back in the day I would have missed this glorious morning of green grass, mama Robins and soggy britches. I would already be indoors, wanting to get out, waiting to be released from work so I could have an evening walk full of traffic and cars honking and people driving home hungry for dinner and drunks that started getting happy quite a while before the appointed hour.
So it’s a good thing I finally happened to start taking jobs that allowed me to go into work at 3:00, or 5:00 even. And it’s a good thing I finally discovered I was a writer. And also, not much of a morning person.
Today on my way to work, a skinny old lady with a shock of gray hair crossed the street on a red light in front of me. All her little old lady friends stood on the corner, compliantly waiting for the light to turn green and allow them to cross the street in safety and relative anonymity. Not this chick. Hands in her pockets, posture slumped slightly BACKWARDS, not like a hunched up old lady; like a former cool cat, strutting across the street with a sort of nonchalant “hey, whassup?” kind of attitude. Only she scurried across the street, because she didn’t really want to get hit by oncoming traffic; she just wanted to be a touch defiant, and live on the fast lane for a minute or two. She wanted the rush of adrenaline that comes with minor rebellions and innocent civil disobedience. She wanted to embrace her youth and strength and power and live in the moment – in the powerful, exhilarating, precious moment that is today. That is NOW.
She ran across the street with a smile on her face and a glance back at her timid friends, and crossed over into a world of possibility.
And I want to be just like her.