These are polarizing times. We as a gay, lesbian, and bisexual community have been dealt a painful blow and we are looking for someone to blame. Even as we are gathering together nightly in overwhelming displays of solidarity and unity, we are also pointing fingers every which way. Cries go out: blame a particular ethnic minority; blame a particular church; blame the organizers of the no on 8 campaign. But the sad truth is, over 5 millions individuals went to the polls last week and cast a vote to revoke our rights. While it is certainly arguable that they should have never had the opportunity to do that in the first place, that is what happened, and that is what they did. And while they might have come with various racial and religious affiliations, they also came as individuals. Individuals who, in all likelihood, all know at least one of us in some capacity, whether they are aware of it or not. And so, while it is tempting to paint a portrait of what should happen next with broad, sweeping strokes (i.e: challenge the tax-exempt status of the Morman church, change the views of specific racial minorities, etc), I see it more as pointillism.  Each of the two million or so estimated GLBT people here in California exist in small, overlapping social circles where we have the opportunity to bring to light our humanity, our love, and our quest for equality. We must each engage in the difficult work of having conversations. Yes, we will eventually wage more political campaigns, and I am sure there will be countless more demonstrations, but in the meantime, we are left with conversations. Conversations with our friends, our families, our coworkers; with people in stores and people on the streets. Conversations about who we are (i.e: people in loving, committed relationships), who we aren’t (i.e: a threat to kindergartens, a threat to churches), and who we hope to become (i.e: people who have regained the opportunity to legally marry). I am no idealist; I know this won’t change everyone’s mind. How could I think that when even my best friend of 7 years told me two weeks ago that she still wasn’t sure how she would vote on Prop 8? But I cannot help believing that it will change some minds…built some bridges…put a few dots of color on a painting whose final image we are not yet even able to envision.

Advertisements