Tomorrow morning we board the plane to Washington D.C. and I am both excited and nervous. Nervous because I hate flying and excited because, we are about to walk into the largest gathering of gay men and women in recent history...
I'm not sure what I expect when we hit the ground in D.C. Honestly its one of those places on earth I thought I would never see. Its exciting to be heading to seat of our nations government. My mind fills up with stories of history long past and I will be trying to imagine those events occurring in the places we will see. One in particular is the sight of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream Speech". I will be there holding my own dreams in my heart and hoping that the echoes of that fateful day will resonate into the present to lend us all strength.
I hope to see lots of same sex couples holding hands everywhere I go. I hope to see lots of families and their children together. I hope to see...lots of bathrooms...oh yes...please tons of those. There's nothing worse for me and the kids than being at a huge event (I.E. pridemarch) and hearing..."Daddy, I have to pee". Because at that moment, you realize there isn't an available bathroom for Miles! Peeing behind a national treasure is NOT an option...unless of course...the chips are down. Then, all bets are off. Do you think the Obama's would let us use theirs?
But back to the point...
This experience is unlike any I have ever had in my life. Not only going to Washington to protest...but the blog, The website, The youtube video's. The whole enchilada. I am a huge introvert. I prefer a good book to anything social and certainly to public exposure. Sometimes this activism stuff is all a bit overwhelming. One Year ago I wouldn't have considered putting my family online...it would be just too full of hidden dangers. If it wasn't for jay having the desire to do it, I wouldn't have. Strangers watching us eat dinner?...no way! Also, If it wasn't for Jay helping me have the courage to stand on that street corner waving a "No on 8" sign, I wouldn't have done it. But I am so glad to have had all those experiences. To have done something other than watch it all happen and cry. I have my husband to thank for that.
In Fact, it is usually Jay that helps me overcome my inertia. He has helped me see how important it is to do something and how simple that action can be. Protesting Prop 8 on the street corners was hard for me, I expected to rocks to come flying at any minute, but they didn't. In contrast making video's and writing this blog has been a wonderful experience. It has given me a connection to a larger gay community that I wouldn't have had, being an "innie" and a stay at home dad. I never would have had the courage or ability to get past my own fears.
Since then we have talked to gay folks from across the country, and in places like Egypt, Poland, Peru, Ireland, And more. All of us have helped each other in one way or another. Our attempt to help is by showing that a gay family is not only possible but just like everyone Else's. Others help us by sharing their lives with us. Everyone who Emails us, or send video responses, or meets us in person ads to our understanding of what it means to be gay in this world. They help us understand life outside our little sphere. We love it to hear those stories.
One year later and here we are still doing it. So I have a message for all the other "innies" out there. Its not as hard as you think. There are alot of simple things you can do to help get the message out there:
*Write a blog....every ones got something to say and who knows who might need to hear your voice.
*Got a camera? Make a video for youtube....to scary you say? This is generally an "innie" no no. That's fine Use our videos. In our last video we gave everyone permission to take our videos and post them were ever you think a little fairness and balance may be needed. Here is the proof:
*Contribute to a campaign that needs funding. The pro-equality campaign in Maine has only collected half as much in contributions as the opposition...any help is both needed and appreciated.
*Talk to the people you are comfortable with....the most powerful tool we have in the struggle for gay rights is talk. Most introvert hate reaching out to strangers...but the people we know need to hear it too. Let people know who we/you are and that we are not the scary monsters conservatives make us out to be.
*Live strong. Sometimes the best revenge against those that want to strip of us our rights is living a good and happy life. Then those that live around you can see what being gay is and how NOT scary it is.
Not every form of activism needs to be sign waving, though that is vital too. All of us can help in some way. But the funny thing is...from this "innies" point of view being forced to carry a sign and march...that half of the effort in activism is in simply showing up. After that, finding your voice isn't so hard.
This will be my last post for a few days unless I can find an Internet connection so take care and keep the light on for us. When we get back I'm sure there will be LOTS to say.