I was terribly nervous the night before election day. I had volunteered to work all day for the No-on-8 campaign. The training had been rather intimidating, and I was afraid that I might misrepresent the campaign. I might get sassy with some evangelical. Being straight and perhaps naive about what prejudice I might encounter, I worried that I might lose my temper.
As it turned out, I had a good time, though the work involved a lot of standing around.
I fondly recall the moment when a man passed by with his daughter. I humbly offered them a “No on 8” card. The little girl took the card and pointed to it, looked up to her dad and said “Obama!”
Now I’m not a the biggest Obama fan, but that was a sweet thing to behold.
Republic? Well, not exactly.
I also enjoy the memory of the “mature” lady who shook her index finger at me scoldingly. That wasn’t the only finger that was shaken at me that day. Every finger was a little birdie of liberation. It all felt great.
Then there was the older lady who stopped her car to inform me that my hand was blocking the “8” on my rally placard. Oops!
Late in the day, an equally elderly man stopped his car to cite the Bible and inform me that homosexuality is an “abomination”. I was a little fatigued, so I casually asked whether it was too much to let them decide whether they ought to “abominate” or not. Mainly I was just looking for an excuse to hear myself say “abominate”.
Then I heard the word “Obama-Nation” echo through my head like some demonic forbidden thought. Thankfully I was not the first white boy to think of it.
And all the horns honking and hands waving: I don’t remember ever being so popular with the ladies!
I think my favorite memory is of hearing the word “faggot” screamed from a passing car.
It’s not that such an experience entitles me to claim to know what it’s like to be gay. It’s more about this: when the civil liberties of one of my fellow citizens is systematically attacked, I might as well be the target, because when that person is threatened, we’re all threatened.