the past 24 hours

It's becoming a "thing" for people to speak in .gifs these days. Right? We can thank #whatshouldwecallme. While I tend to keep my silliness and .gif-sharing mostly contained within in the four blue walls of Facebook, I felt an unsettling bubbling up inside all day yesterday. I felt compelled to express my feelings in a very specific way. As the day progressed, though, I found that I felt a lot of emotions. Not just one emotion...lots of them! It was a pretty profound day. And sometimes a static image just won't suffice.

See, yesterday was the culmination of a long and tortured battle for the LGBTQ residents of North Carolina who seek to have equal rights under the law. That's all, right? We've fought this battle before in just about every southern state, including this one, that I live in, and pay taxes in, and was born in. It's absurd to me that we're even putting these sorts of issues to a popular vote at the state level, but we do. If I hear the word "referendum" I get heartburn. Twenty percent of North Carolinians managed to get off their asses and vote Tuesday (or early) for (or against) Amendment 1. Of that 20 percent, 69 percent voted FOR Amendment 1, 31 percent against. The Institute for Southern Studies broke it down in the simplest way possible - "14 percent of North Carolina's population decided the fate of all of the state's families." Aside from the fact that I don't believe these issues should be put up to a popular vote, I have to ask the North Carolinians who voted for Amendment 1 how they feel about themselves now. Are you proud? Because that was kind of pathetic. And people across this great land of ours, DO YOU GET IT NOW? Federal marriage equality is the only way. Period. The end.

Back to the silliness, though. When I first heard that this issue was going to come to a popular vote a while back, I will admit that I felt myself revert to my doe-eyed, green, naive self. I had hope for change. For some reason I still believe in miracles. I'm also quite skilled at referencing the most random moments in movies (this is why Em and I are meant to be together, by the way). Most of those references are limited to Sally Field movies, but I'm capable of so much more. I found myself mimicking Blanche, the school secretary, from Grease the other day in a meeting. Yesterday, I felt like Ariel from the Little Mermaid (don't ask me, just go with it). I was all, "OMG! This might work! Asheville's liberal!" But I quickly felt the cynicism crawl up my esophagus. It hurt.


Then I sat glued to the television and internet Tuesday night as the numbers rolled in. I couldn't help but feel like Ursula (Christian straight people, basically. Let's be real.) sold me out, yet again, when I heard the final results. GOD DAMMIT. Literally!


Waking up Wednesday morning, reading the comments everywhere, the joyous rejoicing at the great "triumph" of God's righteousness, the completely misguided insults hurled by my straight-ally and gay brethren at "backwoods honky hick redneck hillbilly inbred cousins-marrying-cousins" people...or just plain ol' Black Christians...who were clearly responsible for this situation really pissed me off. I was back on my #federalmarriageequality bandwagon by lunchtime. I mean, seriously people.


During lunch, I was so focused on being a good daughter/daughter-in-law/granddaughter-in-law (last minute dash to the bookstore for cards!) that I didn't read a bit of news. I ran off to meeting after meeting and kept my mind focused on things that didn't make me angry...or not as angry. Or not angry in the same way? (Please see Grease/Blanche reference above.) When I returned to my desk, I was immediately bombarded with The News. Obama finally said it. He finally said what no acting POTUS had ever said before...he believes in marriage equality.


Hot DAMN. It felt amazing. For the first time in my entire life, especially these past ten years where I've been this wacky and delightful gay lady, I felt legitimate. I felt like there was a chance for me, for us, for everyone! I can't lie, I even cried.


Marriage equality isn't the only issue, but it is a big one. Yesterday felt like a roller coaster of emotions for most everyone I know. Hell, it even forced me to use Ariel .gifs. Now, though, I feel brave and valid in a way I have never felt before. Most importantly, I have hope that we won't have to fight much longer. Phew.

ETA: If my Ariel .gifs didn't work, this post will make everything better.

1 comment:

  1. I just laughed and cried reading this. THANK YOU! (I secretly love the Little Mermaid and have all the songs memorized. Whenever I let Avie watch it, we're going to have a long talk about how wrong it is that Ariel gives up her voice for a shot at being with some dude she doesn't even know but we can appreciate the music and positive messages, such as, uh, hmm, crabs are friends, not food?)

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All content © Meaghan O'Malley, 2009-2012. Header image by Rebekka Seale.