Saturday, November 08, 2008

MY MESSAGE TO CALIFORNIA

To my dear friends, and family, in the Golden State,

By now it's starting to sink in, isn't it? In spite of the magnificent milestone of the first African-American president of the United States being elected this past Tuesday, GLBT people and our allies were dealt a stunning blow with the passage of Prop 8, and it's slamming of the door on gay marriage in California, (for now, anyway).

Much is being said and written about this throughout the internet and in the various media outlets, and some folks are casting stones, blaming certain parties for not running a better "No on 8" campaign in California. I'm not here to join that particular chorus; I think a great deal of sweat, money, and bravery went into this battle, and ultimately the "Yes on 8" side simply had a better turn of events for themselves. This time.

However, it is a cold, hollow victory that these misguided voters won, and believe me, they have nothing to be proud of here. We can see that this issue is changing in the public's perception; I'm rather excited and heartwarmed that here in the northeast, Massachusetts and Connecticut allow gay marriage, Vermont and New Jersey have civil unions, and New York recognizes gay marriages performed out of state, (and is coming ever closer to legalizing gay marriage right here in-state). Even in California, within a few years, the majority will be on the side of gay marriage, and the bigots won't be celebrating victories anymore, (by then, they'll probably have moved on to another target, anyway. Bullies don't usually stick around for battles they know they can't win). And in decades to come, history will shine a most unflattering light on all of these anti-gay zealots, and they'll have a hollow legacy to go with their hollow victory.

But what can be done now? Frankly, quite a lot. It's interesting that I actually wrote an episode of Kyle's B&B back in 2004 dealing with gay marriage, that spoke about boycotting straight marriages until gay marriage is legalized, (and yes, this was published in 2004, over 2 years before that TV movie "Wedding Wars" starring John Stamos broached the same topic. I'll let you decide whether they "borrowed" my idea or not). In any case, at the time I thought the idea was a bit fanciful... actually boycott all marriages until gay marriage is legalized? It seemed a bit extreme. It doesn't anymore. In fact, I can't imagine sitting through a heterosexual wedding now, especially in California, knowing how all people in same-sex relationships are denied those same rights.

And you know, I think it can be about more than just not going to weddings. I think gay supportive heterosexuals living in California ought to consider holding their weddings outside of California. I think gaudy, overblown wedding imagery in the media should now be frowned upon and looked upon as in bad taste. I say if heterosexuals want to be the only ones to be allowed to get married, hey, go ahead.... but don't expect the gay folks who've brightened up your wedding ceremonies and receptions in the past with their creativity to be there for you now. I think your sunny-day weddings are about to become a quite a bit....grayer.

Mainly, I think what I wrote in that episode over 4 years ago speaks for itself, so.... here it is, again, (and remember, this was from before the strip was in color, so, it's back to the old black & white look for now. And if you're looking for the newest episode of Kyle's B&B, just scroll down to the next post, or click "New Episode" on the menu on the right). And now, without further ado, here the Kyle's B&B take on the gay marriage fight, (just click on the image to make it larger, so you can actually read it!):

6 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Griffin said...

I wish I had the strength to stand up to my family the way Andrew does in this episode. Last year I was feeling ambivalent about going to my uncle's (second) wedding, but caved to my family's pressure and what everyone would think if I didn't show up. But I wonder too if this is more about me hating weddings than making a political statement. Or both.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting how the gay community is now mobilizing and holding demonstrations in the afternath of Prop 8. I like Andrew's idea in this strip too, hit the bigots where it hurts, in their pocketbooks and inside their families. We need to work on many fronts for things to change.

Patrick Hunter said...

I disagree with boycotting anything along with the idea of gay sick out days. Doing that just gives people what they want - to be rid of us; not have to think about us; not have to be deal with their own biggotry and misconceptions about GLBT and have those ideas and conceptions changed. The better idea is to go to weddings; bring your boyfriend, partner, date; etc and show people that we are still here, we're still queer and they should get used to it. The only way to actually change peoples perceptions about us and marriage is to be visible NOT invisible. When we are through boycotts, then that gives power to the people who would like to keep us down.

Anonymous said...

patrick:

I do have to agree with you, boycotting doesn't work! As a conservative/libertarian gay parent (yes, a dad to my 2 boys), I am a business owner and I am against SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES. (I'm against LIBERALS, too, as I believe that the founding fathers of the USA would be shocked at what the government is now trying to do - from stealing our hard earned money to telling people when they can speak (as in the UNFAIRNESS DOCTRINE. If you don't like what is being said on TV or the radio, turn the dial or turn it off.)
Anyway, if you want to be accepted - we got to tell the activists to stop acting like JERKS (Drag queens dressed as nuns, or parading in thongs. We got to show people that gays are 'normal', too.

Dan Glenn said...

I’m joining this discussion a bit late, but here it goes.

I couldn’t agree with your character, Andrew, more. Back when King George (Bush), Defender of the Faith, began his attack on gay-Americans and their civil rights to marry, I raised my fist like Scarlet and swore, “As God is my witness, I will never attend another breeder wedding until we can marry also.”

It wasn’t till this past year that I had to live up to my words. Both my cousins were to marry. I explained my feelings about attending their wedding services and they completely understood. We compromised by having me attend the reception afterwards.

I can’t tell you what a blessing it was, not only to make my point, but to receive the affirmation and love that I felt in doing so.