Yes We Can, Twice!
Four years ago, when that happened it was historic. I got chills. Through all the hate and the racism and the screaming accusations of “terrorist,” our nation rose above our hate and derision, listened to the better angels of our nature, and elected a black man to the presidency. We looked at a man named Barack Hussein Obama, a man with dark skin, a man with a white mother and a black father, the living embodiment of the white racist’s greatest fear, and we made him the leader of the free world. We looked at him and made him the leader of our nation. We looked at him and said “yes, this is the face that we want to represent our people to the world.”
We did that.
Then we did it again.
It wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t a one off. It wasn’t a moment of madness or a single moment of the nation living on hope. We looked back at the four previous years of this man and what he had done and we once again selected him as our face to the world.
This is just who we are now. We are that people.
Well done, America.
In the course of his inaugural address, for the very first time, our president spoke to and of the LGBTQ community. OK, technically he just spoke to and mentioned lesbians and gays. A lot of people online tried to squash that complaint but I think it’s a valid one. The BTQ members of our community have never had anyone speak to or for us on this level and that matters. When the president spoke out in favor of marriage equality, it mattered, not just on a political level but because someone saw us. We were acknowledged as part of society.
This isn’t just a matter of marriage equality. It’s a matter of safety and acceptance for our trans, bi, and queer brothers and sisters. I’m sure I’m missing some group and it is honestly out of ignorance. I apologize. Correct me and I’ll add.
The lack of that overt acknowledgement, for the rest of our community is a valid thing to be upset about. It’s entirely rational that everyone refuse to accept the erasure of a whole section of the people who fight with and for us.
I presume that the lack of acknowledgement from the president comes out of ignorance as well. Many, many people don’t realize that gay and lesbian are not the only categories of our movement as they do not realize that marriage equality is just one part of our struggle. Further, many people don’t realize that Stonewall wasn’t some non-violent civil rights protest. It was a bar fight with cops, started in response to the horrible treatment of trans individuals by the NYPD. And they won.
It is the absolute duty of those of us who are acknowledged to speak of for those who are not, to remind people who, out of ignorance or malice, refuse to see the full tapestry of who we are. We must, because if we do not, we fail those who came before.
We have so much to be proud of today, we must live up to that pride. We cannot fail them.
While we are living up to that pride, there’s one more subject we need to look at.
Republicans are trying to make sure we can never do this again.
Today, while the nation was watching the inauguration, and one member of the Virginia Senate was at the ceremony, the rest of that body, redrew the districts of their state and eliminated exactly one district. Guess which party it consistently votes for. If you said Democrat, give yourself a gold star. Had that member of the Senate been there today, the vote would have been a tie. This was just underhanded.
This isn’t a fluke either. This is Republican strategy. If they cannot win, they will cheat. Unless we stop them.
Here is the contact information for the governor of Virginia. He has been talking around whether or not he is willing to sign the bill. That means he is totally going to sign the bill. Here is the contact information for the members of the Virginia House. It’s a work day people. Let’s do a job.