Sunday, April 29, 2012

My thoughts on North Carolina's anti-gay amendment

For weeks, I’ve been thinking, “I ought to write about the amendment and how it will affect my family.” I will write something sweet and lovely, I thought, an homage to my family and to all of us normal gay people out there just living our lives. There would be baby pictures, because I believe that just to look at my child is to love my family; he is that beautiful to me.  I thought, I will include a lot of facts that are not along the lines of “you are ignorant and on the wrong side of history if you vote for this amendment,” but more like “unmarried straight couples with children will be hurt by this amendment, too.” I thought that would be kinder and gentler and appeal to more people.

 I thought I will write this, and then I will share the link, and maybe one or two people out there who are undecided will see this and will be persuaded to vote against the amendment. Or, at the very least, my post would fire up someone who would vote against the amendment but who might forget to vote because it’s not that important to them. It seemed worth it to do this.

I kept not writing, though. I mean, I am very busy, right, so that’s one reason, but this is important enough to me that you would think I’d find the time. I didn’t, though.

I’m just too fucking angry.

I’m not easy to anger. In the midst of an argument a few weeks ago, my partner told me, “You never snap at me.” I don’t. I am much more inclined to disdain. I don’t get fired up. My version of anger is to sneer a little then pretend I don’t care until I’m over it.

This anti-gay “pro marriage” amendment, though, this has me full of rage. I haven’t done it yet, but I can’t guarantee that I won’t key your car or slash your tires if I see an anti-gay bumper sticker on your car. I have started thinking of people who speak out for the amendment, or have yard signs letting everyone know how bigoted they are, as “trash.” This—a word that has certainly been applied to my family more than once, a word that has caused many an eyeroll when spilled from the lips of random Carrboro/Chapel Hill liberals who secretly yet obviously hate poor people—is not an insult that comes to me easily, but I can’t think of anything else that fits. “Trash” carries the sense of worthlessness and irrelevance I want when describing bigots.

See, the difference between my kind of liberal and that kind of liberal is that I fucking expect you to be decent and act right, no matter how much money you have or don’t have. You don’t get the grace of “ignorant” or “uneducated” or “unworldly” from me. You fucking ought to know better.  I do. My mama does. My brother does.

A couple of paragraphs ago, I mentioned that my partner and I got in a fight. We do that. If I was in a different frame of mind, I might include that in a gentle little list of things that gay people do that are just like straight people.

But fuck all that. Fuck you, if you don’t have enough compassion and enough of a theory of mind to really get that most people aren’t that different from you, and that this truth is the basis of compassion and understanding. Something is wrong with you—yes, you are fucking broken inside and probably jealous and small and will always have a tiny, little, miserable fucking life--if you want to punish me for the way I choose to live my life. You can think I’m stupid and wrong all you want—I will do the same thing to you, particularly if you think your own private religious beliefs ought to dictate a single goddamned thing about public life—but do not try to fucking tear down my walls and tell me that I have no rights as a parent to my child or no rights as a wife to Melissa. Stay out of my goddamned life, and leave me alone, you terrible human being.

That’s why I haven’t written anything. 

Er. So. Feel free to share this with your friends. There’s a palate cleansing baby picture over here. Also, more usefully, if you want more facts and reasoned arguments about this, you should befriend my friend Nathaniel Grubbs on Facebook. He posts a lot of really great stuff, from a religious (Baptist, even) perspective.


  1. I wish I still lived in NC so I could vote against the amendment. A similar amendment floated in NM died a brief but spectacular death.

  2. My parents are hard core Republicans. As of Sunday, my Dad was undecided (How? Well, it's because he "doesn't see the point" of the amendment so his vote could go either way). My Mom is voting anti-amendment. My dad is worried that I will vote for Ron Paul and not Romney in the primary. Since I am unaffiliated, I can vote Republican or Democratic. I, personally, have no real issue striking the deal: I will vote for Romney in the Primary if my dad votes against the amendment. Is this wrong?

  3. No. Well, okay, I guess that if you take a very strong ethical stance on not gaming elections and voting for what you believe, maybe so. If you don't, though, I see nothing wrong with trading this vote for a primary vote.

  4. It's hard to be honorable when the election system is questionable at best (way easier to rig elections with the computerized systems). The reason why I think I am going to go Republican at the primary this year is because none of the Dems have me excited, and I would think that I can try to do damage control (i.e. attempt to vote for the least bigoted) on the Republican ballot.

  5. I hate when I get so angry about something I worry I won't be able to write about it effectively. Your piece is beautifully written. Hope the amendment goes down in flames.