Sunday, December 30, 2007

Grief & Strength. Accepting the Loss of what January 2nd Could have Been

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

For in the end, freedom is a personal and lonely battle; and one faces down fears of today so that those of tomorrow might be engaged. -Alice Walker

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. -Mother Teresa

Do exactly what you would do if you felt most secure. -Meister Eckhart

Let no man pull you low enough to hate him. -Martin Luther King Jr.

I'm not doing so great today. Started the day okay, feeling still numb but less in shock. Then I got to work and had co-workers asking me what happened with domestic partnerships and what we were going to do next. And the reason so many co-workers even know is because due to where I work we have something called a holiday "blackout" time where if a staff member needs a day off before January 8th, the person has to either call out or find another staff member to switch shifts. So I had to make a plea to other staff members to switch that day (January 2nd) for one of my regular days off. I really didn't want most of the workplace to even know my business, but I had to find someone to switch shifts so my sweetheart & I could get up early, get legally partnered, and then celebrate.

So the feeling with co-workers asking me about it was one of embarrassment in a way. Like my personal life was on political display for folks I don't really need involved. And the other feeling is grief & loss. Just plain sadness. Trying to stride on in my normal work day I had to get to the bathroom to break down in tears. I'm sweaty and can't eat. The whole thing is really upsetting.

Always in my life I have overcome. Being a queer woman of color I have no choice or else I succumb to the evil of prejudice that wishes me dead. And I know that this ordeal will pass because things always do, but I just can't seem to shake the utter despair of being less than equal today. I'm just so sick of being a minority right now. I'm sick of folks who don't care & folks who don't have to care. I'm sick of one minority group hating another. I'm sick of folks within their own minority group not giving a shit. Many people care, I know this. My own mom reminded me that allies & good people are working hard for equality right this very moment. But when I go around the town today & see folks smiling & laughing & not even phased I just feel... a temporary hopelessness.

There is anger here too. I'm angry so many of my fellow queers choose to sit with their thumb up their arses then get in the streets & make it known to all we are equal. Yesterday I checked Portland's Indy media & other local web sources & there was nothing. No-thing. And yes there will be vigils but where's the passion. Where's the fire or hope even to demand we be treated, by the government who makes us pay the same taxes, equally.

And for the hate mongers who think that their god is better their everyone else's and can't understand what the point of having queers be equal is, I just want to ... I don't even know. Can it be explained that we are just people? Just regular ol' folks who just want the same protections that they already have. We don't wish to take away even one right from them. Don't they know we just want some peace and nothing special at all. Just the same ability to move through the world without having to watch our backs every 5 seconds.

To the allies who remain silent: please speak up! Speak the words we need to hear. That equality is important to you!
To my l/g/b/t/2s family: Don't be afraid to speak up & take action even if you immediate circle doesn't understand. You will connect with those who get it and your strength will shine so others can stand up too.
To our Queer leaders: Know we cannot just settle for less. That this is the time to fight. That doesn't mean violence or hateful actions but a new creativity that will get into the hearts of those who need to see, hear & feel what is the truth of our situations.
For myself: I'll not give up. I'll not sit & wait. I'll speak up even if my fellow queers don't like it. My place is in this world at this time & that cannot for naught. I won't be run over or run down by prejudice. I will rest when I need to & continue to take action for myself & others to be full citizens of not only Oregon or the United States, but also the world. Get ready people. You haven't seen nothing yet!

Here's a little musical salve from the late Tupac. Peace!


Diane J Standiford said...

I was wondering, I have tried to give you supportive comments on your blog, I have a partner of 28yrs, we have been endured chronic illness, a fight (which we won) in Seattle for passage of Domestic Patrnerships(we were one of the first to register, we were asked to appear on The Today Show)I marched, carried signs, stood asking people to sign patittions, joined in a first G/L employee group for city employees,which was standing room only and a fight broke out with a right-winger taking names,all in the 1980s---yet you do not reply to my comments of support nor even add my blog as one you like,is it because I am too white? My state is roarig ahead with gay rights. You quote leaders of my generation, speeches I HEARD. And keep alive. Good luck in OR. May your youthful relationship last as long as mine, even if there is more worse than better. THAT is lasting love. Indeed, what is unsaid, says the most.

FrancesM said...

Let me say first & foremost I really have appreciated your supportive comments. It's nice to have your words!
I don't always reply to comments because if I don't sense a question or feel something burning inside that needs to be responded to then I don't. It's usually nice comments like yours that I like to let shine on their own.

Maybe that's why it seems a lot of folks read my blog but don't leave comments... because I don't comment back. I guess I'm so busy trying to prepare the next post that I don't dwell a lot on the previous ones.

And lastly about your being too white. I don't believe I have indicated in any way that you or anyone else is too white for this blog. I won't deny that what excites me most in terms of this blog is connecting to other QWOC's but I'm very very happy to have the support of allies regardless of thier skin tone, religion, sexuality, gender expression or anything else.

Diane I wish you and your partner a very happy new years!

Diane J Standiford said...

OK,cool. Same to u both.