Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Can We?

Above: People celebrating the Obama victory.

This is the first election I have ever voted in and I have no problem stating that. No one has ever inspired me enough to want to vote for him or her. No person has ever made me believe in them enough to want to vote for him or her. I have never connected with a candidate before to make me want to be a part in electing them as President of the United States. Until now. I will admit, that when Barack Obama started his campaign I said, "No way is this country ready to elect an African American President."

Above: Here I am waiting in line to vote.

Above: Zach keeping me warm on the chilly morning waiting over an hour in line to vote.

Above: Long voting line on Jersey Street in Noe Valley.

I was very doubtful that he would become the democratic nominee. Once he proved me wrong, I started to really get interested in this ambitious man that I admired just for his drive. After listening to Obama speak, I realized not only did I want this man to be the next President, but also I really liked the guy. I actually liked a person in politics, I believe him, I am inspired by him, I listen to him - so I voted for the first time because I believe Barack Obama will not only make a difference in my life, Paul’s life, Zach’s life but the entire future of this world.

Above: Symbolic Obama poster.

Above: Click on this picture - it's really cool if you look a larger view of it.

Above: The crowd celebrating.

Celebrating the election was unlike anything I have ever been a part of or witnessed. Being in crowds that were hugging strangers standing next to them, smiling at each other, crying with one another and holding hands was a highly emotional moment. All of us stood in silence as Obama accepting his future position and we listened to his inspirational words. At that moment, I felt the country was at one with each other, even the McCain supporters that listened to McCain’s gracious speech couldn’t help but be inspired at what they we witnessing.

Above: Seeing it live - Barack Obama elected President.

Above: The Castro goes wild with people.

As the night started coming to a close, I started to realize that we have come so far in this country but took a look at the results of Prop 8, which could ban same-sex marriage. It looks like this ban will come into effect. Five steps forward with Obama but two steps back for discrimination against gays. I have mixed feeling about this victory. I am high on the fact that Obama is in charge of this country and we have broken down those walls against race but we are closing doors against people still. I don’t have the right to marry another man because I am told it's wrong and against the law. It's against the law for me to entire into something sacred because people feel marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

Above: Me and Jay.

Mind you, I would probably never get married, I may feel different down the road, but it's my choice, my right that is being taken away from me. I will never understand why people are threatened by the notion of a man marrying another man or a woman marrying another women. What do you fear? How is my love for another human being so wrong that you have to put laws into effect?

Above: The boys celebrating Obama.

Above: A sea of people in the Castro embrace the Obama victory.

There is hope in my eyes. Gays have come a long LONG way, even when I was in high school - I was beaten for being gay which was only 15 years ago and I was kicked out of my home for speaking my mind and saying I was gay at 16 years old but this country and the poeple have grown in so many ways. I have seen groups and organizations formed in schools to support gay youth I have seen civil union rights come into effect, I have witnessed hundreds of people get the courage to stand up and be who they are and speak there mind to their families, I have witnessed bravery and courage not only from other gay men and women but from myself. I am hopeful that with the progression of where this country is headed that I will see more doors open up for gays as they have opened up for African Americans.

Someday, we will all look back on this and I will tell stories as an old man that I saw the first African American President and I saw gay’s achieved the equality other citizens have and who knows, I might even be sitting next to my husband, Paul, telling Zach’s children the journey we went through and explaining them what discrimination means and how it no longer exists.

Can we? Yes we can!

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