Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The morning after

It's been an emotional twenty-four hours.

It started yesterday when I was walking out of the polling place, having just cast my vote for Barack Obama. I started crying. It felt like a release of frustration. What came to my mind in that moment was the issue of torture. All of a sudden I felt a sense of overwhelming relief that I had been able to cast my vote against the current administration's horrifying and illegal techniques of "interrogation." Why that particular issue of all the many things that need to be changed in this country came to mind at that particular moment I can't say. But that's what happened.

I went through election day with a sense of cautious excitement. When the race was over I watched President-Elect Obama address the nation. Again, I just lost it. I cried through all of his very eloquent speech. It's unbelievable to me that we have come to this point. For eight long years we have watched our country suffer the results of catastrophic leadership. Seeing Obama win felt like catharsis, at once humbling, sobering and joyful. There is hope now. We now have a chance to begin to dig ourselves out of the mess we've created. It's only the first step, but it's a step I couldn't have imagined two years ago.

Then, I started following the results of the four anti-gay ballot measures. All four passed. The defeat in California was particularly gut wrenching. Tears have been running down my face all morning. The loss feels so personal. I know this feeling will pass, but right now that's where I am. It doesn't help that my boyfriend has been laid off from his job and may not be able to stay in the U.S all because, unlike straight people, the person I love and I are legal strangers no matter what kind of life we build together.

The loss in California also feels personal because of the heavy involvement of the LDS Church. When Mormons use the phrase "enemy of the Church" they mean someone who attacks the Church. What phrase do we use when the Church attacks, when it's the Church that does the destroying and the defaming? I feel like the Church has set its sights on me and calmly pulled the trigger. They made the kill, but who wins? Certainly not the Church-- the PR fallout from this is going to be awful. In the meantime, civil rights have been set back a decade.

So it's up and down right now. Tears of joy and sorrow. Fear that Tobi and I may be forcibly separated by the government. Hope that our country may have adult supervision again. Appreciation for what I have this moment because I know it may be taken from me. I'm going to resolve to keep going, keep fighting and know that history is on our side. I just have to stop crying first.


J G-W said...

Wow. First of all, I can totally relate to the anxiety you must feel right now in your relationship. A little over a year ago, I was there, as you well know having followed the saga of Göran's search for his birth certificate. I too experienced the fear of what would happen to him and to us, and the helplessness of knowing that if we were heterosexual, the problem wouldn't even have existed. Ugh.

I read an article (linked from Abelard's blog) talking about how Church leaders were calling for "civility" in the wake of the Prop 8's passage. I don't even know what to say about that, except that it literally makes me sick to my stomach.

I wanted to just be over it. But I'm realizing I need time to just feel sad.

I'm happy too, almost beyond words, about Barack's victory.

It's weird feeling the elation and the despondency at the same time.

Scot said...

I'm sorry. I ardently hope you find a way to keep together; what a horrible turn of events.

"I just have to stop crying first."

Man, I wish I could find a place to let it out. Between being around coworkers and being around my kids; I just haven't had a chance.

MoHoHawaii said...

John and Scot,

It's a comfort see comments from two of my favorite people in all of blogland. Thanks for your support. The sun will rise another day.