Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Thoughts about Prop 8...

I wasn't surprised that Prop 8 (the amendment banning same-sex marriage) passed, and I'm honestly amused that people can't understand why it passed. Anyone who's lived outside of the urban areas of California (Inland Empire, San Diego, Redwood Empire, Central Valley, etc.) knows that the rest of California is just as red and conservative as the Midwest, the desert, etc. Anyone who's seen that homophobia is still a major issue among the black and Latino communities, and the Asian communities shouldn't be surprised.

And yet, when we focus all our efforts on the white and Asian people in the cities and suburbs, which don't comprise a majority; when we're too afraid to go and support people in the other parts of California who are fighting for our rights because we think it's pointless and dangerous; any time that we refuse to engage people in our communities and not call them out on their homophobia and racism because we're afraid of what they'll think of us; when we let our opponents set the dialogue and momentum and we're always having to respond; when we think that all we have to do is convince our own communities and not create strong coalitions across communities, we're dead in the water.

It's time for queer people to stop whining and start the dialogues and start the momentum. It's time to actively see who our allies are in the religious communities, communities of color, etc., and work with them to bring the message home. People against Prop 8 should've been calling for nationwide donations as soon as it started, and not just wait when the Mormons and other religious groups raised money. Friends outside of California were shocked that they received no calls for donations until 3-4 weeks before the election, and by that time, it was already too little too late.

It's time for us to step outside of our comfort zones in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and show active support for our allies in other parts of California (and not just send facebook links).

Unless we're willing to see that California is not just the so-called utopias of San Francisco and Los Angeles, and that queers and people of color in California are still being killed and targeted because of their difference, we're always going to have the same problems hit us time and time again, and things like Prop 8 will continue to pass.


:: jozjozjoz :: said...

Los Angeles is utopian?

Might I point out that Prop 8 passed in LA County!?!?

Efren said...

Compared to the rest of California and given what I've seen where No on Prop 8 people concentrated, yup.

Writes Susan said...

As your pal from the Midwest (raised in Santa Clara), who happens to be fiscally and religiously conservative but socially liberal, I'm not super surprised it didn't pass, but I AM disappointed for everyone who is losing an opportunity through its failure. I don't know what the riders were on the prop, but I hope that next time it passes. Does another four years pass before it comes up again?