Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rainy Day

Sitting in Coho, a cafe on the campus of MRU (the Major Research University where I earn my wages) waiting for my fellow traveler RL to be released from his wage slavery, as it were. My office got off at noon. It is a lovely rainy day, which is something that always makes me happy.

I realize that the last few weeks I have turned this blog into all gay marriage, all the time. Never my intention. I blog in order to make into flesh, as it were, the ceaseless inner ramblings of my more-eclectic-than-is-healthy mind. But one does get hung up every now and then, and the victory of the religious bigots really got under my skin. I am not alone in that, for certain.

The photo says it all. I took it at the Sacramento demonstration in front of the state capitol building last Saturday (November 22). We have become comfortable in the "repressive tolerance" of a society that tolerates the hate mongers and smiled benignly at us. The most gratifying part of the protests and the revulsion over the election has been the anger of our straight friends. They're sick of it too.

That said, and on another note, the Sacramento trip was fun. RL who is my roommate went as did our friends TG and MM who are lovers. MM is a student at Davis, so we swung by and picked him up. Once at the demo, I split off from them almost immediately and spent the afternoon shooting photos the presentable of which are on my Flickr site. Since I bought the Lumix DMC-FZ50, I've had a lot of fun with candid people shots ... I've worked on sliding through crowds, picking out lines of sight, and doing quick snaps while the victim ... I mean the subject is still unaware. My old friend Tom Burdick, dead from AIDS these 15 years, was an expert at that. (Tom willed his photos to me but they never showed up; I think the parental units thought better of distributing stuff to fags. Tom asked me to do something with them; he was never specific about that. I think he just wanted to be remembered. I remember you, Tom.)

There was a rather tiny counter-demonstration. Perhaps a dozen folks with very large and obviously professionally produced and graphically coordinated signs. One sign said "Gay Fascists Trashed My Truck" ... the sign was 6 feet by 4 feet. I wonder how he knew it was gay fascists ... maybe it was enviro fascists ... or perhaps it was gawd teaching him a lesson for polluting.

Another sign, roughly 4 feet by 6 feet, said "A Moral Wrong is not a Civil Right". It was propped up by a young somber woman dressed like a Mormon polygamy-practicer. Of course, this goes to the heart of the matter. They think we are immoral, and they think that private opinions of morality should influence public policy. I have watched the evolution of homophobic discourse for the 36 years that I have been out of the closet. They started with plain hatred ... some have not moved far from that. They morphed into protecting children, and then into opposition to special rights for homos. Now they are just trying to protect marriage.

All of that is bunkus. They just want to deny us legitimacy; they want to drive us back to the silence they kept us in for a millennium. It has always been about civil rights, and it still is.

So notwithstanding that I still owe Katy a post on homophobia and Halloween, I am going to try to post on something other than gay politics first. Just to keep this thing eclectic.

BTW, have just started re-reading John Boswell's Same Sex Unions in Premodern Europe. It is must-read stuff. His terrible death at 47 ... the same age as our new president ... deprived gay people of the best scholar on our history that we have ever had. One wonders whether we wouldn't be better served if all the folderol in current gay studies programs about multiculturalism and the endless rewrites of 70s history gave way to solid scholarship like Boswell's. If you haven't read the book, you should.

Photos by Arod at the anti-H8 demo in Sacramento, November 22, 2008

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