Actions to Overcome Homophobia; and a Poem For My Nephew

I keep trying to write this long, hyper-analytical piece on actions that will overcome the homophobia evidenced in this most recent election, and finding myself off on tangents and polite-ticities (new word alert), so I am just gonna break down my thoughts quick here and post it for feedback.

I have seen amazing actions popping off since the election about Prop 8, aka Prop Hate. I don’t want to critique those actions, since I know the marches, rallies and actions are grounded in love.

I do want to highlight the reactionary nature of the whole response to Prop 8, and to the bills in Florida and Arkansas. Now that the campaigns, each of which appear to have been run poorly in terms of gathering and galvanizing voters, have failed, we’re up in arms and out in the streets.

I have to say that with much respect to those actions, I can only see two actions that will actually have a difference on the outcomes.

The first is for straight couples to start to demand civil unions, to stand in solidarity with the analysis that marriage is unconstitutional, and denying the rights of anyone in the U.S. to an unconstitutional practice has us all kinds of turned around. This is not to say that straight couples have to forego marriage in church, but asking folks to practice marriage as an act of a church, and civil unions/domestic partnerships as the power of the state.

This is all towards a functional system true to its founding principles, regardless of how unpopular it may feel. I speak to the democratic intention of the constitution, to protect people from religious persecution (exclusion is a form of persecution).

The second action is for ‘gay’ people, and those in solidarity with gay (where the quotations just mean to include: queer, transgender, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, mormon polygamist, two spirited, questioning, men sleeping with men, women sleeping with women, and all other existing relationships) who are based in communities that supported prop 8 to take action in their communities.

As we learned during the civil rights movement, it was the bravery of the most targeted and impacted communities, exposing their dreams and making themselves utterly vulnerable at lunch counters, on buses, on bridges; that’s what created the images and narrative that allowed us to evolve policy and practice for black people and elections.

Now we want to evolve policy for queer people (and Arab folks and immigrants and prisoners and still black folks and poor folks and others), and the way to do it isn’t a kiss-in in front of the Mormon Tabernacle.

Love should be our guide. This isn’t a time for symbolic actions that express a lack of faith that we can turn the tides in our communities, or a lack of respect for beliefs that are different from ours. This is the time for actions that redefine and expand the understanding of religious freedom, community and democratic practices in America and worldwide.

So those are my thoughts on that.

In other worlds, my nephew is AMAZING and spending much of the day with him today was sooooo fulfilling. so i wrote him a love poem. Here it is:

Finn:

my sweet new one

holy discovery of the day

wide eyed, wide, opened wide

sweet smell, just-here smell

of clean

of new-to-the-world

of softest skin

skin with the tiniest

and fragile hair

all the softest kind of cover

changing-daily skin

my sweet loved one

your mouth shaped like kiss and suckle

a place to sense + taste + learn

vulnerable

dependent and strong

standing, shaking with effort

head held high

bones committing to solidarity

you will walk

you will run

you are as new as the daily sun

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