Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm Happy

In our home there were tears of happiness last night at 10:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.

It means a lot to me personally that an African American is now president-elect. It is a visible reminder to me of what I believe is best about the "American system."

I am inspired to have a president who -- FINALLY -- is not afraid to remind Americans that they need to make sacrifices. Who does not see his own election as "change," but merely as an opportunity for change. Who seems to understand that real change takes consensus and cooperation and consistent effort.

But Obama's victory does not -- it cannot possibly -- mean to me personally what it means to my husband, an African American, and our immediate and extended family and friends who are African American. I can see it in his eyes, and hear it in his voice. In the excitement and happiness he couldn't conceal if he tried. This victory means everything to him.

And for those of us who are not African American, it should mean at least this much: that our African American loved ones, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and fellow citizens are that much uplifted by this victory. That their lives have a chance of being better because of this. That their hopes have finally been elevated to this level. That their stake in this country which belongs to us all is finally increased to something that looks and feels like equality.

The tears in my eyes right now as I reflect on this are only for the fact that this wasn't much, much sooner in coming.

Praise God Almighty! At last.

5 comments:

Sean said...

John,

I dont post or reply very often..and my activity has kinda died out in the queerosphere. However, I read your recent comment on Abe's posting with regards to Cali's Prop 8.

I know there is little comfort in the outcome of the voting in Cali, but do know there are many of us who hope and pray that one day there wont have to be such hatred. As a gay man choosing to stay in a hetro marriage i realize the cold comfort that some future happenings give, but I do have hope for a brighter future.

Like Abe, I know that Christ is real... i could not deny that any more than i can deny my own sexuality, so that gives me hope. The church as an institute in the past had created stumbling blocks it has been removing them as good people finally took time to ask Father real questions and in turn seek out real answers. I can only hope that such actions will one day lead to that bright future that I desire.

At this time I hope that bridges that have been distroyed during this emotionally vitriol campaign will be mended... There is certainly much healing that must take place before trust and communication can flow in a bilatral way.

It may be persons like yourself, myself, Abe and others who are going to be those bridge builders. My hope is to that vision.

may you find peace.

your friend,
sean

J G-W said...

Thanks, Sean.

It's not small comfort... It's the only comfort. The alternative to faith and hope is far worse. I know that deep down inside, so I hold on.

I guess having the opportunity to build the bridges, as you say, is the good news. If it were easy, somebody would already have done it. So, let's stay in the path together!

Anonymous said...

Are you happy that your fellow LDS cult members poured money into California to defeat gay marriage?

J G-W said...

Hey, anonymous -

The tone of your comment seems pretty bitter and nasty, so I'm not even sure you are interested in an answer.

But the short answer is, no, I'm not happy that members of the LDS Church poured something on the order of 19 million dollars into the Prop 8 campaign. It sickens me that much of the rhetoric they used heightened fear and hatred of gay people. It saddens me that they would put so much time and energy into guaranteeing that my family and so many other families will have to live as second class citizens, and that we will have to try to take care of our families with fewer rights and protections than other families. It saddens me that my fellow Latter-day Saints don't appear to care how their actions negatively impact people who are their own brothers and sisters, daughters and sons, nieces and nephews, and friends.

But promoting hatred of any religion (the word "cult," by the way, is a hate word) will not improve the position of gay folks in our society. It will not help me and my family. That is why I prefer to affirm faith, affirm life, affirm love, and speak lovingly and constructively to those who have acted ignorantly, and who have done things that hurt me.

It's why I don't hide behind anonymity on the Internet, and why I prefer not to argue with folks even about issues that matter greatly to me. I prefer to let my life and my love be my only real "argument."

I hope that answers your question...

MoHoHawaii said...

I understand the tremendous pride that people feel about having the color barrier broken in this way. I'm just thrilled that we elected a person of such intelligence and decency of character. That he happens to have a mixed-race background is just icing on the cake.