Wednesday, October 29, 2008

TBG's Election Guide: Proposition 8


I'm voting no on Proposition 8 – the California ballot initiative that would reverse the State Supreme Court's ruling recognizing gay marriage.

I'm voting no because of my family. In a few years, my aunt will turn 60, yet those six decades may as well have been six lifetimes in terms of societal leprosy. She was biracial before it was cool and before Mariah Carey, Beyonce Knowles, Derek Jeter and Tiger Woods could pick n' choose which race to represent. She was an athlete at a time when any female sporting accomplishment was marginalized and Peggy Fleming was pushed as an "All-American" role model. She's also a lesbian.

I'm voting no because my aunt was a sh*tty babysitter. When my twin brother and I stayed overnight, she'd feed us cake and ice cream for breakfast. When we were seven-years-old, she took us to see Conan the Barbarian. My mom would get mad, swear she'd never leave us with her again, then drop us off a month later acting as if my aunt hadn't given my brother her prescription cough syrup for his sniffles. He was "clinically dead" for 45 minutes! Good times.

I'm voting no because my aunt was never less than herself. While I was 11 or 12 when my mom awkwardly told me what a "lesbian" was and why my aunt never wore skirts or make-up (seriously, THAT was her pitch), I still felt like I was ahead of the curve. I couldn't have been older than kindergarten age, yet I remember my aunt's first serious girlfriend. There are dozens of old pictures – cracked and blurred with time – at my mom's house from birthday parties and holiday dinners, most featuring family, but some with couples from my aunt's circle of friends. Faces that were as much a part of my aunt's family as we were.

I'm voting no because my aunt's 2003 commitment ceremony was one of the most bat-sh*t insane spectacles of all time. Biracial (half white/half-African-American) woman ties the knot with another biracial (half white/half-Hispanic) woman, then buys out a dive bar for the evening reception in one of the most buttoned-up communities in Los Angeles County? I smell sitcom!

I'm voting no because of my co-workers. There was Mike at my first job in college. He mocked my increasingly dated high-top fade, I mocked his entire wardrobe by Bugle Boy. I still regret that we fell out of touch when I moved to San Diego and that I didn't throw a bony fist in the face of those who'd belatedly – and profanely – out him to me. Then again, I guess I'm hypocrite to some degree. A few years later, I worked with Kenny, who proudly outed (and dated) Chad Allen two years before Allen came out himself.

I'm voting no because of Jim. Nicest guy you'll ever meet. Mrs. Bootleg and I ran into him at the San Diego Zoo one Sunday. I introduced my co-worker to my wife and when it seemed obvious that he wasn't going to introduce his partner as his partner, I did it for him.

I'm voting no because of my friends. There's that one guy who inspired me to start this blog and that one girl who confided in me, but has chosen not to come out yet. There's that longtime reader who once respectfully chastised me for something stupid I wrote and another reader – and infrequent poster – who'll be out in California next year to get married.

I'm voting no on Proposition 8.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

TBG - good to hear that you are voting no on Prop 8. As an avid reader of your blog and previous writing jobs, it was a very nice piece you wrote. I will actually be moving to LA with my partner on Nov. 5th so I'm hoping all goes well with this prop. Keep up the great writing!

castro said...

Quite the screed, Cam. Nicely done! Who knew you could be That Poignant Guy?

Joe Reid said...

I've said it before -- and God knows how I hate to be repetitive -- but: you're good people, Cam'ron.

mikey mejor said...

Am I the only one who found the most thought provoking element here to be 7 year old Aaron peeing his movie seat at the sight of Conan's mother getting be-headed?

(And the rest was good too.)

NY Jon said...

"infrequent" poster...?

The TRUTH is that I've been silently protesting this blog since your biased slotting of Kay and Cone beneath all those other broadcast crews.

Thanks for the kind words, Cam. Looking forward to meeting Mrs. Bootleg and Jalen Bootleg next year, if we can pull this off.

Tom said...

I'm confused by the double negative in the first paragraph. Voting no means gay marriage stays OK? I'll assume that's the case and say Good Stuff. I can't wait to argue about equal protection with my dad again on Thanksgiving. It's becoming an annual event.