I will no longer address you as my representative. In voting to override Governor McCrory’s veto of Senate Bill 2, making it legal for magistrates to deny to marry same-sex couples who have the right to marry in North Carolina, you have not only voted against the wish of thousands of North Carolinians, but blatantly voted against me.
Have you ever heard a joke that’s great until the punchline, and then it falls apart?
I feel opposite that: I know where I’m headed, but not how to get there–not even where to start. You see, I just spent a week in San Francisco, and seeing what the world could look like–what a more inclusive and queer-friendly world can look like–has made me realize a world where sexual orientation doesn’t matter can exist. But after seeing such high levels of inclusion, coming home feels a lot like walking back into the closet.
It’s not as funny as a joke, is it? But it does have a better punchline.
Last Thursday, when early voting began in North Carolina, I encouraged everyone to research the issues, to know the candidates, and to go vote. Ironically, I had yet to do any of these things–however, as I returned home this weekend, it was my intent to do all of them. And I am quite pleased to announce that I have, indeed, now done all of them.
But I don’t want to stop there.
Instead, I want to share with you what I believe–where I stand on the issues at hand and the candidates I have placed my faith in to propel us forward. My intent is not to persuade, although certainly I believe I have endorsed those who will lead us to the best state we can be in–nationally and locally–and for that reason persuasion is not a bad thing, but it is not my intent. What I plan to share is my ballot–who I voted for and more importantly why I gave them my endorsements.
Before I continue, I want to be clear about where I’ve gained my facts and the resources that led me to making my decisions: First, I relied on NCVoterGuide.org to provide me with my personal ballot information (available in sample ballot form at NSCBE.gov) and summaries of the candidates. Second, I relied on the candidates’ websites to further aid in making my decisions. If you do not live in North Carolina, at least take the time to read a little bit further about the national candidates I’ve voted for (namely, the president) and then, unless you truly wish to hear my views, I encourage you to stop reading and take the time you would have spent here researching the issues and getting to know the candidates you’ll be voting for. And then, of course, I want you to vote.
Otherwise, what’s the point in writing any of this?
The tears of yesterday set aside, with reflections upon language and leadership already considered, I can speak perhaps of but two final topics–the first I shall address tonight, and the other tomorrow.
It’s another special day today actually. It is the fiftieth anniversary of Rachel Carson’s novel Silent Spring, the book that has been credited with the start of the modern environmental movement. Now, I’m not going to speak about the environmental movement today, but it will suffice for a wonderful starting point–and if before this you hadn’t heard of Rachel Carson, I encourage you to learn more about her.
After you read this, of course.
I never would have guessed Walmart would give me hope. I never really expected it from one of the saddest shopping places I know. A designer boutique, perhaps, or one of those specialty shops with a focus. Yeah. They could give a guy hope. But Walmart? That place we go because it’s cheap, not stylish, with the smelly bathrooms and scuffed-up floors?
Well. I guess it happens sometimes.