Saturday, November 01, 2008

Post Titled: "Why so serious?"
Post Subtitled: Heath Ledger the Joker Halloween Costume, San Francisco 2008

This this is (was) my Halloween costume- or rather the remnants of it at 3 am before I washed it off, the hair was actually much greener before the rainfall:

Materials: acrylic paint, charcoal, lipstick, Salvation Army clothing, black grease paint and white face paint. I love and miss Halloween terribly.
R.I.P. big guy.


BUT, in more important news:

Post Titled: "Hello Loved Ones, Acquaintances & Otherwises,"
Post Subtitled: (An important letter from John regarding Proposition 8 on the California Ballot which kinda made me want to cry)...

"I apologize for the mass mailing, but since I don't do this often I hope you'll bear with me as I talk about something very personal and very important. It'll only take a few minutes to read, promise. And yes, I wrote this myself.

I know that not all of you live in California, but even so, I hope you'll read on and share this with others who might. There is a proposition on the ballot here, Proposition 8, that aims to eliminate the rights of same-sex couples to marry in our state. I oppose this proposition and I am voting NO, and I hope you'll join me in both voting NO and sharing your stance (or at least mine) with everyone you know in the next week. Please talk to your friends, families, neighbors, co-workers, anyone who will listen.

I'm gay, and I obviously have a personal investment in this issue, but my interests extend far beyond myself, and I hope the same is - or can be - true for you, whether you're gay, bi, straight, or asexual. I live my life everyday in the best way that I can. I try to be decent and fair to the people I know and the people I don't. I work hard, I stop at crosswalks, and I pay taxes. I love my family, my friends, and my dog Riley. I recycle, I volunteer, and I try to be conscious of the world I inhabit. My guess is that a lot of these proclamations could have been made by any of you. I also happen to be gay, and like all of you, no matter your orientation, I just want to love and be loved at the end of the day. While I'm not married now, I hope one day to meet the guy of my dreams and raise a family together. And sadly, if Prop 8 passes, I might not ever have a chance to do that.

California recently granted gay couples the right to marry legally. In fact, many of my closest friends have already tied the knot, including a couple who have lived together for 8 years. I cannot tell you how moving it was to watch these two people who love each other finally have the right to legally join in marriage. Their wedding was bigger to me than the two of them. It was a symbol of total freedom and equality, something I've always thought, as a gay man, I would never have.

Judging by the current polls, I may never have the privilege of experiencing that equality firsthand. Today, I walked into work wearing a NO ON PROP 8 sticker, and my co-worker gave me a horrified look and asked why I would wear this sticker. She knows I'm gay. I was just as confused as she was. Come to find out, she misunderstood the proposition and thought a yes vote meant yes to gay marriage. A lot of us probably know this is not the case, but if my smart, good-hearted co-worker thought she should vote yes in support of gay marriage, my guess is that a lot of people do. The race is extremely close on this proposition, and this misperception alone might cause Prop 8 to pass. And to be clear, we want it to fail, which means a NO vote. Prop 8 strikes down California law and writes discrimination into its constitution.

Some of the campaign for Yes on Prop 8 is deceiving to people like my co-worker, which certainly doesn't help. And even worse, much of it is filled with lies. I won't go into the laundry list, but please know that voting NO ON PROP 8 absolutely does not mean that children will be taught about homosexuality in kindergarten or that churches will lose their tax-exempt status or be sued if they choose not to perform same-sex marriages. If you want more clarification, it's broken down quite nicely online (

I have been volunteering at the call banks for NO ON PROP 8, reaching out to voters and helping them understand what Prop 8 is really about. I recently spoke with a young man who was voting in his first election. I told him why I was calling and asked him if he would commit to voting NO. He said, "I don't understand the gay lifestyle and I don't agree with it." My heart sank. He continued, "But it's not my right to judge other people or stand in the way of civil rights. I don't believe the government should tell me who to love or how I can do it, and they shouldn't do that to anyone else." While his first statement gave me pause, he went on to underscore something important - that people who might not like the fact that some of us are gay are willing to put that aside in the name of justice. It certainly gave me hope, and courage to share his argument with people I might not otherwise approach. I know that most of you are already joining me in voting NO because of our social like-mindedness, but it's empowering to think that we might change even one mind by simply pointing out that, gay or straight, it is unfair to deny anyone equal rights.

I also volunteer as a counselor for the Trevor Project, a suicide and crisis helpline for gay youth. Many of the young people I talk to are hopeless and considering suicide, because they are being bullied in school and/or their families have rejected them simply because they are gay. Some of them have been kicked out of their homes, others have been sent to conversion camps, and others are being physically and verbally abused. Taking these calls has been a grim reminder to me that we still live in a world where a child can be driven to take their own life because of our cultural negativity toward homosexuality. Taking steps toward equal rights sends a signal to everyone that it is not OK to attack others just because you don't identify with them. Voting NO ON PROP 8 takes that step.

I'm not asking you to donate money (although that would be fantastic!) or volunteer your time (which would also be amazing). With only a few days left until the election, I'm making a plea to you to talk to everyone you know about Proposition 8, and encourage them to vote NO. It's easy to take for granted that we're all on the same page, but this is a really complex issue for many reasons. So please, talk to your parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, friends, co-workers, everyone! You're more than welcome to forward my email along to them, but your thoughts will probably mean more coming from you.

Thank you for reading this and considering my thoughts.

Much love,

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Blogger Mithridates said...

This costume is uncanny, man. Awesome.

Re Prop 8: the commercials on TV here never tell you what it's about. Initially, I thought "Say no? No? No's negative! I'm positive! How could I be against this?" Then I decided to find out what the hell Prop 8 was and said, "Ohhhh: No means yes--yes to equal rights--oh, good, gotcha, I'm on board: no on Prop 8." It's sort of sad how they can't even mention what Prop 8 is in these advertisements. The people against it don't want to seem anti-gay and the people for it don't want to seem pro-gay.

6:52 pm  

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