Monday, November 17, 2008

Call to Action



This past Saturday I, with thousands of others across the country, attended a protest/rally of Proposition 8 and Act I (the adoption ban in Arkansas).

My dear allies in this battle were Jay, Karen, their joyous son Quin, our mutual friend Greg, Amanda, Carter, Sarah Jane, Liz, and the brave Arkansans that showed up for the rally on the steps of our Capitol.

It was bitterly cold and grey, but within I was ignited with passion and newfound purpose.

As I listened to the stories of my fellow brothers and sisters, gay, straight, bisexual, transgendered, I was struck by the power of the many speaking as one.

Then I began to visit my own story and was struck at how far I have come... to think back fourteen years ago when I had my brother tell my parents that I happened to be gay because I was so frightened as to what they would think, say, how they could ever love me, this abomination....

To now, a man standing with his friends and proclaiming "This is our right, What you have done is wrong. Who I am is who I am, it is not better, not worse. I do not want special rights, I want the rights that everyone else enjoys."

I paused and felt that rare sensation of freedom, an invigorating search of self, an awareness of something larger than us all... that triumphant call to action that beckons you to echo its riveting rapture.

This is living history, this is the next fight on the horizon. To those like Martin Luther King, Jr. and all the other heroes who voiced their cries to the masses and fought for social equality I humbly thank you and ask for your guidance and strength... This is our time, this is it... I am at the heart of the new civil rights movement and I feel that power, that vision, that determination heralding me.

This is not a gay movement, this is a people's movement. I began thinking what a circle it has been... I am now elated that I am one of the chosen ones to be gay and to be able to boldly state I am proud of that particular facet of who I am and that I will not shrink away, I will not accept this ludicrous status quo decision.

Jay, Karen, Quin, and Greg did not protest because of me, because of their gay friend, but because they believe these decisions to be wrong, but I am thrilled to have them on my side. To see a vibrant two year old amidst the diverse crowd made me proud.

What world will Quin see when he grows up? We have to work to ensure that he will live in a world where equality reigns.

There was a lovely lesbian couple who had been together for 35 years. 35 YEARS. That is a rare and miraculous sight, regardless of sexual orientation. Any couple that survives the upheavals of life's storms and stays together over 3 decades I applaud... and this law would not allow them to adopt their own grandchildren should something happen to the child's parents. How is that right I ask you?

I am becoming more active and vigilant in whatever way I can. I researched the numbers of the foundations and alliances that were present at the rally and I will join them and raise my voice with theirs.

On Saturday I was issued a call to action...

To elucidate our rights, our hopes, our aspirations...

And I shall answer it my friends, and journey towards the future where we are all equal, all afforded the same pursuits of happiness, the same ability to share love and bask in the beauty of its creation.

In a word, WOW.

Dustin

If you want to help, here are a couple of the websites that I visited after the rally and where I am beginning my search. These are Arkansas sites...

http://www.arkansasjustcommunities.org/

http://www.littlerockcapitalpride.org/site/

If you want more of a national information site, this Washington D.C. blog is well written and contains helpful information and thoughtful and humorous writing:

http://www.thenewgay.net/

3 comments:

TJ said...

Dustin, this is TJ...You are amazing sir. Your eloquence astounds and your heart warms. I can only hope to get to know you more. Thank you!

MandaMadge said...

Dustin, I also feel the strong pull of this new civil rights movement. When I read your blog about the rally, I knew I had to be there, not maybe if I have time, but that I would be there... even if I didn't know a soul on those steps, even if I had to miss out on personal things I had planned for the day, even if it was freezing cold and windy... which is was :) I've never been to a protest before, never felt the need to voice my opinion in such a way, never found a cause that made me want to stand up... until now. What is happening is wrong, plain and simple and I cannot sit idly by. I feel the stirring inside myself to do what I can as a straight, married, Christian mother to help educate those who do not understand or are afraid. I'm not sure what that means yet, but I can't wait to find out. I'm open and trying to find how I fit into all this! Yay! Love you, you wonderful man!

Meg said...

I love you. And I'm sorry I was not there beside you. Because every time I talk about this subject in a class it astounds me to hear people who still oppose it and their reasoning behind it. Rights are rights and it doesn't matter who you love. Love is love and it doesn't matter what you have between your legs.
You my wonderful, beautiful Dustin Ashley Beam are a hero to me.
Blueberry muffin tops!!!