Yesterday night, when I had a long and grueling tech rehearsal for the Virginia Avenue Project (a theatre mentoring group for low-income kids that I've volunteered with for the last fourteen years), summed up my feelings about the last election: joy and sorrow, anger and hope.

The kids were overjoyed at Obama's victory, and sad and angry and confused at the passage of the discriminatory Prop 8. They told me they ran to friends' houses and banged on the doors cheering, and asked me how anyone could seriously believe that children didn't already know that some people are gay, and why it mattered to anyone whether or not someone else got married.

These kids are Asian, white, Latino/a, African-American, and probably other mixtures and races that I'll only know if it happens to come up in conversation. They're all under eighteen, and eager to vote when they're old enough. They wrote the plays we're teching-- one about a gay man trying to get up his nerve to come out to his parents.

I've already seen a lot of blame being handed out to certain groups, primarily African-Americans and Mormons, for the passage of Prop 8. There's nothing wrong with looking at the demographics of the vote. But let's neither forget that there's plenty of blame to go around-- no racial group that I know of had less than about 49% of its total voters voting for Prop 8 and against justice and equality-- and let's not become the forces of the very hatred and group stereotyping that we deplore in others.

If the Presidential election was consistent with pre-election polling, military veterans, white men, and people over the age of fifty, as groups, voted for McCain. As a group, Latinos, African-Americans, Mormons, and people over the age of fifty voted for Proposition 8. But I cheered for Obama and booed the passage of Prop 8 with a male Latino/white military veteran, and the next day I did the same with senior citizens, African-Americans, and Mormons. And even teenagers are not a right-thinking monolith, though I have to say that spending time with my small, self-selected crew of them gives me a lot of hope for the future.

Groups are made of individuals. Stereotypes are not reality. Plenty of GLBT people are also African-American or Mormon. When we meet the enemy, let it not be us.

Here's a good column on the subject by the always-worthwhile Ta-Nehisi Coates on Prop 8. His commenters, generally an intelligent bunch, are also worth reading. I didn't read all of them, but the first few were right on the money.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] livelongnmarry will return to continue the fight. Backstage machinations are ongoing. An announcement of our new direction should be up within the next week or so.
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