Well, I took the day off of work and headed over to Wesley United Methodist Church to help bag up some food for those in need, then picked up trash on Christmas Tree Lane.
I think Day Without a Gay was a success in Fresno-- we received media coverage from at least two TV stations here in Fresno, which given their biased coverage of the move against Prop. 8, was quite nice. Although they did refuse an offer of hot chocolate while doing an interview at Christmas Tree Lane. Who can refuse hot chocolate?!? Anyway, if you click here you can see KMPH Fox 26 and their report of the day's actions. Just click on the number 2 link, entitled "Valley Activists Mark 'Day Without A Gay'." One of my co-workers saw the broadcast and said, "You were on TV last night! I recognized your hair!" I found this pretty hilarious. Almost as hilarious as trying to pick up trash in the middle of Christmas Tree Lane while people with strollers are running you over in their haste to view all the twinkly lights.
Something about this broadcast really bothered me, however; if you listen to the reporter, he repeatedly uses the phrase "lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender people," in the context of, "LGBT people took the day off of work," or "LGBT people picked up trash on Christmas Tree Lane."
Well, I have news for you, Mr. Anchorman-- I am not a lesbian, nor am I bi, nor am I transgender. I have no problem with people assuming I am any of the above, as I am very comfortable with my sexuality, but I do have a problem with the media reporting this issue as if only the LGBT community cares about it. I am a person who identifies as a straight woman, and I care about this issue. Very nearly half of California's voting population this November agreed that Prop. 8 is illegal and unfair, and I am willing to bet that they don't all identify LGBT.
This is not to appropriate the struggle; I can't identify with so many of the fights the LGBT community deals with everyday. I have never come out to my family, or to my coworkers; I've never dealt with police violence because of my perceived gender; I've never been discriminated against for the way I choose to love. But it is a struggle that I acknowledge, and a fight I want to support and ally myself with.
If only the oppressed party worked for change, change would never come. It is about community, and togetherness, and recognizing the humanity of each one of us, and taking action to make a world where this is the modus operandi, and not the exception.