Tears welled up in my eyes as I biked home this morning, but I held them back. I said to myself the things that I said to people last night in phone conversations and via text message: Whatever happens, we will be strong, we will keep fighting, change is happening and it will keep happening. We won't stop. Whatever happens, we will not stop. I held those words fiercely and shared them freely last night.
At this particular moment, however, I am thinking to myself We lost-- how could we lose? How can this be real? And I think of the Mayor of San Diego who gave a speech about how he had planned on veto-ing the city council's resolution against Prop 8, and how when the resolution lay before him, when he had to face the statement he would make if he vetoed it and stood in support of Prop 8, he could not. He could not bring himself to say to a whole group of people in the community that they were less, that they were undeserving. His voice was nakedly emotional as he said to his constituency that he knew not all would agree with him, but that he had to follow his heart.
And I wonder, what was in the hearts of the 52.1% of California who voted in favor of a proposition that contains the words "Eliminates the right"? How can they use a document that is supposed to grant and protect rights in such a twisted, unfair, malicious manner?
And I wonder, how they will face us? How they will face all of us who are hurt beyond measure, those of us whom they have decided are less than they, those of us from whom they have taken away so much.
And I wonder, how dare they. How dare they do this to their friends, relatives, children. How dare they do this to their community. How dare they insert their hate into the law.
And, helplessly, I wonder what else I could have done. What else I should have done. The sense of failure is deep and piercing.
When I sat down in front of my computer, I braced myself for the reactions I knew I would find. I prepared myself to give more words of strength and comfort.
But I broke, tears and sobs welling up from the intense disappointment and pain that so many of us share. I know: We will be strong, we will keep fighting, change is happening and it will keep happening. We won't stop. Whatever happens, we will not stop.
It is an historic day: a man of color stands as our president-elect.
It is an historic day: all of us who stand for equality have been called to action.
Yes, I feel weak and wounded in this particular moment.
No, I do not feel defeated. We are not defeated.