Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Notes

Hi Folks,

Sorry that there have not been blogs the last week or so. Being that my partner was our sex positivity speaker I felt like I was in an awkward position to comment on the material. On the note of that class however, if there is anyone who would like more information about anything we spoke about, or where to get more resources and support you can let me know and I will pass it on to Deirdre or arrange for you to meet with her.

As for the election...

Wow. This one was tough for me. Early in the day Dee and I first went to LaSalle so that she could vote and then on to my home town in Massachusetts so I could vote. It was her first time voting so there was a good amount of excitement all around but after we had both done our duty it was a hard wait. We had a lot riding on this election such as

-Question 3 in RI (of course we wanted new buildings for RIC!)
-Question 1 in Massachusetts was to legalize medical marijuana (important for mine and my families health issues)
- The Massachusetts Warren/Brown race was the highest funded race in the country (70 million dollars)

and of course the Presidential race.

Being that we both plan to finish school soon and start a family this race was critical. There are many conflicting problems with individual state laws regarding my transition in terms of legal documents, discrimination, and access to employment for example. Because Massachusetts (and Rhode Island) have difficult laws for changing your birth certificate for which it is up to an individual clerk to decide if I qualify- a same sex marriage may be my only option if I choose to have a state sanctioned marriage. Combined with the conversations regarding reproductive rights and health care this presents a very complex picture for my marriage and family opportunities. As a result- ALL of those issues, health care, reproductive rights, and same-sex marriage are fundamental to my life and why I stand on the left side of the political spectrum. Which is why emotionally, Dee and I felt a lot of anxiety, pressure, and fear about the outcome. We sat close together but silent or scrambling to do math ahead of the predictions for most of the coverage. My parents kept trying to tell us it would be ok, that even with the outcome there would be a way, or that Romney couldn't do everything he said he was going to to LGBTQ people and families. They said we wouldn't have to move out of the country.

My parents have come a long way throughout my process. Though, I was reminded last night how different our stories can be. After all, while kids of color have parents of color LGBTQ students have straight parents. I don't know if it was because they were scared too, or if they thought I was over reacting but I realized it was much more emotionally invested then they were.  As each state came in we would ride the roller coaster of success or dismay and by the end we were exhausted but both of us were glad we had done our part. Our work is not done but there were many success.
1. The first openly lesbian senator (wisconsin)
2.4 states upheld or passed marriage equality
3. first disabled veteran Congresswoman
4. first woman senator in Massachusetts history
5. 19 women elected to the senate
and of course the re-election of President Obama. I find it interesting too that Obama was elected by single Women, Black Id'd people, Latino Id'd people, and (though not mentioned in official data) LGBTQ people. What does that say about the concept of INTERSECTIONALITY that we had talked about in class?