Prop 8 – And (finally) the band marches on

May 4, 2009 in News & Events | Comments (0)


Ever have one of those days where you were moving at what felt like a ground speed of 600 mph, racing hither and yon, a million things to do and all of them urgent? The day draws to a close, you wash up (making sure to floss, of course) and head for bed. You crawl beneath the blankets, and settle in. For a moment your body resists, and then suddenly it happens. There’s that moment when your muscles release and you can almost feel the space between the cells decompressing. Okay so maybe it’s not quite that delicious a feeling but I have to say that in the recent weeks and especially since this past weekend, I find myself breathing again.

For the months since the devastating loss on Proposition 8, the stages of grief have roared, crashing to shore and then sweeping out again. Each time I’d think the community was moving past its anger and shifting into a more productive outlook, I’d have another conversation, hear another new piece of information or see yet another sun-faded No on 8 sign dangling askew in a window. I knew there was a silver lining. I saw the bright glimmer sparkling through in bursts. People were beginning to rise up, but still, the divisiveness remained.

A couple of weeks ago I participated in a Commonwealth Club panel discussion about media coverage of Proposition 8, and what’s happened in the months since the election. It was a positive, largely forward looking discussion in which we tackled not only what went wrong in the campaign but how, as media, covering it more effectively would have helped too.
And then this morning I awakened feeling as thought something inside had shifted. Now, granted, I did just spend two days ensconced in an Oakland event space at Camp Courage, so I suppose it’s not surprising that I find myself motivated.

But this is different.

We were all in pain. And while I don’t discount the fact that some people’s bruises haven’t yet healed, at long last it feels like the LGBT community may be on its way to go beyond healing and become stronger than ever before. And I think that’s because on some level, people finally have answers.
The part of the pain that came from a distinct sense of frustration – unanswered questions, unfulfilled promises – has abated, with answers. Over the last months, a number of the No on 8 Executive Committee members (not all, but some) have spent quite a bit of time doing their best to help the community reach resolution.

There was a list of questions from the Equality Summit that took place at the end of January. Kate Kendell, Geoff Kors and Tawal Panyacosit agreed to sit down with me and spent about 90 minutes addressing as many of the questions as possible. (The two part video of that discussion is below.) But still people wanted more.

Even though more of the questions were addressed at the Town Hall in SF, and then more in Fresno, more in LA, more on blogs and in newsletters, Kate and Geoff had committed to providing a more cohesive set of answers. But time passed, and energy had to be focused on the legal battle at hand.

So when I ran into Kate after the April 13 Town Hall in San Francisco, and she suggested that we tidy up these loose ends, I agreed.

Perched over Cobb salads at an eatery near NCLR’s offices, Kate spoke about what might be left to say in a No on 8 post mortem. Here is the raw audio from that discussion.

As Kate mentions in the interview (and as noted above) here is the 90 minute session from February 5, 2009 with Kate, Geoff and Tawal.
Here’s part one of the discussion:

Proposition 8: A discussion of what happened – Part 1 from Cathy Brooks on Vimeo.

Here’s part two:

Proposition 8: A discussion of what happened – Part 2 from Cathy Brooks on Vimeo.

With that, I’m pledging to look behind no more. Certainly there must be awareness of the past, so as to avoid repeating it. But from here, we must affix our eyes ahead and upward … we have quite a bit of hill left to climb.


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