[Staggering more than a mite behind schedule, here’s the fourth in the now completed series of Robin Reagler’s Freedom to Marry Week blog carnival, What About Love]
My daughter’s eyes are something blue indeed. Â And the world she sees through them is very different than the one I see. Â For the most part, this is a very good thing.
This whole Prop 8 anti-gay family battle has raged at the periphery of her vision. Â (Whereas it dominated my vision to the point of blurring it, and nearly obscuring other objects present.) Â Kids older than my daughter, Â both during and after the campaign, had a very hard time. Â Many were — and still have been — subjected to increased harassment at school. Â (See Ally Action for more.Â ) Many saw the hateful ads on television, or overheard arguments, and began to fear that their families would be somehow be pulled apart. (See APA studies for empirical proof of the many anecdotal accounts we’ve all heard.)
This was, unequivocally, a very anti-family campaign, with very anti-family results.
When we talked to our daughter about the upcoming election, we spoke exclusively about Barack Obama’s candidacy, and how dearly we wanted him to be elected. We could not bring ourselves to tell her that at the same time, a great number of our fellow Californians — just enough, it turned out — were working very hard to nullify the marriage she witnessed between us that summer. Â To explain to her why they wanted this would have been still more impossible. Â They believe something very strongly that we, in our family, know for a fact to be patently untrue. Â Simple as that; pure as that.
Best she get a little older before she is dunked in that acid bath. Â
But one of the problems about her not seeing the Prop 8 battle was that she couldn’t identify the source of the stress in our household as it raged on toward its conclusion. Â She felt it; it was palpable; you could cut it with a play-dough knife — and yet to her and her brother, the tension came from nowhere. Â As the election drew nearer and nearer, we became tenser and tenser, all along for no discernable reason. Â
On Halloween, I was with her at her preschool. Â It was right before they were to embark on their dear little preschooler’s march up the street in their costumes, and there was a “circle time” event. Some kid accidentally stepped back on her hand, or maybe even just her dress, as she was kneeling down. Â She basically freaked out. Â Overreacted, crumpled, cried, etc. Â It might have been she let loose all that feeling because I was there and so she could. Â Maybe so, but her body was full-to-the-brim with stress by that point. Â It was painful to see how brittle she was, particularly when it was a concern for her and her brother’s long-term well-being (legally protected, socially supported) that was motivating me to throw my whole self into the battle.
I talked about it with one of the teachers there. Â All I could say was: “It feels like we’re in the middle of a war zone. Â It is living hell at home.” Â Which was true.
Weeks after the election, the same preschool teacher said to me something along the lines of, “She’s a lot better now.” Â I recall responding with a resigned smirk-shrug. Â Part of the “Good news, bad news” of the election. For better or worse, that part of the battle was over.
Clicked today? Â Â Â Best Parenting/Wedding Blog.Â
And don’t forgetÂ Up Popped a FoxÂ for Best Overall Lesbian Blog.Â
[last in this marraige equality series: Celebrate love]