why c-38 made me cry

in my car on my way home just now, i heard a radio dj report on the historic vote that took place on the Hill tonight: 158 mps voted in favour of c-38, 133 were opposed. and i cried.

the tears were spontaneous, sweet and brief. they were the first i've shed regarding this particular issue. ever.

so here's a shot at some of the reasons why i cried upon hearing about the safe passage of c-38 tonight:

- it kinda snuck up on me. tonight represents the culmination of months of nail-biting as the bill made its way through the parliamentary process: tabling, wrangling, 1st and 2nd reading. but it's been a longer time coming than even that. i have known people working diligently on this issue for as long as i have been an activist. if i had a mini sob tonight, i imagine some of those folks are doing some full-on bawling.

- emotions have been kept at bay on this one. i have attempted, like so many others, to maintain a demeanor of calmness as this thing actually became more and more a possibility, lest our (irrational) fervor for justice weaken the credibility of our position.

- my tears were quiet thanks to the politicians and other Important People who very publicly braved the bullets of hatred and bigotry fired repeatedly by angry zealots.

- i sit in awe of the unyielding efforts of my peers among equality movements that have resulted in such an historic victory.

but here's the real kicker. i'm not sure my tears were over equal marriage at all. obviously, i'm elated and relieved and all that. seriously. but i think i became suddenly overcome with pride (no pun intended). pride that canada is the kind of place where this could happen, making us only the 3rd country in the world to allow same-sex marriage. pride that even within such dangerous proximity to the fanatical religious right that is driving the usa, we still somehow manage to go our own way up here, choosing paths closer to equality.

tonight reminded me that we are in one of the coolest places on the planet in terms of advancing the ideals of justice and equality. sometimes it's easy to forget how far we've come. the wins of the past feel, all too often, distant or abstract. but every once in awhile, like tonight, we get to experience the taste of victory. up close and personal. and winning is fucking delicious.

so i cried because for a second, i believed that maybe what we do is not always in vain. that even though we're up against some rich and religious and powerful shit, we are right. i'm glad i skipped the celebration scheduled on the Hill tonight, where i could have watched the vote with ndp friends and raised a glass to this amazing milestone. victory really is sweet, but profound moments of hope for a cynical activist are even sweeter. and i savoured mine better alone.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're amazing.

5:50 a.m.  

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