I’d like to see an exit poll of Prop 8 voters, showing how people voting based on their level of personal relationships with gay people. I’m certain it would show that those with more gay acquaintances tended to vote against the draconian measure, and those with less for it. This is because it is easier for those without significant relationships with gays to dehumanize them, treat them as second-class citizens, literally.
Simply put, before I had gay friends I thought being gay was weird as fuck. It seemed so different than my experience that my brain told me that it must be wrong. Then, being a classical musician, I came in contact with a ton of them, and I realized, duh, there’s exactly the same as me, with just a different sexual preference. Pretty damn simple. I’m not shocked that my home state of California decided to fuck over thousands of good, loving people. It makes me angry, sad, ashamed. I saw pictures of supporters celebrating and thought to myself, what a grotesque display? Rejoicing over the misfortune of others, people you don’t even know, people you haven’t taken the time to understand?
Tuesday night, in the two poles of our country – New York and California – we had people rejoicing the optimism of a potentially bright future in the streets of New York City; and we had people exalting in the ignorance and fear of the past in California. I’d never felt like less of a Californian and more of a New Yorker in my life.