ecology of man

the pope says i am responsible
for the destruction of the rainforest,
little butterflies with bright wings dying;
others say the war in iraq is my fault
soldiers expiring, the heaving of a thousand mothers wet on my neck

there's fraud folded into my skin
i'm an illegal immigrant from the land of girl
and i think i might have caused
the disintegration of the ecology of man
'cause i believe in blurry borders, and
my strange chest exhaling freezes civilizations

nomadic, i collect geography on my skin
like the dew of an aftershower:
ridges of maine and flecks of new england spittle, colorado sun;
the mist on the mirror hiding
the bermuda triangle between my legs

on the freeway there's jesus on the back of a car
and the driver is deflating with age,
wrinkled woman who doesn't have to swallow tears whole
when people call her she.
i think of the rainbow i wear with fear, swaddled
in dark clouds whispering knives trailing down my throat,
my queer shoulders1, my sex --

and the old laughlined pastor in midwestern mountains,
excommunicated for the sin of accepting my people,
writes that my mismatched body is a blessing, not a disguise
and still holds his wife's hand and thinks of his two children before he sleeps
i hold my own fraudulent hands steady
and face Judgment every day




1 reference to dallas marie spitzer's "my queer shoulders"
Today was a very intense, draining day. I'm not quite sure where to begin, or even that I really want to talk about it all. I think I may cry if I do -- not in a dramatic way, but just because this is very tough emotionally, and I think all the gay/bisexual people who go to UMF and saw Michael Heath speak tonight feel at least somewhat the same.

Michael Heath, first of all, is the spearhead of the "yes on one"-repeal-the-anti-discrimination-law that Maine Won't Discriminate (http://www.mainewontdiscriminate.org) has been working very, very hard to counter. His blog is http://www.mikeheath.net, and the organization he heads is the Christian Civic League of Maine -- http://www.cclmaine.org. Please visit these sites to understand what we are fighting against, but basically, he believes that homosexuality is wrong because of roots in the Bible, and that homosexuals should not make their sexuality known and that granting us the same civil protections in education, employment, housing, and credit already afforded to everyone else in the state of Maine would be making us a special, recognized class and majority that will pave the way for same-sex marriage. He is very visible in the state of Maine -- people know who he is, and he people listen to him and believe the things that he says.

We had a rally today for the No on One campaign. Literally every second of my day today I was working on the rally and Michael Heath's speech tonight: planning, running around with Jeanine and Tracie and the MWD bigwig, Jocelyn (who's awesome, btw), and hanging up posters and making signs and talking to people. The rally was very, very empowering; we had a crowd of at LEAST 100 people all in green shirts to represent the colors of our campaign, and people were cheering as Tracie and I were welcoming them to the rally. It was so amazing. We had two amazing speakers who talked about how Michael Heath's views do NOT represent the entire faith community, and I was so, so proud of everyone who went, and especially proud of Jeanine and Tracie.

Michael Heath's speech was difficult. I respect him a lot, because he struck me as a calm, intelligent, (mostly) decent man who just happens to be very, very, very misguided and close-minded in his viewpoints. He unfortunately brought along this douchebag pastor friend of his, Paul Madore, the leader of the Maine Grassroots Coalition (oh boy, do I love them!), who, contrasting Michael Heath's intellectual manner, was very much the fire-and-brimstone-homosexuals-must-die sort of reverend, and he was spitting and raising his voice and talking about how homosexuality is wrong. There were a few rows of older men and women with "yes on one - vote no on same-sex marriage!" signs in the auditorium with the sea of green, and they were really, really tough to see because I know my parents would have been sitting with them, especially my fucking father. Everything that was coming out of Paul Madore's mouth I've heard come from my father's mouth.

I went up to Michael Heath after his speech was over and I thanked him for coming and said that I thought it was important for his viewpoint to be heard and for both sides to be represented, which it is. He said something in his speech about the strength and the freedom of our nation being derived from its bipartisan and multi-structural government, and I agree. I also thanked the Republicans for bringing him to UMF -- and I'll admit all of this was pretty much for show because I wanted him to see that the MWD folks are not evil and that this doesn't have to be a war of good vs. evil or what-have-you. Michael Heath said to me that I was "nicely-decorated" (I was covered in "NO ON ONE" stickers and rainbows and I had a shirt on advertising his speech and the rally and various things declaring my sexuality all over me) and that he "liked" my shirt. I shook his hand. It was very surreal, but it was something I felt like I had to do.

Somebody from a local paper interviewed me after Michael Heath's speech. That was pretty exhilarating.

Today was National Coming-Out Day as well, and that was a little bit scary, because, for the first time ever, I really asserted my sexuality to people who may not know me and may be judging me solely based on my sexual orientation. Taking that step is really, really scary to do -- I feel like I'm putting an integral part of myself out there and that people can possibly take it and target me for it or use it against me. I wrote "I am gay" on the sleeve of my Michael-Heath-sucks shirt today, and someone painted "Kiss me, I'm gay" on one of my cheeks. A lot of times lately, especially when I've been visible because of campaign stuff and I'm getting to know more and more people at UMF, I've felt kind of ... ashamed or afraid to make my sexuality known because, right now, I'm still in the early-to-intermediate stages of fully coming to terms with it myself, and that part of my self-identity is still very uncertain and fragile. I'm very much a fuck-you-I-am-exactly-who-I-am-and-I-don't-give-a-shit-what-you-think-about-me type of person, but this is different. This is a part of me that was very difficult for me to acknowledge and embrace to begin with, and it makes my heart pound to think that it may be the sole factor that shapes some people's view of who I am. I am so proud to be every part of who I am -- so, so proud. And I am this whole person besides this part of me -- and I was this whole, entire person before I came out -- and if I might be so bold, anyone who would discard me as a friend or an acquaintance or a human being solely because I am gay is missing out on one hell of a person.

And to close, I just want to paste in here what my friend Matt -- one of the Republicans in the UMF College Republicans who invited Michael Heath to come to UMF to speak ... Matt fucking INTRODUCED Michael Heath before he spoke -- said to me because it made me feel good:

scarface161616: thank you andrea, you were excellent tonight, I was very proud of you, and thank your people too, it went extremly well and I was impressed

Several people have said that they are proud of me (Steph, I don't think I can tell you how much I appreciate that you said that to me), and it makes a world of difference to me to know that people care about this issue and care about what we are doing -- and it makes up for the fact that my parents would not approve of this at all and that they are not proud of who I have become and all of the amazing things I have accomplished. But I guess what it comes down to is that, hey, I'm pretty damn proud of who I am and of the things that I am accomplishing. Finally, I feel like I'm making a difference.

P.S. Jeanine ([livejournal.com profile] jeaninemarie), you are SO amazing and I am so fucking proud of you for all of the things that you do. And Cassie ([livejournal.com profile] cassafras01) and Andrea 1 ([livejournal.com profile] dreondacourts), you are both remarkable women -- I can't believe the way you pulled today together and planned everything AND the way you support MWD. And Chris ([livejournal.com profile] nomor3drama03) and Stacy ([livejournal.com profile] astarcynite) and Amanda ([livejournal.com profile] pookies_revenge) I am so proud of all of you for being able to stand up for what you believe in and for not being afraid to be who you are. And Andrea 2 ([livejournal.com profile] stutter_lust) -- thank you for EVERYTHING. You were my sanity during the Michael Heath speech, and afterward you made me feel like it was okay that I was feeling all these things. And finally, Steph ([livejournal.com profile] lilopeashy) -- thank you for being so ... just ... good.
I'm spamming, kind of. Deal with it. This is important to me.




In MARCH 2005...

a strong bipartisan majority of the Legislature passed a law that protects all Maine citizens from discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, credit, accommodations and education. (MWD.org)


However, conservative groups like the Christian Civic League of Maine subsequently took it upon themselves to begin collecting the 60,000 signatures necessary in order to enact a Peoples Veto, which would stop the law in its tracks and require the people of the state of Maine to vote on the issue.

This is not the gay community asking for special priveleges, and certainly not marriage -- it is simply the gay community asking for the same rights that everyone else already has, and yet, the CCL and others successfully collected all the signatures they need to stop the law from being passed. It is now up to the people of Maine to decide whether or not it is fair to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation in terms of basic rights -- education, employment and housing, most notably -- already afforded to all others in the state of Maine.

And that's where Maine Won't Discriminate comes in. Please join MWD if you feel that discrimination in the state of Maine is wrong. Even closer to home, you can simply join the MWD MySpace group or the MWD LJ community to get your voice heard.

Every voice -- and vote -- counts. In the 1997 vote on this same issue, the law was set to be repealed by a 2% margin; in the 2000 vote, the anti-gay-rights-voting majority won by an even smaller margin of 0.8% (Portland Press Herald, June 2005). So please, do what you can, because everything counts.

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February 2012

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