Tonight was designated an evening to LIGHT UP THE NIGHT FOR EQUALITY. I was quite unaware of this until I stopped by Towleroad and learned about it.
Here's the idea:
On December 20th, we ask that you join us again for a nation-wide demonstration that will make an impact on the private sector. Candlelight vigils will be held at commercial centers in cities across the country in remembrance of the rights that once were for 18,000 marriages, and in honor of the rights that one day will be again - for EVERYONE.
I saw this mentioned at 4:30. There was to be a local gathering here in Albuquerque at 5:00. I hustled, tossing all the necessities in my gym bag for the next stop, donning warm clothing, locating a candle and a lighter, and dashing out the door. I was a few minutes late but folks were gathered at 4th and Central. I lit my candle and joined the crowd.
The advertised concept:
We will start at the courtyard between Maloney's/Raw/4th St. Pub (4th & Central) then a silent walk to Civic Plaza.The setting:
People were driving by on Central, stopping at the light, noticing us, turning heads, wondering what was up.
Everyone stood around in little circles talking to each other and ignoring all the people driving and walking by us. Ignoring. Totally.
I managed to persuade one really nice young woman to stand with me, facing traffic. We were the only ones.
Twice I suggested to the crowd at large that we had an audience going by us. No one seemed to care.
By 5:35 nothing had changed. Someone may have been in charge in theory but clearly no one was in charge practically. A bunch of aimless folks just kept chatting amongst themselves, waiting, near as I could tell, for Godot.
After half an hour of nothing happening, I blew out my candle, said, "Fuck it. This isn't accomplishing anything. I'm outta here." I walked back to my car and went to the gym where I pushed my body then sweated and soaked. A little shopping and home again.
I don't know if they ever marched to the Civic Center or if anyone saw them do it. I do know that half an hour was wasted when, if nothing else, we could have formed a line of thirty or more people along Central standing silently and with dignity, holding candles. It was supposed to be a sign-free statement but some had "just married" stickers on their jackets and others had small posters reading "2nd class citizen." It would have been enough to get some people thinking. As it is, I think we only had folks figuratively scratching their heads wondering who the hell was standing around.
It this lame, disorganized, feckless gathering is the best we can do, it's no wonder organized righties can run circles around us.
I have not been active in my community in this way since moving to NM. With a sudden eagerness to do something for us all, I dropped everything to join in. For this?
Standing around and talking amongst ourselves (rather like an Episcopalian coffee hour) IS NOT BEARING WITNESS. It is not education. It is not consciousness raising. Its a fracking circle jerk.
Here endeth the rant.