They Stole California From Me!
California isn’t a state; it’s a concept. It’s a feeling, a vision and a hope. It was the birthplace of the Hippies, the Gold Rush and the capital of Gays. You’re supposed to be free-thinking, liberal and seeking to venture outside of the box. It’s got Hollywood for goodness sake! You can’t get much more progressive than indie filmmakers.
When I moved from the Mid-west in 2005 I thought I was leaving behind archaic views and oppressive attitudes. I re-read the emails that I sent home from the first few weeks of my settling in Los Angeles. They were full of hope for a future and relaxation. I was “home”. No more trying to blend in so as not to be pelted with rocks every time I set foot out my front door. In LA, I was me for the first time in my life. I was 37 years-old and I was finally living. I could exhale. I was safe and secure from hatred.
And, mostly, I found a woman who would stick by me through thick and thin; a woman who loved me for me, unconditionally. A woman that deserved the blue sapphire engagement ring that I put on her hand. She deserved my promise, and my love, and so much more.
Election Day 2008 was a punch in the gut to me. No, it was worse. It let all of the air out of me. I withered. They stole my hope, they stole California! How could a “progressive” state allow a group of religious right wing-nuts to strip a minority of their legal rights? How could I now look at the woman I love and say “I do”, but not legally? She deserved better. I deserved better.
Give me back “California”.