November 05, 2008

my first election night

For the first time in my life I had the liberty of staying up to watch the coverage of the US election night because I don't have to work today. I did sleep between midnight and 3 am (gmt+1) and probably won't be going back to sleep anytime soon today, but that's okay (just don't ask me to drive a car today). It was absolutely worth it, because I had the chance to watch something historic, to see the world change before my very own eyes.
Not only is this a great moment in the history of the United States of America, this long-time hegemon of the western world. It's also a great moment for the rest of the world. Because the 44th President of the United States will also be the first African American president of the United States. Because a woman was a front and center in the run for the White House for a very long time in this election and because the vice presidential candidate for one of the two major parties was a woman. Because this poses a symbolic end to the borders of race and gender - it's still a long way to equality but it's also certainly a beginning of a kind. For America as well as for the rest of the world this is a big win in the fight for equality of all people - whatever their ethnicity, their gender, or age.
Unfortunately for one minority this positively life-changing election also means a life change in the negative sense. Namely for GLBT folk in states where the majority voted for some kind of ban on gay marriage, be it Florida or California. This means that thousands of people lost rights today, rights they already have, as the bonds they officially forged got shattered by people who don't even know them, their partners, their families. This just shows that the fight against injustice and for equality isn't over by a long shot. Indeed, it has just begun.

Congratulations, America, for choosing an awesome new president, for choosing Change.


LG said...

Thanks to you and Finn for sharing your perspectives on the election. I thought it was awesome.

I'm so happy about the election of Obama, but so sad about Prop 8. I've been saying the same thing - people lost rights last night. I can't believe it passed, and it just saddens me.

Rebecca said...

Gay marriage was also banned in Florida, and gay couples were banned from adopting children in Arkansas. It blows. BUT. People under 30 (at least in CA) overwhelmingly voted in favor of equality in marriage. So we just have to wait for people to die off.

I am choosing to be optimistic about this (when I'm not a weepy mess, that is).