I am stepping away from Wordless Wednesday because I have some things to say today. Today is considered Tax Day. Everywhere around the US, people are going to their respective Post Offices to mail their taxes. Some because they owe and wanted to wait until the last minute to pay and others because they forgot to do them earlier. My wife, Leah, and I finished our taxes last month. Unfortunately, we could not file together as married, even though NYS recognizes our marriage. See, there is this little glitch with the Federal income taxes. It's called DOMA. Oh, and the little glitch with NYS income taxes, it's tied to the federal taxes.
So, to get to the picture. Around the US today, hundreds, probably thousands, of same-sex marriage supporters will be protesting at their local Post Offices for fair treatment. It's called "Equal Taxes, Equal Rights." Well, unfortunately, the one that was going to happen in Albany, NY was canceled because of lack of participation. Don't get me started on this. I am angry because we had hundreds of people show up for our demonstration against the passage of Prop 8 (which wasn't even our state, mind you) and yet we couldn't get enough people to sign up for this. I guess people need to be angry to join together. Bull, people. It's not about getting together once to protest an atrocity, it's about fighting the fight continuously until it is changed. I digress, sorry.
So, the picture. I decided to protest myself at the Saratoga Springs Post Office, during my lunch hour. I thought long and hard and felt I had to do this. How can I ask others to fight for me, to vote for same sex marriage, if I am not willing to get out there and fight myself. Now, you can ask anyone who knows me. I am not one to start and lead something. I am more of a follower. Give me something to do and I will do it. Ask me to lead or implement it and I run for the hills. This took a lot for me to do. I drove to the Post Office and sat in my car holding my signs. It was a beautiful day out, very sunny in the spot I would stand and yet I sat. I was scared. What would happen. Would people yell at me, throw things, call me names. Would the police ask me to move. I had to will myself out of the car. I had to tell myself, some people may say things, but others may be moved by the experience. Some may even praise me and give a thumbs up. And the police can't ask me to leave, it's a public space. So, out of the car I went. I stood at the corner of a very busy intersection and stood for an hour with my signs.
It was an amazing experience. No one yelled at me, cursed me, threw things. Although, some parents with children steered them clear of me, even while the child was asking, "what does his sign say, Mommy?" hahahahaha. Try explaining that one, Mom. What I did get was a lot of smiles, way to go's, I'm with you, honks in support and thumbs up. It was awesome. Most of the praises and support came from the young teenage community. It was great.
So, what did I take from this experience. I found that yes, I can lead, maybe not a group of people, but myself anyway. I found that one person can make a protest and a difference. I found that I have courage, conviction and strength. I also found hope. Hope in the next generation. I believe that our youth are going to make great changes. They are taking up the fight. They are couragous. They are fighting to have LGBT groups like GSA and GLSEN in their schools. They are fighting the bullies. They are at the protests. They are campaigning for political candidates even though they aren't old enough to vote. I plan to keep on fighting, keep on protesting, keep on lobbying my legislators. Not just for me, but for the next generation. Fight with me. Make changes. Make a difference.