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Lez Talk: Thank You Prop 8

Writer and lesbian mom K. Pearson Brown says thank you to Prop 8 for reinvigorating the LGBT community's activist sense and for making gay Pride month as prescient as ever.

Of all the things I've heard said about Proposition 8, I haven't heard "thank you," so I want to express my appreciation for Prop 8 and all it has done for our community and my life.   Since the campaign was launched by the far right to ban gay marriage, things have never been better.

The Prop 8 campaign led by religious zealots, bigots and ignoramuses has not only brought our community together and helped us build relationships and alliances with those who were previously on the fence, but it made us stronger, more organized and more determined than ever to have full and equal rights.

When we encounter adversity, in our individual lives or as a community, that's when we discover who are true friends are, and that's one of the benefits of Prop 8.  Residents of my neighborhood - previously apolitical and quiet - began to approach my partner and me, as the token lesbian couple with a baby on the block, to tell us how outraged they were about Prop 8.  They backed up their sentiments with "No on 8" signs in their yards, and of course, with their votes.

Conversely, a neighborhood where we had considered buying a home, which our real estate agent insisted was a great place for a raising a family, was littered with "Yes on 8" signs, which told us that our family would not be welcome.  We didn't bother going to any open houses there.

Besides helping us to recognize our true friends and good neighbors, Prop 8 has been a great boon for our social lives.  I can't even keep up with all my Facebook invitations.  Between fundraising galas, house parties, rallies and marches, we've never been busier.  Also too, as Sarah Palin might say, if she had anything intelligent to say, Prop 8 has been the great equalizer socially, giving us all something in common to talk about with a stranger.  In fact I am sure that many same-sex marriages were borne out of Prop 8 inspired cocktail conversation.

In a similar way that the AIDS epidemic of 25 years ago galvanized the community, Prop 8 has bonded us and made us take a stand.  Prop 8 helped new leaders to emerge and new organizations to form which will be a lasting, positive legacy for our community.


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Prop 8 has injected an excitement and energy in the community that has coaxed even the most reclusive wall flowers and hangers back onto the front lines as volunteers.  Our straight allies too are coming out to show their support, like my straight-as-an-arrow mommy friend Laurie, who has been taking our cause up with anyone who will listen, from her hairdresser to a Mormon friend, whom she took to task about their church's backing of the hateful proposition.

Last Sunday, along with my partner and two-year-old son, I marched along with the Gay and Lesbian Center of Los Angeles in the Pride parade for the first time, feeling the need to stand up and be counted.  The organizers for the parade were overwhelmed with the response from marchers -- with 27 families like us registering to march -- owing to a renewed since of pride and purpose due to Prop 8.

During that march we felt inspired and regenerated.  We also made a few new friends and got free T-shirts.  As the sun came out on that cloudy day, we saw the silver lining.   The general feeling among our fellow marchers and those lining the streets and cheering was the same.  The fight has just begun.  We will prevail.  And we will be better for it.

To the few straggly haters in the background, yelling their usual taunts, all we can say is, "Thanks for the props."  We owe you one.

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K. Pearson Brown