We boarded the METRO, packed to capacity, and lurched from stop to stop with hundreds of others. Gay, straight, man, woman, black, white, asian, hispanic, babies, and animals, no one was left behind. Like Noah’s arch, individuals from all walks on life made this public pilgrimage. We were on our way to voice our anger and frustration, all prepared to fight the good fight.
Exiting from the underground, we ascended into daylight as a unified front. We marched in unison up stair after stair with nothing but good will and positive vibrations in tow, leaving the darkness behind. For a moment, it felt as though we were entering the gates of Heaven, preparing to see our names on the list presented by Saint Peter.
On the street level, everyone gathered around the base of City Hall, standing in vogue with rally signs in hand. Some witty, others profound, many silly, these statements became each protester’s freedom of speech. At a glance, they communicated how each person felt about being stripped of his/her rights; and upon further examination, they gave insight into each person’s struggle with what recently just happened.
Nearby on an adjacent street, anit-protesters protested homosexuality and chanted things about how gay people are among the worst sinners on earth. Unaffected, our congregation pressed forward, past the hatred, and managed to stay focused on the task at hand: To stand together for something we believe is wrong on a human level, wrong on a brotherhood level, and wrong on a neighborly level. Something, to us, as clear and simple as the Golden Rule.
In my entire adult life, I have never felt that in Los Angeles a sense community existed, or even that the other 5 million inhabitants who live here cared about each other. I always wondered if underneath the glossy exterior existed a communal thread that weaved together the people of this great city. And if so, what was it?
A pulse, an energy, a heartbeat — something that drives the life and synchronizes those who call this place home.
On Saturday, after years of searching, I finally felt that connection to the city of Los Angeles, to my friends, to my neighbors and to the thousands of supporters who gathered to protest Proposition 8.
“What do we want?” one rally goer shouted. “Equality!” we shouted back. “When do we want it?” he continued.
Being a native Californian, I hope one day we can stop the hate and all marry equally.