Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Legalize Love. Protest H8.

© 2008 Karen Van Fossan

A string of good luck leads me to Minneapolis on Saturday. To a protest of California's Proposition 8. To a banner that reads, "Legalize Love," and a sign that says, "Shall I vote on your marriage?"

My good fortune:

1) My aunt Janet rescues me at the train station in St Paul (has a little trouble finding me, as I snap pictures of graffiti in the bathroom).

2) This nice couple, Dennis and Brian (together for 27 months after falling in love at a volley ball game -- opposing teams, of course) open their hearts and car and let me hitch from St Paul to Minneapolis.

3) The protest grows so large that even though we arrive an hour late (long story), we make it in time to join the burgeoning march.

In chorus with hundreds of marchers, I chant:

Out of the closets and into the streets! (A classic.)

1-2-3-4. Love is what we're fighting for!
5-6-7-8. End the violence, end the hate!

Gay, straight, black, white --
Marriage is a civil right!

What do we want? Civil rights!
When do we want 'em? Now!

I peruse the signs and posters:

No more Mr Nice Gay!

Shall I vote on your marriage?

Legalize Love

Focus on your family!

Marriage = Heart + Heart

Stop H8!

Marital Status --
Married?
Single?
Discriminated!

Love Love Love

(This one is Brian's sign...)
So you want me to marry your daughter?

As the march snakes along Nicollet Avenue to Loring Park, I watch people watching us. Construction workers, speechless. A cab driver, cheering. Passers-by, waving and honking. A homeless man, shaking his styrofoam cup in time with our chant.

On street corners and city benches, the homeless guys watch us, study us, discuss us as we march. One man smiles broadly, toothlessly, marveling with a friend. Another jostles a shopping cart, crammed with his worldly goods, toward the street to let us pass. Many men beg with empty cups.

As we watch each other, I wonder, what is the meaning of love?

"Legalize Love," the banner reads.

I wonder, if we legalized love, how would my life be different?

How would yours?

7 comments:

blogslut said...

Will you marry me?

Kristi said...

Absolutely love the photograph of the little girl holding the flag, its great. Also, would you believe I still have *said with a musical tune* "five fingers of funk" playing at random moments in my head?

JGH said...

You are so lucky! That would have been amazing. I can't wait to see all of the pictures. I read in the Fargo paper that there were over 200 protesters..in Fargo!!

Kathy B. said...

So Sarah Palin was at the protest? What a scandal! What did her sign read?? "Of course I support gay rights! I can see California from my kitchen window!"

Karen Van Fossan said...

Kathy B --
How did you guess??

JGH --
Wish you could've been there!

Kristi --
Me too! Five Fingers of Funk is my new inner theme song...

Blogslut --
Yes!

Jan said...

Karen,
Best ever. You made me happy.
Jan

Louise said...

Congrats on great photos and being part of such a great event!! I'm screening documentaries for the Ashland Independent Film Festival and saw one of the best I've screened to date. It's titled "Ask Not!". Google it for a trailer and good info!

So are you going to create a "Milk Party" event when the film opens in Bis? All my SF friends say it is a very important film in light of the election and Prop 8. I see you and your troupe dressed in milky fabs moving the energies for change! Love u...