“I would have just gone somewhere else for my wedding cake.”
My friend David was outraged at the fact that the backlash to marriage equality can be whittled down to a discussion around a cake. A businessman, he is from a well-to-do family who applies a don’t-ask-don’t-tell-policy to much of life. Until now.
“I’d rather know who it is that does not want my money. I’ll spend it somewhere that welcomes it!”
And so the cake became a thing. I asked every person, who would spare the time of day, for their opinions. I read voraciously about the resulting Supreme Court non-decision, and how that is a harbinger of worse to come under a freshly-emboldened conservative administration. One cannot unring a bell.
I have, however, discovered a thread that gives me a modicum of comfort. It’s not much, but a drowning man will reach for the flimsiest blade of grass. It turned out to be the voices of activist writers.
We need the voices of our time to stand up. Stand for. Own up. Own it. Be counted.
We need those voices to be heard and not hide behind polls or made-up “kitchen table” talking points. Tell us that in the throes of this, the most desperate grab for power and wholesale dereliction of constitutional duty imaginable, that there are real people, with loud voices, who will gladly fall on their mighty pens in their combat with disinformation and lies. We, I, need to know that there is life after the wedding cake fracas. That fundamental values are still a thing.
Good writing–contemplated text–is a smoke signal. There is life there.
It’s a promise of a unique viewpoint, which may not be what I want to hear, but it is signed. Ownership is indicated while the vagueness of quotes and polls are replaced by an opinion. And some opinions and signatures will be by people who reflect my life and values. The first person voice lets me know that it is OK to stand outside the circle.
So, go ahead. Deny the cakes. Hate the minoriy.
I am a white South African male, relocated, reconditioned, and newly assimilated. My kind of town. I am however perplexed at the fact that despite being in a new place, with new people, and a new life, a lot of what had I had known, is still as it was. People seem to behave the same despite disparities in locales. And that is equal parts infuriating and interesting.
I've has made a shift in my point of view. I am picking up the slack. I’m leaning in, and learning from. Adding my perspective–and my name, to a wave of real stories, crafted from the stuff of life.