Oh this rain — the kind so constant that the sky and the ocean seem to become indistinguishable. I crave it; I want to be in it. Dry under my roof tonight, I read this — Pro-gay-marriage movement looks to ‘Obamify’ (SFGate) — and what I feel? Is loss.
It’s not specifically the loss of the election (which I imagine will retain its special hole in my heart well beyond the time when equality isn’t even an issue anymore). I feel no loss about the purpose of the report, which talks about all the great energy going into galvanizing grassroots and online activism. It’s truly both the seeds and the fruition of the Internet united: Not only can everyone tell their story, but they need to — and it changes everything. The world is our neighbor — now more than ever.
Nor do I just feel loss about the massive support we built online during the campaign going unrecognized in passages like this:
It would involve pairing new media technology with old-fashioned, door-to-door outreach – two tactics that were not used well in the unsuccessful opposition to Proposition 8 in November, according to a report by Marriage Equality USA, an Oakland-based organization that supports gay marriage.
… as similarly played out countless other articles like this and the endless comments threads they have spawned since the election.
In fact it’s not totally clear to me, the source of this loss, but here it is again:
Adina Levin, a Palo Alto software company co-founder and gay marriage supporter who is not gay, recalled a friend telling her that Prop. 8 supporters were holding signs on a corner in his San Carlos neighborhood. When Levin asked the campaign if she could use the micro-blogging service Twitter to quickly gather a counterprotest, No on 8 organizers said no, because it might tip off the opposition to their movements.
I don’t know who Levin talked to in the campaign, but connecting people online about protests is one of the major things we did on Twitter and in other online channels particularly in the days escalating up to the election. We didn’t do it out of a concerted tactic, we didn’t plan it, we didn’t strategize it — we simply listened in to the hundred-plus thousands of regular people, people not unlike you as you read this, who reached out and shared their stories via online channels. We did mobilize, we connected, we supported — not because it gave us a good reputation or a good story — but because there was the need. And it’s not just no longer serving this essential purpose that I count as a quite personal loss.
The people I knew on the campaign dedicated themselves day and night, but afterwards went back to their originating, excellent organizations — far from the failed campaign — and yet I continue to exist in this crazy post-election nowhereland vacuum. Articles like this remind me I feel strongly about not betraying the actual No On Prop 8 online community, which did and continues to thrive, because these people were literally unsung heroes.
As I sit here in the dark and try to put it all together, the rain pounds on the roof and my head hurts. My wife says I’m just hurting myself. A pal from the campaign told me I just needed to let go. I do — but I struggle with losing hope. And I hope I always do.