Thursday, September 6, 2012

The DNC, Gay Rights, and Trailblazer Madeline Davis

I'll be honest...I'm still coming down off of a fan girl high from Bill Clinton's speech at the DNC last night. If you didn't catch it, I'm sure you at least heard about it. (And watch it here. it.) My Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook were all blowing up. Clinton said a lot of really important things--stuff that needed to be said and what Obama can't necessarily say as the actual candidate. (Have I mentioned you should watch it?!)

Overall, I've been fairly pleased with the events I've watched and heard about at the DNC. The party, while never as left leaning as I'd like, is clearly much more representative of my interests than the Republicans. And to be really blunt, I don't feel there's a lack of sincerity on our side. I do agree with many people on my Twitter feed last night who stated that there needs to new faces of reproductive rights. Sandra Fluke was amazing yesterday and had important messages--but why is the person who speaks on this issue always white, cis, able bodied, middle class, etc? It's certainly time that some reproductive justice activists take the stage. I'd like to hear from them.

I am, however, ecstatic that the DNC has added marriage equality to the national platform. When I think about the possibility of that happening even just 4 years ago, I can't imagine it. There is clearly progress in the works.

Support for gay rights and marriage equality (while certainly not totally widespread) do finally seem to be mainstream opinions. It can be very easy to take this current situation for granted so it's important to remember that people have been gay activists for a very long time. In listening to "Tell Me More" on NPR this morning, I heard a segment about Madeline Davis. I wasn't aware of Davis, because the American history I grew up learning was very stale, male, pale, and straight. As according to the program:
At the 1972 Democratic National Convention, Madeline Davis asked for something that had never been proposed at a major party convention. In a floor speech, the New York delegate asked her fellow Democrats to endorse platform language defending the civil rights of gay people. And now, 40 years later, marriage equality has been adopted as a plank in the 2012 Democratic Party platform.
In the segment, Davis talks with Michele Martin in detail about what it was like being the first out gay person to stand before a national party and talk about civil rights for homosexuals and how her party received her. You can read or listen to the segment here. I highly suggest you check it out. It's a great reflection of 1) how far we've come 2) how far we have to go and 3) that social change isn't easy or quick but so long as there's people working on it, progress can and will be made.

Unfortunately, I won't be home tonight to watch Obama accept the nomination for his second term. I will however be sure to catch a replay. I have no doubt that he will deliver.

No comments:

Post a Comment

This blog has strict comment moderation intended to preserve a safe space. Moderation is managed solely by the blog author. As such, even comments made in good faith will be on a short delay, so please do not attempt to resubmit your comment if it does not immediately appear. Discussion and thoughtful participation are encouraged, but abusive comments of any type will never be published. The blog author reserves the right to publish/delete any comments for any reason, at her sole discretion.

TL;DR Troll comments are never published, so don't waste your time.