Robert Indiana HOPE

Over the holidays, I took a break from the daily barrage of negative news that ripples with alarming frequency across the blogosphere. My wife, Tiffany, and I spent time focusing on each other, those in our families that are supportive of us, those friends that have become our chosen family, and our community as a whole. It was wonderful.

While on semester break, Tiffany spent her waking hours working on a “friend of the court” brief to be submitted to the California Supreme Court in support of the case filed against Proposition 8. I was her merry, little assistant reading and researching through pages of legal documents, and watching people from all walks of life commit their holiday free time to supporting equal rights for all of us.

Lawyers from all over the state have contributed hours and hours to filing arguments in support of overturning Prop 8. Some of these lawyers are gay; most of them are straight. These lawyers, and the organizations they represent, include people who are white, black, brown, yellow, male, female, religious, secular, conservative, liberal, academic and otherwise, all of whom are outraged by this injustice and thus inspired to act.

Seeing this inspired me to hope. What a powerful gift.

Just yesterday, we turned on the TV and found our country ecstatic. Our nation is celebrating a week long, national “block” party over the upcoming Presidential inauguration. For the first time in years, our country is united and optimistic.

Barack Obama is teaching all of us about the power of HOPE. He inspired us to believe, and then demonstrated how powerful that believing can be. We have a black president. We have begun to free ourselves from the shackles we have shared, and it feels really good.

Gay, lesbian, and transgendered Americans suffer constant injustices in this country. Yet we have allowed ourselves to embrace our own, internal wisdom that we are not what some say we are. We have been compelled by our own dignity to stand up and say that we deserve better.

Do we have the courage to achieve equality? I believe we do. Dare we hope for a future where an openly LGBT American might be President? I choose YES.