If You Don't Like It- GO HOME.
Before I get into this entry, let me give a disclaimer. I (clearly) do not have any affiliation with the military. I'm not even a fan of war. What I do know, is that for people who are involved in military services, it is so important to them, and I have endless respect for the people who go and fight for our rights and our country. It is with all of that love and respect, no matter your political views, that I write this entry.
Yesterday, I had the rare opportunity and privilege to go see the fabulous Lady Gaga speak at a rally. Politically, I must say my rally days have been pretty minimal, but not nonexistent. I went to the University of Maine at Farmington and was the "token straight girl" among
my friends, which I later just proudly adopted as straight ally. During the No on 1 days, the FIRST time around, I briefly attended a rally, made the front page of the paper, and joked that my activism days were over.
Little did I know.
Since then, things have been mostly healthcare related, and there was Obama fest which was very rally-esque, and was such a rush and a huge shot in the arm to why I do what I do, and that I am actually sort of adopting the title of "activist" even though I was so opposed to it early on.
So, Sunday night, I read on twitter by the Gaga herself, that she was going to be in Portland the following day to speak about the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Why Portland? that's random....
It is and it isn't. Our lovely Senators are two of the "moderate Republicans" who are often ones that not so much need to be swayed, but are the ones that could ultimately make a difference in a vote (which, frankly- I think is pretty cool) It is the same reason that Obama came, during the high times of the health reform voting. I think at this rate, they may this up, since it means Maine is finally getting some media love! I'm ok with it.
Since my mom is awesome (and a bit of an old hippie herself) she agreed that we could go to the rally.
And. It was. Amazing. Not just because of the appearance of Lady Gaga, who gave an incredible speech, but because of the entire vibe and atmosphere of so many people just striving for that unreachable, Prime Rib we call Equality. Journey played, we laughed, we sang together, we made friends, we talked about Glee. Just in meeting the people surrounding me in that crowd, and thinking of so many people I love that this could affect it just really hit me hard.
Before Gaga spoke, there were other people who had previously served in the military and were discharged because of their sexuality. It just seems so ridiculous to me. As Lady Gaga said, "Doesn't it seem like we're sending the wrong person home? We're sending home the one who does NOTHING wrong, and keeping the person who has hate in their heart instead of commitment and courage like there is supposed to be." And she has a completely valid point.
But as I thought about it. It's always that way. When a child is teased in school for whatever reason, the reaction of the guidance counselor is, "send them to a private school." WHY? Why does the innocent have to leave the environment!?!?!!? Why can't we have consequences for the people with the hate. Why can't we just build tolerance or even ACCEPTANCE?
It seems backwards to me, and I would support the new law Lady Gaga proposed called, "If you don't like it, Go Home." If you're the person who is distracted by what someone does in their private life, and THAT takes away from your ability to serve your country, then maybe that is the person who should step down.
As I'm watching the debate....(on whether to debate...) in another window, I am so proud of our Senator Susan Collins who got up and spoke on these exact points, and saying how much money is wasted on training and replacing these perfectly capable soldiers that are discharged, and that it is not about certain traits you have pertaining to your personal life but can you do the job. We are focusing on the wrong things, once again.
And as for Lady Gaga, well, yes, she has been a controversial artist to some people, but the fact that she took the time to come and speak about something so important, I think is awesome. Who is to say why someone is passionate about a cause. People listen to celebrities. Be as nonconformist as you want, but it's true, so why can't we let those people carry our causes if they so choose? We complain when people are famous and have endless amount of financial resources and do nothing with it.... and then.... we complain when they do? Come on people...
Gaga wasn't even there as Lady Gaga yesterday, she was there as a US citizen, and a person who believes in a cause? So why not? It wasn't just about her, it was about all of those people who fought, who care, and who just want the right and opportunity to take whatever life path they choose.
So yes, I'll say it again, yesterday, standing in that sunshine, singing journey and cheering til my voice was gone, I was proud to be a holder of Maine values. And I will continue to fight for the prime rib that is equality- ALL TYPES OF EQUALITY.
Because... I am tired, of getting by on chicken nuggets and Boca burgers.
Here is a video I took of the day, and also a video of her entire speech, so you can form your own opinions! Love it or hate it, it was pretty cool to be there!