…it’s the time spent in the market.”
For the record, my background is in Women’s Studies, journalism and nonprofits. But I currently work at a business newspaper as a researcher. I’ve learned a lot over the almost full year I’ve worked here, but the quote above, from a financial planner I spoke with recently, rang true in terms of North Carolina politics over the last few days.
I was working on a list of security brokerages when I talked the financial planner and he said that no matter what the stock markets do, so long as you can stick it out and not suddenly withdraw all the money you’ve invested, eventually the market will improve. It’s got to. It may take months or years but eventually it will get better.
It’s not the timing of the market, it’s the time spent in the market.
So I figure it’s the same with North Carolina.
We were the last state in the South without a state constitutional ban on gay marriage until Tuesday, when that ban passed with 61 percent of the vote. (Actually, just 61 percent of the 14 percent of the registered voters that actually showed up to the polls, but who’s counting? Except me, clearly.)
Now it’s time to move forward. I look to September where I marry the love of my life, legal ceremony or not, in Winston-Salem. We as a state look to November where we can elect folks who will work for equality for everyone. We support those who participate in acts of civil disobedience (like the folks taking part in the We Do campaign today in Winston-Salem, even if Marianne and I aren’t ready to participate). We don’t give up on family.
We don’t move out of state.
As a North Carolina resident it absolutely irritates the hell out of me that my state voted to ban my relationship with Marianne. But running away to a state where gay marriage is legal feels like giving up. If I am asking the generation older than me to fix our broken government and not pass its problems to me, then why would I turn my back on the folks working in North Carolina? Because it’s “easier” to run away?
I like North Carolina. In the three years I’ve been here it’s felt more like home to me than many other places I’ve lived…Minot, North Dakota ironically excluded. North Carolina is not perfect, clearly, but I believe there are a lot of good folks working in this state to fix what’s wrong and I don’t want to turn my back on them.
Three days ago I was ready to defect to Canada (shout out to Jamie Anderson! But even she’s still an N.C. resident), now I’m not sure I don’t want to stay here. Or move for school and then come back. And raise a daughter with Marianne and share space with a cat that’s too big for her britches. On a farm. Around a university where we’ll both be professors. And where we can ride bicycles as our primary mode of transportation.
Yesterday afternoon, President Obama voiced his support for gay marriage. It’s going to be legalized in America during the time I’m alive…it just is. This amendment was a last dying breath to take away rights for some, but I really do think the justice and equality train is speeding down the hill at 90 miles an hour and its up to me and you and you and you and your neighbor and your uncle and your momma and the neighborhood crazy man to make sure it stays on course.
Singer/songwriter Crys Matthews provided some inspiration for the journey this morning. She wrote the following song before Amendment One passed, but the message is still so true. So check it: