My cat provided a fantastic lesson in achieving marriage (or any other) equality recently:
When the powers that be give you crumbs, refuse to eat them.
To back up, my Callie is not the brightest crayon in the box or the sharpest tool in the shed. She may even be one toy short of a happy meal. But she is persistent. About a week ago, I realized I was running low on dry cat food, but between the trip to Greenville, my schedule at work, and the fact that there was technically still some food mixed in with the crumbs on the bottom of the food bag, I hadn’t yet gone to the pet store.
Callie does not like crumbs. At all.
So, although I continued to put down a new mix of dry food and crumbs every day, she didn’t touch it. She let me know (very loudly and consistently) that she was hungry, but she didn’t touch the food. For four days.
And on the fifth, I bought a new bag of food.
So maybe it’s that way with marriage equality. If all of us, as collective activists, continue to clamor and call for equality, eventually someone somewhere has to listen.
It also means that we, as activists, have to refuse to eat the crumbs they keep handing us. Crumbs like civil unions and state but not federally recognized same-gender marriages. Crumbs like “Keep waiting and it’ll all happen one day” and “Making waves just upsets the boat and undermines your cause.”
Okay Katie, but what if all this asking never come to anything? When do we act?
Well…Callie, in all her infinite cat wisdom, gave me that answer about six months ago.
I was trying to transition her to a raw food diet because it was supposedly better for her and she was not having it. Per her usual, she was refusing to eat the block of cold, raw meat I set before her. She’d look at it, look at me, whine and walk away.
This lasted about a week.
Until one night, when I was sitting in my living room and I heard some rustling coming from the guest bathroom. I walk in and realize it’s coming from under the sink. I open the cabinet, and Callie has ripped open the leftover bag of dry food and is happily munching away, finally get fed.
So, to answer your earlier question. We wait until we can’t stand it any longer, and then we make our own way. (In truth I have no idea how long that will be or what the tipping point will look like.) We figure out how we want to achieve marriage equality outside of the conventional way that’s currently being offered and make it work. Or we don’t and we create a different scenario altogether.
The point is, we take our objective back from the powers that be and do something to achieve it ourselves.
To recap, simple activist wisdom from my cat (who is currently asleep on her back with all four paws in the air):
- Refuse to eat the crumbs you’re being given (any of them) for as long as you can manage; and then
- Figure out your own way to achieve your objective independent of the powers that be and then do it.
Sometimes the hardest to learn is the least complicated.