Have you heard
about Postcards to the President? This grassroots movement
has snowballed to a nationwide campaign for 2009 and will be
the personal voice of hundreds of thousands of
Americans urging our newly appointed and inspirational
leader for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.
This is not the
effort of a large established company. A committee of
activists did not ignite this campaign. Postcards to the
President is the initiative of one individual who sat
on his couch one day and thought, How can I
help? and What can I do?
it back a few months to the day Barack Obama changed my
worked in gay bars for five years in New York and Los
Angeles and have a comfortable existence among the
happy-go-lucky patrons whom I call friends. For 25
years I’ve taken advantage of my liberal perspective,
handed down from hippie parents with two gay sons and a
Massachusetts pedigree. Politics just weren’t
really my thing. But come November 2008 -- it was
somewhere between the plight of the underdog and the
campaign artistry -- I drank the Kool-Aid and formed
an opinion. Mr. Obama got this West Hollywood cocktail
waiter to vote for the very first time.
That evening, as
the numbers came in for Obama’s victory, my friends
and I took to the bars and hugged strangers and
cheered our victory in the streets! I felt for the
first time like an American. Me! A Proud American with
an agenda and a cause and hope.
Then I was
sucker-punched by a dose of homophobia called Proposition 8.
It stung worse
than I expected, and I stood numb for a moment. As I
calmed a more reactive friend, he cried, “You
don’t understand. You don’t need every
scrap of evidence you can get to justify your existence to
He was right. For
all the political growth I’d managed over the past
few months, I had no idea what it would be like
if my parents didn't accept me.
For a whole month
I went to the rallies and marches and speeches and
protests and I fliered and canvassed and discussed and
argued. I was proud to be with my community and felt
purpose and principle. The passage of Proposition 8
galvanized my generation’s voice to stand out against
the inequality that taints this so called free country.
But the marches
die down and the dust settles. We put our future in the
hands of legislators who battle the judicial system and we
sit at home on our couches and wonder, What can I
do? and How can I help?
not done yet. I’ve spent 20-some odd years not making
a difference, and if Mr. Obama is going to create this
political monster, he had better be ready to feed it.
Advocate.com had a few suggestions on
how stay involved -- one of which offered the idea of
writing a postcard to Barack Obama urging the repeal
of DOMA. Then I had to look up DOMA. DOMA, or the
Defense of Marriage Act, is the law that quarantines
homosexuals to the few states in which they can
legally wed and invalidates their marriages elsewhere.
After I read
that, I started to set my alarm clock. There is work to be
done. I contacted everyone I knew and took Postcards to the
President one step at a time. Luckily, however, I
learned from the best and spread the word the same way
Obama did ... Facebook.
The support of my
peers and allies has come in overwhelming abundance. As
is my style, Postcards to the President will start with a
celebration: kickoff parties in both New York (January
28 at Therapy) and West Hollywood (January 25 at
Here Lounge) from which thousands of postcards will be
signed and sent. From there, a grassroots effort has begun
to spread through college campuses and nationwide LGBT
communities that are starting to get on board with
But I only know
so many people. I can only make a certain number of phone
calls and send a certain number of e-mails a day. I submit
my story to you because we are not done yet. I urge
you to stand with me, to write with me, to put your
ideas into motion. I urge you to set up booths and
send postcards and celebrate our existence and continue
I am one person
with an idea. Will you help me?