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Postcards to the

Postcards to the


An article on sending a postcard to President-elect Barack Obama urging the repeal of DOMA prompted a WeHo waiter to take action -- in a big way.

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?

Let's take it back a few months to the day Barack Obama changed my life.

I've 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 your parents."

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?

Well, I'm 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. 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 this initiative.

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 being involved.

I am one person with an idea. Will you help me?

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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