Archive for the politics Category

The Fourth of July.

Posted in life, politics on 4 July, 2008 by Katie Carroll

I’m celebrating the anniversary of this country the only way I know how: with watermelon, blogging, and TLC’s What Not To Wear marathon. In my mind, this actually presents a very American tableau, even though I’m not exactly channeling the founding fathers.

I’ve never been one of those people who has placed an enormous amount of emphasis on today’s holiday. I feel like the Fourth of July is just another tool for judging patriotism, and another weapon in the Republican arsenal for turning liberals into the bad guys. I mean, the 4th of July is old-hat for the conservative machinery that has coined such terms as ‘Freedom Fries’ (good) and ‘San Francisco values’ (very very bad). And for someone who is actually a big fan of whatever San Francisco values actually are, it can be hard to love a country that accepts John Hagee more than homosexuality, and doesn’t put a lot of faith in the separation between church and state. For a nation that has positioned itself as the voice of freedom, we’re very limited in terms of the forms freedom takes. What do conservatives say about Barack Obama, for instance? Sure, he lacks experience–but even worse, he’s different. And may be Muslim.

I love what this country is supposed to be, and what it’s supposed to stand for. I don’t love everything about what it actually is. But before anyone says otherwise, I am patriotic; I just choose to celebrate the fact that I don’t have to like with everything the government tells me to.

The parade.

Posted in life, politics on 29 June, 2008 by Katie Carroll

Today was the 30th anniversary of San Francisco’s LGBT Pride Parade, and I was in it. To set the record straight (no pun intended), I am straight. And let me tell you, heterosexuality has yet to do me any big favors. But the cool thing about the pride parade is that it doesn’t matter. When we were walking to the parade from our hotel, I figured what I would like the most would be the outlandish costumes, crazy floats and decorated cars, and the much-rumored general chaos. And while the parade was probably one of the most orderly events I’ve ever seen, it definitely provided the ‘typical’ (clearly a relative term) fare, replete with fairies, rainbows, and Cyndi Lauper. My favorite part, though, was something that couldn’t be captured on camera, or dusted in glitter: pride itself. The general vibe of the whole event was one of abundant, effervescent happiness and acceptance. It didn’t matter that the guy next to me in the tutu and I both like guys. Above all, I loved seeing all the average people walking around holding hands, or carrying signs saying things like “Justly Married”, “Engaged for 23 Years”, or “We’re Here, We’re Queer, We’re Registered at Macy’s”. People were hugging each other, complimenting each other’s clothes, dogs, purses. Everyone was just happy.

We marched in the parade for Mark Leno, a State Assemblyman who is currently running for State Senate. He’s known my mom since about third grade, and I’m pretty sure I’ve been hearing about Mark for about as long. I was excited to meet him, and excited to represent him in the parade. When we were walking with the other Leno supporters, people were cheering and shouting “thank you” from the sidewalks–it was unbelievable being a part of it all. And it was really cool seeing Mark embrace my mom, and talk about high school and things like that; I can’t even really describe why it touched me so much, but it did.

To top it all off, he offered me an internship. 🙂