Golden Oldie: A life-changing event: My time documenting the NOM tour

December 28, 2010 at 4:00 pm 28 comments

This one at Sagesse’s request.

We at P8TT are taking Christmas through New Year’s off. Golden Oldies you requested will run in the place of regular posts. Regularly scheduled programming will resume on January 3rd–Adam Bink

(Anthony is our lead videographer on the ground, as profiled here. As the tour is coming to a close tomorrow, here’s his reflection piece. -Adam)

By Anthony Ash

The last official tour stop is tomorrow. Soon I will be returning back to California and back to my “normal” life. When I originally left California I was only supposed to be gone for a week, but once I got out on the road I realized that being out on the tour was where I needed to be. When I was told I would be on the road traveling to a couple of states and following the National Organization for Marriage around, I didn’t totally understand the scope of what I was about to undertake.

It only took a few stops on the tour to realize that what I was part of something that was much larger than just “touring a few states”. I began to see the faces of the families of the pro-equality counter rallies; I began to hear their stories and learn of their struggles. I began to meet amazing people from all over the U.S. I realized that we were connecting hundreds and thousands of people together; it wasn’t just about filming Brian Brown lying about something again or not being allowed into a NOM rally, it was about building OUR community and linking us all in this battle for equality.

Trust me, there were plenty of times that I wish I was home (when we heard the Prop. 8 verdict, for example, as well as not being there for my mother as she goes through a divorce). And there were times that I missed my friends and family. But, every time we had someone come to us and tell us a simple “thank you” it made it worth the time away from home and after awhile I began to feel like I was at home when I was meeting the amazing same-sex families and felt the love from all the people who came out to counter-protest NOM.

There were many times during the tour when I felt emotional, whether it was anger, sadness or joy. And there were two moments that I found myself not being able to hold back tears. The first moment was when we stopped in Madison, Wisconsin, I heard a noise off in the distance and that noise began to grow louder. I was busy filming so I didn’t get to turn around to see what the noise actually was, but when I finally turned around I saw a sea of pro-equality protesters engulfing the street as they made their way toward the Capitol. As I stood there filming all I could do is cry.

Here’s the video I shot of that moment:

The second moment was at our Atlanta stop when I had the pleasure of interviewing Patti Ellis (the second half of the video below).

During Patti’s speech the hair stood up on my arms as she spoke about the unconditional love that parents should have toward their children and the difficult time that her family experienced when her son Adam came out.

She told me that “when Adam come out of the closet, we went right in,” and when I asked her if she had any words of advice for mothers struggling with a child being gay she told me: “They need you now more than ever. Remember that moment when you dropped your son off at kindergarten, he didn’t question if you were going to be there to love him when he got home, now he questions that because society has him questioning that now.”

“Go to your son and hug him,” she continued. “He’s still the same. Let him tell you his story…” I held it together during the interview, but when walked away I just lost it.

This trip has proved to be one of those life-changing events that one rarely experiences. I have been able to grow as as an activist, as a videographer, and most importantly as a human. I was able to see this beautiful country we live in and do it with two people that have become my sheroes: Arisha Hatch and Phyllis Lozano. We watched out for each other at the rallies, we paid for meals when one was low on funds and we forgave each other when there were disagreements along the way.

As this trip comes to an end, I can only look to the future and hope that what has transpired over the last month will be one more stepping stone to full equality across America.

Signing off (for now)…

Entry filed under: Community/Meta.

Golden Oldie: Madison’s Testimony (video): A daughter eloquently expresses the meaning of marriage equality Golden Oldie: Day 4 on the NOM California tour: Karyme Lozano says adios, cruel world

28 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ann S.  |  December 28, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Great golden oldie of a post!

    Reply
  • 2. Sagesse  |  December 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Round 2 to the equality forces.

    ‘Appalling’: Apple again rejects iPhone Christian ‘app’

    http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/BPnews.asp?ID=34336

    Reply
    • 3. DaveP  |  December 28, 2010 at 6:31 pm

      Good! Thank you, Apple.
      …. and of course, their article contains more of the same tired old bigotry hidden beneath psuedo-religious double-speak. In one sentence, some comments about how they love and respect the homos, and in the next they refer to gays as people who ‘yield to sexual immorality’. Goddam sanctimonious hypocritical jerks. There. I said it.

      Reply
      • 4. Ann S.  |  December 28, 2010 at 6:37 pm

        Yep. Makes it sound as though they all want to run around boinking people of the same sex, also, but they Do Not Yield to that temptation.

        Reply
    • 5. DazedWheels  |  December 29, 2010 at 3:03 am

      To Colson from me: Many of mainstream Christianity’s positions ARE offensive! Haven’t you been paying attention?

      Reply
      • 6. fiona64  |  December 29, 2010 at 9:00 am

        In fairness … the Religious Reich does not represent mainstream Christianity. It represents the loudest, most vocal element … but it does not represent mainstream Christianity. Mainstream Christianity is seldom heard about, because the people who practice it are too busy feeding the hungry, comforting the afflicted, loving their neighbors as themselves, etc., to be out there demanding that their personal belief systems be enshrined into law.

        Love,
        Fiona

        Reply
        • 7. Bob  |  December 29, 2010 at 9:48 am

          well said Fiona,,, and such an imortant distinciton,,,,

          Reply
    • 8. Leo  |  December 29, 2010 at 7:42 am

      We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.

      Oh, great. Stay away from human laws, then.

      Reply
  • 9. Kathleen  |  December 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    UPDATE (Perry)
    Filed by City and County of San Francisco: citation of supplemental authorities – holding in LaRoque v. Holder from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (copy attached).

    I don’t have time to read this, but after the briefest of skims, it appears to relate to the question of standing. Keep in mind, this is not from the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction, so this is persuasive authority only, not binding. I’ll try to find time later to look it over, if no one else does in the meantime.

    Reply
    • 10. Ann S.  |  December 28, 2010 at 5:19 pm

      The proponents of a referendum changing the way votes were cast in the city of Kingston, North Carolina sued to have the section of the Voting Rights Act that required them to get “preclearance” before changing voting laws declared unconstitutional. (It is a bit muddy whether this was an “as applied” or “on its face” challenge — I think they tried to make both claims, but then tried to walk it back to just the facial challenge for some reason.)

      The DC Circuit found that they have no standing.

      I haven’t had time yet to get any more out of it, but the City and County of San Francisco wants the 9th Circuit to take note of this as possible persuasive authority.

      Reply
      • 11. Kate  |  December 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm

        I love this “Readers Digest” legal synopsis. Thank you, Ann.

        Reply
        • 12. Ann S.  |  December 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm

          You’re welcome!

          Reply
      • 13. Leo  |  December 29, 2010 at 6:15 am

        Minor correction: this is a DC District Court decision, not DC Circuit.

        Reply
        • 14. Kathleen  |  December 29, 2010 at 8:12 am

          Yes, the “U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia” noted above is a federal district court. The reason I mentioned the 9th Circuit wasn’t to suggest that this is a decision from a court of appeals, but to explain to the non-lawyer folks that this decision comes out of a different jurisdiction than the one hearing the Prop 8 case, and as such, isn’t a holding that the 9th Circuit judges in the Prop 8 case must necessarily follow.

          Sorry if there was confusion.

          Reply
        • 15. Ann S.  |  December 29, 2010 at 8:12 am

          Thank you, Leo, you’re correct of course.

          Reply
        • 16. Kathleen  |  December 29, 2010 at 8:15 am

          Oh, I just realized it was Ann’s mention of the DC Circuit that Leo was responding to. Never mind (in my Emily Latella voice).

          Reply
    • 17. Kathleen  |  December 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm

      Thank you, Ann. I probably won’t have a chance to get to this tonight. So feel free to elaborate if you have time!

      Reply
  • 18. Rhie  |  December 28, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Scribin

    Reply
  • 19. Mandi  |  December 29, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Subscribing

    Reply
  • 20. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 29, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Oh, the memories this post brings back. I still remember meeting Arisha and Phyllis in Raleigh, and how wonderful they both are! And Ant, we are still going to hold you to a meeting sometime. Who knows, I may even fly out to CA to do a Scentsy party for you! And we will invite everyone from P8TT to attend, so we will probably have to hold it in a banquet hall, or some other public building!

    Reply
  • 21. Ronnie  |  December 29, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Taddah!!!!…I’m subscribing….<3…Ronnie

    Reply
    • 22. Bob  |  December 29, 2010 at 9:53 am

      Taddah!!!! to you too Ronnie,,,,, as you search for the condo in N.Y.

      Reply
      • 23. Ronnie  |  December 29, 2010 at 10:13 am

        please….I can’t afford a condo in NYC…lol…I’ll be lucky if I find a studio that allows small dogs in my price range…but thank you……<3…Ronnie

        Reply
        • 24. fiona64  |  December 29, 2010 at 10:51 am

          I have confidence in you, Ronnie. You will find something fabulous. :-)

          XOXO,
          Fiona

          Reply
        • 25. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 29, 2010 at 11:52 am

          Ronnie, the rabbi and rebbitizen are absolutely certain that you will find what you need in your price range. After all, Woody is better behaved than most two-legged children I know. At least, that is based on what I have heard and read about him. He must be well-behaved! After all, he protects you and your mom!

          Reply
          • 26. Ronnie  |  February 7, 2011 at 7:50 am

            I know….I’m replying to this a little late…thanks for the confidence & certainty…now that the holidays are through…the apartment search is back on…I think we are going to widen the search to Brooklyn…not giving up on Manhattan..I’ll let you know how things work out…..& yes, Richard, Woody is very well behaved & protective…also I never had to spend a dime on obedient school…He’s a bargain….<3…Ronnie

  • 27. Ronnie  |  December 29, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Everybody don’t forget to set your VCR’s, DVR’s, Tivo’s or what ever you have for The Nate Berkus Show on NBC today……Wendy Walsh (mother of Seth Walsh) will be on Nate’s show today; as well as Chely Wright, Will Phillips, segments on the LGBT Center in NYC & the premier of Nate’s “Give A Damn” campaign PSA…..you can watch clips from the episode here:

    http://www.thenateshow.com/episodes/detail/rebuilding-home-after-tragedy

    <3…Ronnie

    Reply
    • 28. Ronnie  |  December 29, 2010 at 12:59 pm

      Nate’s show was so good….I don’t want to spoil it for anybody…so I won’t talk about it…I’m just going to post Nate’s “Give A Damn” PSA…..<3….Ronnie:

      Reply

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