There have been a lot of diaries about the "Don't Ask, Don't Give" boycott and a lot of hurt being felt by both the supporters and the detractors. What I want to do here is explain what the boycott means to me...and why, to me, it's not about President Obama. I ask that you read this diary with an open mind and talk to me in the comments if you disagree...or even if you agree.
Since I have been old enough to work, I have been donating, volunteering and trying to help democrats get elected. Specifically, at that time I was focused on getting President Clinton re-elected. But I also donated to other federal races and gave my time and money to local candidates as well.
I have continued to donate and work for Democratic candidates ever since...always with the promise of what they are going to do for GLBTs...how much better the politicians and party were going to make life for GLBTs. Initially, I did this because I wanted equal rights for my uncle and his partner. Then, surprise(!), I fell for a woman and it became about me too.
So we fought, donated, volunteered...sometimes we won...sometimes we lost. But always just to be told that it isn't a good time to address issues of GLBT equality once the election was over. And I kept going and fighting and pushing because what was the alternative? To support a Republican? To stay home? But lately that line of thought hasn't been quite enough for me.
I can't tell you the precise moment when the fear of Republicans stopped working for me...but I can tell you why. It's about self-respect. I have never been someone to stay in a bad relationship...but I find myself feeling like that friend that we all have who stays with her (or his) spouse no matter how many times that spouse cheats on or hurts her. I don't like that feeling...it hurts my pride and it hurts my soul.
So, I have chosen to give my money and my time to those politicians who are taking concrete steps to help. In fact, I am working on setting up an ActBlue page for politicians who take concrete and/or risky steps to support GLBT rights...coming soon to a WGLB diary near you!
That may seem like the wrong thing to do to many...but it's all I can do right now...and, you may note, I have said nothing about President Obama. That is because it really just isn't about him to me...it is just about rewarding concrete support and reclaiming my self-respect.