In November of 2012 Washington State voted to approve same-sex marriage. Shortly after election day I asked a friend of mine who had worked as a field director for Washington United for Marriage if she would talk with me about the experience. I recorded the conversation for KBCS radio.
First a small piece of personal history. The regular readers of The Real Mr. Heartache have perhaps noticed a decline in blog posts over the past few months. Well, after nearly 18 years I’m back in school. Truth be told, I’m a much better student now. Education was certainly wasted on my youth. The reasons I’m back in school are for another time, but life takes funny turns and I would not be the person I am now, had I not dropped out then – for better or worse.
In the years since then I’ve worked, not surprisingly, mostly in the service and retail industry. That kind of working life consists mainly of placating the insane and breaking down cardboard boxes. Whether school will be permanent relief or merely respite I do not know, but I am grateful for the current change.
That said, I will also always be grateful for some of the gifts working in the service industry has given me. I can touch extremely hot plates without burning my hands. I can drink endless amounts of coffee and still sleep soundly-ish. I can find my own book in a bookstore. Undoubtedly these are amazing skills, but the service industry also gave me a kick in the pants. I’ve worked alongside a wide swath of skin colors, legal statuses, genders, and sexuality. That changes a person. I can’t bust my ass next to an undocumented Mexican for ten hours a day in a kitchen who sends most of his paycheck to a family he doesn’t go home to at night and walk away thinking immigration is a cut and dry problem that a fence will fix. I can’t work alongside a gay man who’s been in a relationship for as long as I’ve been alive on this earth and not care that he and his partner don’t receive the same benefits I do after marrying my wife one year after meeting her. It’s heartening to see things changing. It’s sad to see spirituality held up as some sort of shield against these just and right changes. It’s bullshit really. This blog won’t change anyone’s mind. I’m not worried about that though anymore, because change is coming.
Change is coming.
A Conversation with Maggie Thompson, Field Director for Washington United for Marriage: