Today’s Video Story was collected on the 50-state Story Tour. Check out the blog where you can follow us on our adventure. If you haven’t submitted a story yet to IFD, or if you want to submit another one, I’d love to read and publish it. Write one up and send it in.
I’m Anastasia Polda, I’m from Sedro-Wooley, Washington but I live in Chicago now. But I’m teaching right now, and I’m watching – they were watching in class last week Prop 8 ads, Pro Prop 8 ads out of California and I had totally forgotten that they were people who really genuinely felt like I deserved less rights than they did. And it really was much more disturbing than I would have thought. In 2008 when Obama got elected the grad students had a big party because we’re grad students and that’s what we do. And we were all really excited because Obama was winning and we were graduate students – so we were having this big party and there was Baked Alaska and it was really exciting and everybody was quite quite drunk and we were watching the returns come in and everyone was celebrating and excited and I started to notice that on the bottom they were starting to run the Prop 8 returns out of California were coming down and I was starting to get increasingly depressed by the Prop 8 returns. One of my friends basically was like “It’s okay, Obama will be President and heal repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and he’ll do the things he said he did.” And I was like, “Well first of all, Obama’s not for gay marriage, so, I don’t really see that that’s going to really resolve the Prop 8 issue. Second of all I just don’t really think gays are a priority for him and while I support him over the other guys and I’m happy that he won, compared to the alternative – you know, still not great, for me. I just can’t be as happy about this as you are.” So they were pretty excited and I was increasingly depressed and then it was time to go home – so I went home and I had to go up to Howard and back down. So I was standing on the southbound platform at Howard and on the northbound platform at Howard there were all the students and the Evanston residents going back north and they were all coming from the Obama rally. And they were really really excited, and they were really happy, smiling, and I was sort of alone on this southbound platform in this spiral of depression that I could not really put my finger on why I felt so terrible and it struck me that this was the first election were I felt like an adult and in some ways where I felt like a real American and in some ways it felt to me like Prop 8 sort of took away some of that from me – like, sure I was an American but I wasn’t as American as everybody else so even the people who were sort of my political allies and who I was really good friends with – you know, they got to be real Americans, they got to have this moment of democracy and I got the short end of the stick. I know that a bunch of my other lesbian friends felt similarly. We talked about it – feeling like this should be our great moment and it really kind of sucks cause we don’t get to have the same great moment as everybody else.