The night HERO was overturned

I am tired.

I am tired from walking to the polls to vote on my rights.

From driving to the suburbs at dawn,

to register to get an ID to vote on my rights, that should arrive in 2 to 3 weeks.

And I’m tired of living in a country where my rights can be voted on.

I’m tired of having my civil rights reduced to marriage.

What good is marriage if you’re unemployed and homeless?

And god forbid I should run into a clerk whose “religious freedom” trumps my protection under the law.

I am tired of living in a country where I can be fired for who I love in over 30 states,

And I’m angry that my friends don’t even know this is the case,

That they too have been led to believe that gay marriage fixed it all.

I am exhausted from the weight of wondering if a kiss from my boyfriend in a parking lot will provoke the anger of a bigot,

And I’m weighed down by the knowledge that if that bigot beat us, he’d just get probation.

I am tired from 20 years (20 years!) of waiting for ENDA,

Of waiting for a large enough majority of this country to decide that I am human enough.

Because what you’re saying when you vote down HERO, when you table ENDA, year after year,

Is that I don’t qualify as human enough for your American dream.

I don’t even get the chance to be judged by my talents, hard work, or character.

Isn’t that what you’re always yelling at the immigrants, the poor, the unemployed?

Hard work! Boot straps! Get a job!

We are happy to pull ourselves up, but what happens when somebody cuts your bootstraps?

What happens when I can’t “get a job”?

What happens when we can’t even piss without getting arrested?

I am tired.

We are tired.