Today we packed up enough snacks, water, and toys to survive the Zombie apocalypse, and headed to a local rally for marriage equality.
The protest itself was delightfully Midwestern. Around here we don't really chant slogans or raise our voices. We wander about catching up with friends and making small talk with neighbors. We didn't yell at the counter rally--heck, we barely even looked their direction. We politely avoided eye contact with them. We bring parachutes and bubbles for the kids--part because it adds to the festive atmosphere, but mostly because we're practical, and we want to keep the kids busy so they don't run into the street.
Fort Wayne is not known for its progressive politics. So when something like this goes off smoothly, with strong attendance, and with noisy, honking support from drivers-by, well, it leaves me with a hopeful fuzzy feeling that will last for a while.
It was Baby's First Protest, of course, but I'll remember it as Toby's first. We dropped in on a few rallies for this or that when we were in DC, but this was the first time that Toby understood what was going on and why we were gathering.
And this issue is, in a small way, personal for him. He knows gay adults--his Sunday school teachers, his babysitter, the parents of some of his friends. When we were preparing him for the rally today he was somewhat confused that there would be a problem with two men or two women marrying. He liked the idea that we were celebrating that adults can marry whoever they choose to marry.
I'm not going to draw any conclusions from today about Toby's political leanings in the future. As contrary as he can be, I wouldn't be surprised if he decides to be the Alex P. Keaton of the family. But y'know, I don't think that gay rights are going to be much of a political issue for his generation. It's hard to grow up with gay role models and then to turn around and try to place limits on their freedoms. Perhaps even more importantly, there may come a day when my son realizes he is gay, and then as his mama I sure want him to know that his parents, his church, and his role models love and support him.