I don’t live in Maine. I’ve never even visited there, so why did it feel like a punch in the gut when I heard that they had voted down gay marriage there?
It means that a lot of people went to the polls just to say that people like me are inferior, that we do not deserve to be treated like normal people, that we are so despicable that it’s right for murderers and rapists to have more civil rights than we do.
It doesn’t matter what kind of life I live. It makes no difference that I tutor children after school and volunteer at our local hospice. It’s irrelevant that I’m active in my church and in my neighborhood, that I’m a good neighbor who shovels the sidewalk of the elderly man next door. Nothing I do can atone for who I am.
It doesn’t matter that I’m a middle-aged white woman, that I have a disability, or that I am a teacher. No other aspect of who I am can override my indelible scarlet L.
A lot of people went to the polls in an off year to say that people like me are not valued. That hurts. It’s personal.