Wisconsin, Politics, and Me

Originally I titled this entry “The Influence on Blogs in the 2006 Election” in response to the portion of the blog summit of the same name. I tried to get to that topic, I really did, but my tangent was large:

At some point during the summit I had one of those moments where I saw my ghost rise out of me to look down at my body and say, “I can't believe you’re here!”

It felt perfectly in my character to be at a blog summit—I’ve been a huge fan of blogs since the late nineties, I’ve been to oodles of academic conferences about the Internet and blogs, and when I taught Internet art classes for UMBC’s Art Department I made blogging a requirement for my students.

What made the ghost rise out of me, was that I was at something for WisPolitics. Wisconsin Politics. Good lord, never in my 32 years did I think I would be (a) living in Wisconsin (even though I grew up here) and (b) attending something with the name “politics” in its title. (You may recall this earlier post on the same “I can’t believe I’m here” theme... a theme my mind wanders to often.)

Sure, I have always read newspapers, educated myself about candidates, and am one person you don’t need to remind to “get out and vote.” But I consider myself an average citizen when it comes to caring about or following politics. Frankly, I’d much rather read US Weekly than U.S. News and World Report.

But do you know why I went to Waukesha for WisPolitic’s blog summit on Saturday? And why I came to work on Sunday? And why for the next seven months I'll work more hours than can possibly be healthy or sane?

Because I’m fighting for my life. And I don’t mean that to sound melodramatic, or like I’m clawing my way out of a dangerous situation, or that I’ll physically die if the ban passes in November. I also don’t want to sound like some woe-is-me victim, because in many ways I’m not. I’m healthy; I’m happy; I’ve been head-over-heals in love with the same person for nine years; I own a beautiful bungalow with a front porch; I have health insurance; my parents are still together and are alive and love me. I could go on.

But the thing is, this civil unions and marriage ban is about me. I’m fighting for my future of my life. I’m fighting for Megan. And for the kids we’re getting ready to bring into Wisconsin.

When Megan and I have a baby, because Megan will be the birth mother, I will not automatically be recognized as the legal mother to my own child.

I worry about that, and I sometimes lose sleep worrying about threading strings together to protect our family without the protections, benefits, and rights marriage or a civil union would provide. I can’t just sit here crossing my fingers, hoping someday it will all work out. It’s too important to me, to my future, to my children's future, and to the thousands of other families like mine in this state.

And if that means I have to step up and be more “political” (whatever that means) and put down the US Weekly for a while, well then that’s what I have to do. I will never be a politician. I will be a parent, and that's where my politics lie.

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