This Memorial Day, I rehearsed my performance piece for the final time before I do the public exhibition of it, and I can't think of a better way to participate in a holiday recognizing those who have fallen in defense of the liberties we hold so dear.
I have never served. I doubt I would even be accepted, given my health problems. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate the service the men & women of the military provide; from the lowest-ranking army band drummer, to the specialists who defuse weapons of mass destruction, they all have earned my respect for their service.
They were all a part of the system that is in defense of our country. Though you may find my political voice is a little less respectful than you might desire, I do love the ideal that America provides.
With that love at the forefront of my mind, I conceptualized a performance piece that argues my point in a caustic, and dare I say obtuse manner.
When we try to legislate love, we strangle ourselves as Americans and forego the freedom our military has died for.
This piece was conceived when Indiana passed a bill allowing businesses to discriminate based on religious ideals. It has grown to so much, more, however, as I opened my mind and heart to communities that I personally have little to no involvement with.
In short.. Those who would say, “No, I won't serve you, because you are gay”, is no different than the oppression we escaped when we came here, because it opens up the door to all sorts of exclusionary behavior, creating the potential for even more hate for the ideals of a person who has done no wrong to humanity, and made no effort to oppress the rights of the existing oppressors.
Did you know that Memorial Day is rooted historically with remembering Union soldiers? Soldiers who fought and died for, among other things, freedom for an oppressed group of people in America?
We are supposed to be past the days of Jim Crow. We are not.
That is why I will suffer in public on May 29th; 7PM, to exhibit the reality of the legislation of love, and how conservative politics hurt humanity.
View the piece at Gallery 605 in Quincy, IL. Talk with me. Tell your friends. Let's have a discussion, not because of hate, but because we are free to do so, as people, and men and women have died for that right, and many more. Let's talk about legislating love.