Beneath a Cloudless Sky

Shortly after we moved into our house in 1996, Luisa and I hung a rainbow flag off the front of our house.  It felt like staking a claim – we were creating a home together – and every day I’d come home from work and smile as I saw that flag fluttering in the wind.

And then one day, we came home to find that the flag had been burned.

I could not believe that someone would walk into my yard and set that flag on fire, could not fathom that kind of hate. So, I stood under a cloudless sky and wondered aloud if the flagpole had been struck by lightning.

I have always had an irrational belief in the goodness of people.

This story came back to me this morning as I drove my kids to school and the conversations turned to the anti-marriage amendment once more. They talked about the most recent polls and the places they have spotted “Vote Yes” yard signs.

The discussion is inescapable.

Yes, I want to marry my partner – not because it will change our lives but because it means something to our kids. But, I also know that the anti-marriage amendment is about more than marriage. It is meant to frighten and divide us. It is meant to drive conservatives to the polls in a presidential election year. It diverts our money and attention from the real issues of poverty, housing and health care.

It is a distraction.

It distracts all of us from the the broader issues and it distracts me from my family.

That is the irony here. While people around the state talk about whether or not I should have the right to marry my partner, we are busy raising a family.

The kids need pants now that the weather has turned colder. We are out of bread. The kids have soccer practice and martial arts classes and guitar lessons. There is homework that needs to be done. We have a fundraiser for the kids’ school that we need to plan. Parent-Teacher conferences are coming up. Both kids need haircuts. There is laundry to do and we really need to clean out the fridge.

I am tired in all the ways that parents are tired. I am tired from balancing work and family. I am tired from the sleep lost when your children have insomnia or nightmares. I am tired from early mornings and late nights and trying to get everything done.

And I’m tired in ways that only some parents know. I’m tired of my relationship and family being used as political tools. I’m tired of feeling guilty because I should be doing more to fight. I’m tired of explaining anti-marriage billboards and yard signs to my children, of trying to help them make sense of bigotry. I’m tired of having to reassure my children that no matter how people vote on the marriage amendment, we will be fine. I’m tired of trying to teach my kids compassion and kindness when they see so little shown to their family.

After the election, no matter what the results, I will get up in the morning and love my partner. I will wake my kids and make them breakfast and take them to school and tell them I love them.

Nothing will change.

I will remain defiantly optimistic. I will still be the kind of person who can stand beneath a cloudless sky and believe that the flames licking at my heels are caused by lightning. Because, when I can no longer do that, when I can no longer tell my kids that people are basically good, that’s when I’ll know I’ve truly lost.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.  ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 

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162 Responses to Beneath a Cloudless Sky
  1. Nichole
    October 25, 2012 | 3:18 pm

    I love you, lady. I’m sharing this all over the darn place.

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 3:25 pm

      Aww thanks and back at ya.

  2. Kaitlin
    October 25, 2012 | 4:10 pm

    This is so beautifully put. Thanks for sharing this with us, friend.

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 4:55 pm

      Thanks for reading.

  3. Laurie
    October 25, 2012 | 4:14 pm

    I’m sorry you had to write this, but I’m glad you did. It’s the best I’ve read on this subject. Beautiful, sad, and true.

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 4:55 pm

      I feel better having written it.

  4. Sandi G
    October 25, 2012 | 4:27 pm

    Now that I’ve dried my eyes after reading this…. can I just say WOW. Because in the end for our families it isn’t politics it is our life. So well done.

    Thank you for continuing to be optimistic!!!!!

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 4:56 pm

      Optimistic or naive. Not sure which is accurate.

  5. Connie Grimes
    October 25, 2012 | 4:52 pm

    Vikki, it breaks my heart that you and your family have to deal with such hate and ignorance. I hope you maintain your optimism and know that there are those of us, like you, who are trying our best to raise a generation that is better.

  6. Connie Grimes
    October 25, 2012 | 4:55 pm

    Sorry, didn’t see my previous comment, so re-commented, feel free to delete one of them as they are essentially the same. Love you Vikki and I am so glad you are able to put this issue into words that can maybe touch someone’s heart and change a mind or a million. I’ve shared it on my Facebook page with those very hopes in mind.

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 4:58 pm

      I was away from the computer and couldn’t approve your comment – that’s why it didn’t show up. You won’t ever have to be approved again :)

      Anyway, thanks for your comment and for sharing my story. I do believe that our kids will usher in a new dawn.

  7. Jennie
    October 25, 2012 | 5:07 pm

    Vikki, I gotta share this. You’ve said it all, so beautifully. It infuriates me when people say “what about the children?” as the central argument for voting yes, and you’ve so wisely told us what is most important if one really cares about the children. The line about “because it means something to my children” just killed me, because that is the thing that would be hardest in all of this.

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 5:15 pm

      Thanks Jennie.

    • Stacy
      October 25, 2012 | 5:51 pm

      Ditto, Jen. Thanks so much, Vikki. I will also be sharing this, if that’s okay. I honestly haven’t seen it said better.

  8. Blazer
    October 25, 2012 | 5:15 pm

    I am sure it is just hormones, but this brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry you and the kids need to go through this. I hate that our rights are subjected to a ballot initiative. After our Prop 8 ordeal, it took me a while to get back my faith in humanity. I hope your election goes better.

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 5:16 pm

      Marriage equality is inevitable. The only question is when it will happen and how much hate the issue brings to light in the meantime.

  9. Kelly
    October 25, 2012 | 5:26 pm

    Beautifully said.

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 8:40 pm

      Thanks Kelly.

  10. Justine
    October 25, 2012 | 5:55 pm

    I am angry and saddened. I want you to know that I will cutabitch* if you ever need me to, b/c you’re that awesome.

    *with my words, of course

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 8:41 pm

      Before I leave this world, I want to standby and watch you cutabitch with your words. I want to see that!

  11. jana
    October 25, 2012 | 6:25 pm

    I’m sorry you had to write this, but it’s beautiful. And painful. It breaks my heart that we’re still at this point in our country. Here’s to progress. If not for you and your partner (which there should be), then for your children. Your family.

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 8:41 pm

      Cheers to progress!

  12. Polly
    October 25, 2012 | 6:55 pm

    May the issue ultimately bring more love to light than fear. And may our kids come out the other end of the battle with stronger hearts and the irrational belief in the goodness of people you model for them, cloudless skies or no. There’s a lot of us standing right next to you underneath that flagpole, my hope is, more than you know, and enough to turn the tide in MN.

    Thank you for this.

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 8:42 pm

      Amor vincit omnia, right?

      • Polly
        October 26, 2012 | 1:41 pm

        Sooner or later. As you say, the alternative belief is just not conceivable.

        Out here in CA, w/ Prop 8, it was *soooo* close (or felt it), the resources and hours dedicated so so many, what we had to lose was SO PALPABLE, since 18,000 of us DID get legally recognized. So the 11:59pm backslide was like a 2×4 in the solar plexus. My kids were younger than yours are, and so I didn’t have to explain the hate- and lie-filled campaign propaganda to them. But the battle scarred me and shortened my wick with them.

        It’s hard to say when and where the tide will turn, but MN now (and WA, and ME, and MD) feel like as good a time & place as any. Every past such initiative battle has been with silence at the top. Now we have a President behind us. That, plus the truth and love you spread here every day, has got to count for something.

        Thank you again for helping to put faces and hearts into the issue.

  13. Deb Rox
    October 25, 2012 | 7:04 pm

    Love this, and your family. I do believe it’s just a matter of time.

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 8:45 pm

      Thank you and you are right – it is just a matter of time.

  14. Kate
    October 25, 2012 | 8:40 pm

    I usually quietly lurk, but I wanted to tell you that I thought this was beautiful.

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 8:46 pm

      Thanks for coming forward to comment. I really appreciate it.

  15. Jinna Collins-Jwacu
    October 25, 2012 | 8:55 pm

    Vikki, you are an amazing and inspiring woman and such a gifted writer! Thank you for writing this.

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 9:05 pm

      So many nice words in there. Thanks Jinna.

  16. Shannon
    October 25, 2012 | 8:59 pm

    If I could, I would make everyone read this post before they go to the polls. It is beautifully human. Sometimes I feel like if people could see your perspective and your kids’ perspective – if they could really, truly see it, maybe they could open their hearts a bit. Maybe that’s naive, I don’t know.
    What I do know is that I am hopeful – hopeful that things are changing, hopeful that people will see the equality of your love and mine, hopeful that your children will be able to see their parents marry.

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 9:06 pm

      I don’t think you are naive. I think we are just hopeful.

      • Polly
        October 26, 2012 | 1:48 pm

        Well, and I’d like to suggest that this is *precisely* what changes people’s minds. Honestly.

        Gallup found in 2009 that when you know someone who’s GLBT, your attitudes about marriage equality are *directly* and *significantly* effected: http://www.gallup.com/poll/118931/knowing-someone-gay-lesbian-affects-views-gay-issues.aspx

        And I submit that the stories you tell here, Vikki, bring that right into people’s hearts. This also means, all of us who are GLBT need to be as out as we can, and all our allies need to speak up and share our significance in their lives. This is what’s going to run that clock down faster than anything else. :)

        • Kathy
          October 26, 2012 | 3:44 pm

          I agree with this whole-heartedly. To be honest, as a straight woman I was not always comfortable with the idea of gay marriage. Not that it really matters if I am comfortable with it. But four years ago I joined Facebook and found out after reconnecting with some old friends that a number of them had come out since we were last in touch and were living with their partners, some have children, some don’t, some are married and some aren’t. Most of them are not huge advocates for marriage equality, they are just living their lives and being good people, partners and parents. After awhile this struck me, it opened my eyes, my heart and my mind to the point where I now believe that all people should be able to get married to the people the love regardless of their sexual orientation. Thank you so much for this post. I reminds me of the one you shared with us at Voices of the Year at BlogHer and I appreciate your candidness. Best wishes to you and your family.

          • Vikki
            October 26, 2012 | 3:52 pm

            Thank you for your honesty. We are all learning and when we can to that with respect, we all win.

  17. Beth-Ann
    October 25, 2012 | 9:27 pm

    I am one of the lucky people who got to read your wonderful piece when it was shared. On the day after the election I hope that you and your family will feel the support of so many of us in Minnesota who were energized to stand at your side for this fight. I hope that together we defeat this hurtful amendment. If we are not successful those of us who have been trans formed will stay with you. Maybe you’ll see us at the school fundraiser or even smiling at you from behind that grotty cauliflower at the back of the fridge.

    • Vikki
      October 25, 2012 | 9:37 pm

      Dang it. It IS the cauliflower ;)

  18. Missy
    October 25, 2012 | 10:20 pm

    *Standing ovation!*

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 7:31 am

      *takes a bow* ;)

  19. I Love The Internet | Life with Roozle
    October 26, 2012 | 5:33 am

    […] finally, Vikki wrote a thoughtful post that I can totally relate to about being a two mom family in the middle of […]

  20. Alexandra
    October 26, 2012 | 6:25 am

    I’m crying, because I can’t believe someone would burn your flag.
    Why all the hate, people?

    And then I’m crying harder, because I know you–and yes it’s wrong to burn anyone’s flag–but if they knew you and how tremendously gentle you are with life, to everyone, to the world–they’d be so ashamed.

    I know you, Vikki, and you’re a lot like me. The way you were wounded by what they did is something I can’t explain with words, but it’s a sock to my stomach.

    I hate that this is going on.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 7:32 am

      You have one of the kindest hearts I know.

  21. tracy@sellabitmum
    October 26, 2012 | 6:31 am

    Beautiful. Painful. True. May I share around? Love you.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 7:32 am

      Thank you and feel free!

  22. Rosstwinmom
    October 26, 2012 | 6:34 am

    I love your family. Wish my family lived next door to you. My boys love rainbows.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 7:32 am

      Imagine the shenanigans if we lived next door!

  23. jen
    October 26, 2012 | 6:42 am

    love. this.
    thank you thank you thank you for sharing & writing.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 7:33 am

      Thank you and thank you for taking the time to comment.

  24. Patrick
    October 26, 2012 | 6:52 am

    Thank You for writing this, and for remaining hopelessly optimistic. Many blessings on your family from a strait Wisconsin couple who admire both the quiet and outspoken warriors in this insane election year.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 7:33 am

      Thank you so much.

  25. mrshiggison
    October 26, 2012 | 6:54 am

    This is incredible. Well done you. For this, and for those inclusive, empathetic, love-based children you will release into the world to live alongside mine.
    Bravo.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 7:34 am

      The next generation is going to be pretty amazing, don’t you think?

  26. Melinda Hamby
    October 26, 2012 | 7:12 am

    I think I may not be able to be as optimistic as you, were I in your shoes. I get crazy over anyone hurting my family, even in emotional ways. I can’t imagine what your family goes through over this issue. It is absolutely shameful that someone would walk into your yard and burn your flag. It is absolutely shameful that someone would deny your family their rights as a family. They say “what about the children?” Well, there you go, they are hurting children in these families and shame on them. I think you are awesome! And I am proud to know you.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 7:35 am

      They aren’t really thinking about any of the children, mine or those in traditional families.

  27. darcie
    October 26, 2012 | 7:13 am

    I hate that we even have to vote on such a thing – but I am hopeful that everyone will make the right decision, and that one day, everyone will have the same rights to love whom they wish.
    xxoo

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 7:35 am

      Equality is coming. It can’t be stopped.

  28. June
    October 26, 2012 | 7:16 am

    I too will be sharing this all over the place. Thank you Tracey for sharing this with me and all your fb friends

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 8:29 am

      Thanks to Tracy and thanks to you.

  29. Roberta
    October 26, 2012 | 8:02 am

    This is heart-wrenching and beautiful and articulate. It kills me that you spend time explaining hateful anti-marriage propaganda to your children. I don’t understand that prejudice, that ignorance, and I never will. Please know lots and lots of us stand with you and do what we can to fight for a right that should so easily be yours. It’s coming, the tide is turning.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 8:30 am

      We can only hope that these attempts to divide us are last gasps of desperation.

  30. Susan
    October 26, 2012 | 8:12 am

    Just nodding over here, with tears in my eyes. Sometimes you think you’re doing so well and everything is just fine, and then — enough! It’s too much work to carry on in the face of this kind of stuff, but you have to, so you do. And one day this will change, because of the strength of people like you.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 8:31 am

      It will change because of people like all of us…the ones who put their lives out there.

  31. Goon Squad Sarah
    October 26, 2012 | 9:59 am

    Seriously beautiful.

  32. Laura @ Mothering Spirit
    October 26, 2012 | 10:20 am

    Beautiful and heart-breaking all at once. This brought tears to my eyes this morning – I hope it is shared widely in these weeks before the election, because this is the voice that need to be heard: honest, brave, relatable, simple and everyday. Thank you.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 3:34 pm

      Thanks so much.

  33. Mark
    October 26, 2012 | 11:42 am

    Thank you for sharing, and you can bet your hard earned motherhood, I’m sharing it with everyone I know. Once this fight has a face, a personhood, if you will, it will no longer be a fight. Thank you!

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 3:35 pm

      Thanks Mark. This is one of the reasons I blog…

  34. Karolina
    October 26, 2012 | 12:09 pm

    Your blog post reached me via facebook…how unusual =)

    I found myself re-reading it more than once. Although a sad, infuriating subject your post left a giant rainbow at the end of the clouds, which I in awe contribute to your incredible writing skills.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 3:35 pm

      Thanks and I’m glad you left with more rainbow than rain.

  35. Tricia O.
    October 26, 2012 | 12:29 pm

    Just a gorgeous piece of writing.

    It must be hard. But you aren’t in this fight alone.

    xoxo

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 3:36 pm

      Nope. Not alone in any sense of the word.

  36. Katja
    October 26, 2012 | 12:33 pm

    You are so right, it is just a diversion. A tool to galvanize bigoted, close-minded, fearful people to come out and stand up for … what? Their opposition to the right for a family to be together in a way that they choose?
    I’m not American, but we see similar idiocies in Canada, and it never ceases to amaze me that people are taken in by this parlour trick.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 3:36 pm

      Ah…Canada…promise land for The Gays ;)

  37. Sian
    October 26, 2012 | 12:45 pm

    Beautiful post. Thank you.

  38. Jamie
    October 26, 2012 | 12:53 pm

    Beautifully said. Let’s all hope for the best

  39. thedoseofreality
    October 26, 2012 | 12:57 pm

    So well said. You keep loving and raising your family, and we will keep fighting for your right to do that in exactly the same legal context as those of us who happened to marry the opposite sex. Great post!

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 3:36 pm

      Thanks for fighting.

  40. e
    October 26, 2012 | 1:41 pm

    “Defiantly optimistic”

    I love you, Chinchi…

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 3:37 pm

      Joanie Loves Chinchi is going to be the next TV show I pitch ;)

      • e
        October 30, 2012 | 5:49 pm

        And the hair will be spectacular!

  41. Julia Roberts
    October 26, 2012 | 2:09 pm

    I also want for you to have what I have. It makes me sad and mad that you don’t.

    I know the fighting is hard, but it’s okay that you don’t fight hard sometimes and sometimes you do. You know why? There are others fighting for you when you can’t because you’re busy living your wonderful FAMILY life.

    Also? In so many other ways — so, so many — you are fighting BY LIVING YOUR LIFE PUBLICLY because you’re an example to a lot of people who question marriage equality. You’re an amazing example of normal…what with all that waking kids, breakfast making, kid driving around you go.

    I know it sucks to have to be the poster family (I feel you there for other reasons).

    I think we’ll be able to witness this in time. I think we’ll get there. It is coming. I hope one day your kids and my kids won’t even question any kind of marriage, and that they will barely remember a time “when…”

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 3:38 pm

      You made me tear up Julia. I do live my life very publicly. Visibility is so important. I’ve also been doing it for so long that I forget that it is actually a choice, an action. Thank you for the reminder.

      • Julia Roberts
        October 28, 2012 | 10:07 am

        You live publicly well, Vikki. I’m proud to know you.

  42. Kiran@masalachica
    October 26, 2012 | 2:31 pm

    I can’t believe that happened – that people can be so hateful, hurtful, ignorant, narrow-minded – ARGHHH!

    Your family is lucky to have each other – to have the love, support and commitment you give each other. While I hope the law works in your favor, at the end of the day, your lives and your love will continue.

    I am really angry about this. But at the same time, inspired by your forthrightness and your desire to share.

    Peace sister.
    Kiran

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 3:38 pm

      Peace to you!

  43. Jenny
    October 26, 2012 | 2:42 pm

    Vicki, my heart breaks for you, Luisa & your kids. I’m hoping that progress is made in this country. I nearly ran off the road last month while driving through your state. I’m behind you and choosing to be optimistic.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 3:39 pm

      Progress is being made all the time. It’s just slow…

  44. The Domestic Goddess
    October 26, 2012 | 2:43 pm

    Amen and amen.

  45. Kymberli aka JW Moxie
    October 26, 2012 | 3:28 pm

    The Anne Frank quote “In spite of everything, I still believe people are good at heart” came to mind when I got to the end of your post.

    You are why no matter what is or isn’t passed, the others will never win.

    They don’t realize that they can burn the flag on your porch, but they can never burn the love and goodness out of your hearts.

  46. Melisa @ just begin from here.
    October 26, 2012 | 3:41 pm

    What a beautifully written post so full of love for your partner and family, despite the closed-minded hatred by some. I found you through Erin Margolin @ The Gay Dad Project and am so glad I did. I hope you don’t mind if I share a link to a post I recently wrote on this topic – at the risk of it seeming like a shameless plug for my blog, I share it because I live in Washington state and we are trying so hard to get Referendum 74 – Freedom to Marry – passed in this election. It is a pivotal time in our history, and it is my job as a parent to show my daughter that love and kindness are key, and that there are indeed things worth fighting for. http://www.justbeginfromhere.com/2012/10/21/love-is-but-shouldnt-be-a-battlefield/

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 3:53 pm

      I’ll check it out…AND now I can’t get that song out of my head.

  47. Suzanne
    October 26, 2012 | 4:38 pm

    I just don’t understand the “hate” that people spew on this subject, and why they believe same sex marriage would adversely affect their “typical” marriage. IT DOES NOT.

    I believe in time everyone will have the right to marry whom they choose. Just not as quickly as I would like. Progress IS being made, so we have to applaud that and keep pushing the envelope. We finally have an African-American President who is promoting Gay Marriage. Would you have ever believe that possible even 10 years ago?

    We will have equality for all people. Just not soon enough.

  48. Jasmine
    October 26, 2012 | 4:53 pm

    The power of transformation that comes from this kind of vulnerability is potent. It is the kind of power that wells up under all the emotionally charged arguments and silences the voices that scream, “but they are so different from us.” Because ultimately, beyond the misguided religious rhetoric, that is what it is: Fear of what people don’t know. You are a mom, though, and a you live in the status of wife as well… I agree with Julia, living your life so transparently means that just one more person is able to see your humanity as your each for the same loaf of bread standing next to each other in the aisle. I talk to my grandma and her fight for civil rights and she always harkens LGBTQ equality back to her own experiences with bigotry and inequality. “Why people get so afraid… I’ll never know,” she’ll say to me explaining a time when she was physically beaten because a woman was afraid she’d get a disease from using the same toilet as my grandma. My grandma always says, “Our fight is their fight and their fight was ours”. She always says she hopes she lives to see equality for LGBTQ people. She is an 80 something Southern Black woman and she holds the line for you and Luisa, Zeca, and Miguel. I am a woman in a heterosexual marriage and I hold the line for you, Luisa, Zeca, and Miguel. You are my people. Society has drawn a line and puts me, in a heterosexual marriage, and you on opposite sides. Jokes on them. I have my own chalk and I’ll keep drawing bigger and bigger circles until we are all on the inside with no lines between us. There is room for all of us.
    Well…. except Ann Coulter. I’ll draw her a tiny circle and make her sit down by herself.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 9:02 pm

      You made me cry (in a good way) and then you gave me the gift of laughter with that Ann Coulter line. Bless you!

  49. Jane
    October 26, 2012 | 5:13 pm

    I raised my kids single and gay, so I got the hate two ways and totally understand this post. Absolutely… it’s so important for families to name their own self-worth when others tell them they have none. It’s crucial to retain some hope and optimism, even when the worst of humankind is all over the news, in the papers, on neighborhood lawn signs.

    It’s knowing that the good exists — and that it’s our job to keep it so — that makes the bad bearable.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 9:03 pm

      People seem to always find ways to make someone else “other” or to divide us. The good does exist and you are right – we have to make sure that it continues to exist.

  50. Ann
    October 26, 2012 | 5:24 pm

    Devastating beauty in the writing, devastating frustration at the injustice, and yet no devastation because your life and your family will prevail.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 9:04 pm

      You are very good with the words ;)

  51. Deborah Klein
    October 26, 2012 | 5:41 pm

    As another tired overworked parent, albeit in a happy hetero marriage, I’m sorry you have to bear the addition burden of not having you and your family’s choices supported. You know, in the long run, we are all just trying to do our best for our kids and live happy productive lives. We are voting no, and have put money where our mouths are. Best wishes to you and your family

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 8:58 pm

      Thank you for all of this – the reading, commenting, voting and good wishes. I wish the best for your family too.

  52. Debbie - Wrinkled Mommy
    October 26, 2012 | 6:03 pm

    Our system is so broken in so many ways. Everything needs a complete overhaul. I loved your post and how much feeling you put into it.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 8:59 pm

      Yes it is. Not for just my family but for so many more.

  53. Jjiraffe
    October 26, 2012 | 6:45 pm

    Vikki, wow. I remember seeing you read your post about your personal style and how it has evolved (man, the writing!!) at BlogHer and you’ve bottled magic again here. I’d like to believe your flag was hit by lightening, too :( How awful that you, your partner and your kids have to endure this meanness, this worst part of human nature.

    Thank you this message, so eloquently and compellingly told. Off to share!

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 9:00 pm

      Thank you! Honestly, I wasn’t sure I could bottle that magic again ;)

  54. Erin@MommyontheSpot
    October 26, 2012 | 7:49 pm

    Totally moved by your story and inspired my your optimism.

    I love how you eloquently call this bigotry a distraction about the real issues – could not be more true!

    Thank you for writing an amazing post.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 9:06 pm

      Thank you. All of these comments mean a lot.

  55. Nicole
    October 26, 2012 | 8:16 pm

    Beautiful!

  56. Justine
    October 26, 2012 | 8:50 pm

    we were just talking about this in my book group tonight. Thank you for this post, for speaking the raw truth about the distraction of hate, and the permanence of love. I wish that the second kind of tired didn’t happen any more.

    • Vikki
      October 26, 2012 | 9:05 pm

      Seriously. Parents need more naps.

  57. anymommy
    October 26, 2012 | 10:20 pm

    I believe that people are good too and that’s why I just know that eventually we’ll get to equality. It’s just that all the distractions make it take so much longer than it should and I’m sorry for that. It shouldn’t be a fight. This is beautifully written.

  58. Chloe Jeffreys
    October 26, 2012 | 11:01 pm

    As a Christian let me say that I am sorry. This hatred is not born of the Jesus I follow.

  59. Lady Jennie
    October 27, 2012 | 12:50 am

    Hi Vikki,

    I loved what you read at BlogHer – I wanted to say that first. It made me tear up.

    Alexandra sent me here after reading my most recent post called The Reverse Prejudice where I talk about my perspective as a fundamental Christian, who believes that the Bible is the guide for how God wants us to live, but who is ashamed at being associated with Christians who hate. I talk about my desire for us all to be less judgmental, no matter what we believe.

    I don’t know if I treated the subject well, but I would never ever burn your flag. I’d bring you a cherry pie instead. And I hope you would still be up for giving me a hug at BlogHer despite our differing views.

    • Vikki
      October 27, 2012 | 8:27 am

      Make it a lemon meringue pie and I’ll give you that hug ;)

  60. Garry Wells
    October 27, 2012 | 3:55 am

    They say lightning doesn’t strike twice – perhaps we all need to do a little bit more to make sure it doesn’t

  61. Ms. Melom
    October 27, 2012 | 6:32 am

    Thank you, Vikki.

    • Vikki
      October 27, 2012 | 3:46 pm

      You commented!

  62. Ms. Finnegan
    October 27, 2012 | 8:10 am

    Beautifully said — your children are so fortunate to have you and Luisa as parents.

    • Vikki
      October 27, 2012 | 3:46 pm

      Thank you Ms. Finnegan.

  63. Marta
    October 27, 2012 | 8:45 am

    You and your family are beautiful and I don’t remotely understand how anyone could possibly vote yes. I don’t. I hate it. I hate that it’s even something that’s up for consideration. And you’re right nothing will actually change in your family, your love for Louisa will stay the same, except now a piece of paper says you’re less than me and don’t deserve the same rights. And that’s just simply not true.

  64. Penni Scavo
    October 27, 2012 | 11:02 am

    You are such a good writer, Vikki, and obviously a wonderful partner and parent. Stay the course and keep believing. Things have changed for the good in your lifetime and will continue to change for the good,in spite of people who strive to set the clock back.

  65. Casey
    October 27, 2012 | 12:52 pm

    Thank you.

    So much of why I blog is because we are a two mom family just doing all the regular stuff that all families do. We pack lunch. We buy groceries. We miss work for a parent teacher conference. We hug our kid a little too tight sometimes. There’s part of me that hopes that my regular stories of being regular people will help others see us as just that. And maybe they will use their vote to protect us. To protect our families. So we can just continue being regular.

    We went through this HARD in 2004 here in Massachusetts. We were the first, so it was AWFUL. The hate was everywhere. Our friends, our families, they were all there in the middle of it. And not on our side. It was bad. I am so thankful to be in a place where we are done with that for now. Done walking to the store and having to work our way through a fighting crowd of hate just to get lunch.

    Part of me is glad it will be over soon, one way or another, so we can just get back to where we were. But of course, I know, we do still need to fight. Like you, though, I’m tired.

  66. Katherine
    October 27, 2012 | 2:24 pm

    This was such a lovely but heartbreaking thing to read. I think you and Luisa are amazing role models as parents, a loving couple, and community centered people.I know it is tiring to do what you do,but I am so proud to have family members who fight so hard for equality while demonstrating exactly why marriage equality is important. I am glad Emilia is growing up with aunties like the two of you.

    • Vikki
      October 27, 2012 | 3:47 pm

      Kisses to all of you but especially Emelia :)

      • Vikki
        October 27, 2012 | 3:47 pm

        Some Aunt! I spelled her name wrong. Portuguese is hard.

        • Katherine
          October 29, 2012 | 4:48 pm

          I misspelled her name in an email right after she was born, but I blame it on the pain killers. It is also the Swedish spelling. Emilia send kisses back to you.

  67. dianne
    October 27, 2012 | 6:01 pm

    What a world … where love and family is trailblazing and *radical* … and civil rights are on a ballot … on the positive side, there’s no question your kids will affect the future.

    • Vikki
      October 28, 2012 | 8:19 pm

      Yeah…I’ll probably never get over the whole majority voting on the rights of a minority thing.

  68. AA
    October 27, 2012 | 10:32 pm

    This made me cry it was so good. I’ll have to come back later with a real comment!

    • Vikki
      October 28, 2012 | 8:18 pm

      That is a real comment!

  69. Sara Evans
    October 28, 2012 | 1:47 pm

    Thank-you Vikki. I found your blog through my dear friend Cheri, who teaches at the Loft. This is incredibly powerful.

    • Vikki
      October 28, 2012 | 8:17 pm

      Thank you for commenting Sara. I’m so lucky to be able to call Cheri my mentor.

  70. Susan
    October 29, 2012 | 7:12 am

    Parenting and life-long partnership are hard enough without having to endure constant attacks on the validity of the very life you’re creating together. I want my children to grow up understanding that families come in many different configurations – all of which are equal and entitled to the same rights and respect.

    I try to imagine what my already-difficult life with two kids would be like if my husband and I were prevented from marrying. . . if our children were constantly told by the community that our relationship was wrong. . . that our family was somehow substandard. . . and I am lost for words. No one should have to feel like you do.

  71. Wendy Helgeson
    October 29, 2012 | 11:07 am

    What a great post. I’ve shared it everywhere – so thankful to know someone who can articulate the every day reality of this silly hateful political campaign. So honored to know you and your family and all that you share with our community.

  72. Cora
    October 29, 2012 | 12:26 pm

    This made me cry. Optimism for the win. I hope that when I have kids these sort of difficulties are things of the past..

  73. Annie Kat
    October 29, 2012 | 2:50 pm

    I came to read this post following a link on the Facebook page of one of my biological daughter’s moms (Elizabeth). When I was pregnant (and just starting college, and scared to death) connecting with the wonderful women who would become my daughter’s parents helped me see what a blessing the turn my life had taken was. I’m always enormously comforted to remember that such a feeling of hopelessness could turn out to be the root of even greater joy. For what it’s worth, that’s what I thought of, reading this. Thank you :-)

  74. sassygirl711
    October 29, 2012 | 2:54 pm

    shocking and amazing post. you are a terrific
    person. love that I found your website. keep
    writing! thnx.
    sassygirl. :p

  75. Katharine Malaga
    October 29, 2012 | 2:56 pm

    Wonderful story. Wonderful writing.

  76. Andrea
    October 29, 2012 | 2:59 pm

    Thank you for opening my eyes to a thought I hadn’t considered. I have tried to understand what it must be like for partners to watch and listen to decisions being made for or against them, but I never thought of children having to wonder and worry about what ramifications these things could have on their families.

  77. Kana
    October 29, 2012 | 3:12 pm

    Defiant optimism! Believe in the good, however irrationally! The day when we wake up expecting our rainbows to have been burnt out of the sky, it’s over.

    ~ Sending love and support from a hotbed of conservative hickdom ~

  78. Joe
    October 29, 2012 | 3:16 pm

    Beautiful. Stay strong — people ARE good.

  79. Becca
    October 29, 2012 | 3:19 pm

    What outstanding writing. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  80. Secret Agent Woman
    October 29, 2012 | 7:44 pm

    Here via the Empress. I am sorry for that encounter with ignorance. I hope you stay optimistic. I am optimistic with you. It’s a basic civil rights issue you are talking about, and I do believe we will get there. None of us are free until all of us are free.

  81. Galit Breen
    October 29, 2012 | 8:17 pm

    I have no words (which is unusual for me).

    I just wanted you to know that I read and loved and applauded for and loved some more your words, your belief in goodness, and your fierce fight.

    Proud to be shoulder-to-shoulder with you.

    (I guess I had *a few* words. :))

  82. r_slat
    October 30, 2012 | 7:55 am

    Wow. Thanks to Dorothy Snarker for posting the link. This was just a beautiful. The Dr. Martin Luther King quote really resonates as well. Thank you.

  83. Jill
    October 30, 2012 | 2:55 pm

    Hi Vikki,
    I might be a lone conservative here, but wanted to comment anyway. I believe that all of God’s children are richly loved by him, no matter who they are (you, your kids, your partner, the flag burner, the politicians, the voters, all the people :)

    I also wanted to let you know that I’ve never been driven to the polls by an amendment to change marriage laws in either direction. I always vote and have never heard of the idea of using a hot button issue to drive voters in a presidential election year.

    Have a wonderful day! Jill

    • Vikki
      October 30, 2012 | 9:35 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      I believe that you have not been driven to the polls for this reason. But there are people out there who think of things like this and people who respond accordingly.

  84. Brooke
    October 30, 2012 | 8:04 pm

    Vikki

    I posted a link to this on my FB. Thought I would share a comment someone wrote:
    This was a moving story. I posted it to my Facebook. I have to admit that I have been feeling some lack of hope of late, but if this family can remain hopeful I think that I will continue to battle those who are so small and frightened that they cannot open their arms to others.

    Thanks for writing and sharing.

    • Vikki
      October 30, 2012 | 9:33 pm

      Thank you for sharing that with me!

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  86. Abbey
    October 31, 2012 | 2:18 pm

    I saw a link to your post and was so sad to read about your experiences. It wasn’t just the person who burned your flag, but that you have to vote against an amendment to take away a right you haven’t even been given yet. I live in Maryland, where we are voting on an amendment FOR marriage equality, and I feel so happy that I’m in a position to vote to give someone rights, not to take them away. I got marry my soul mate and best friend simply because he’s a man, and I will keep fighting to make sure that everyone else gets to marry their soul mate and best friend as well.

  87. Eva
    October 31, 2012 | 4:53 pm

    I read that out loud to my partner tonight.

    Thank you for sharing, it was beautiful to read and resonates with both of us.

  88. Elizabeth McCambridge
    October 31, 2012 | 8:49 pm
  89. Liz
    November 2, 2012 | 6:50 am

    This is one of the most beautiful posts I’ve ever read.

    Thank you, for making a stand, for having a voice for us, and for speaking out.

    Much love to you and your family xoxo

    • Vikki
      November 2, 2012 | 8:15 am

      Thank you. Love to you and yours too.

  90. Brandi
    November 2, 2012 | 8:47 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing. My partner and I have been together for nine years this November 6. We live in ultra-conservative East Texas, where it’s better to be a leper than gay (see
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Texas). Up until the last few years we had resolved to live a quiet life together, open only to our small circle of friends and some of my family. We never got into the whole gay rights thing, barely noticed when someone used a gay slur, and really weren’t convinced that we should even have marriage rights.

    When our son came to be with us, we started to see ourselves as a family. And it started to bother us that others didn’t see it that way. One of the big wake-up calls we got was during our son’s adoption. Only I could adopt him, and there is no way to tie him to my partner other than to designate her as his caregiver in the event that I die. Then recently, the Chick-Fil-A debacle. Family, friends, coworkers boasting about how they went out and supported protection of “the family.” OUCH.

    Seeing that there are other families out there like ours, who are fighting and speaking out, is incredibly encouraging. It is encouraging us to speak out too. We say that we don’t need a piece of paper to validate our love. But I find myself fantasizing about a wedding with our family and friends there smiling, a chance to declare our love for each other publicly once and for all. And an assurance that our son will always be OURS.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s having more of an impact than you think.

  91. GrandeMocha
    November 2, 2012 | 11:18 pm

    I never thought about, “It is meant to drive conservatives to the polls in a presidential election year.” You are very wise! LOVE this post! You have such a way with words.

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  94. Erika
    November 8, 2012 | 2:13 pm

    Ann Imig sent me to this post. I could’ve written most of this, so thank you for putting it out there.

    • Vikki
      November 8, 2012 | 10:19 pm

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Looks like optimism paid off this time…

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