Introduction: How to Fight Bigotry in Your Neighborhood
A week ago a team of hate mongers went through the nieghborhood passing out yard signs for proposition 8. This is a tactic to divide our community agaist one another. They don't care because they don't live here.
Proposition 8 seeks to take away the right of gay people to get married, a right we already have. Instead of the traditional definition of marriage as being between two people in love, prop 8 would narrow marriage to two people of opposite sex whether they love eachother or not. Such a law would make cold, barren marriages between people with only a passing interest in procreation the norm instead of a loving bond between two people dedicated to the furtherance of each others' lives and the community they live in.
"The California Supreme Court held that "marriage is ... something more than a civil contract subject to regulation by the state; it is a fundamental right of free men ... Legislation infringing such rights must be based upon more than prejudice and must be free from oppressive discrimination to comply with the constitutional requirements of due process and equal protection of the laws" (Perez v. Sharp (1948) 32 Cal.2d 711, 714-715). The California Supreme Court explained that "the right to marry is the right to join in marriage with the person of one's choice" (Id., at p. 715)."
Using their own yard signs as a template, I decided I would seek to defuse the anti-gay rhetoric by poking fun at them with ...the Village People! If you are going to be gay...be GAY!
Anyone can spread hate. It's old news. Inclusivity and tolerance is the hard work of civilization. Anger and bigotry is easy.
I'm ready to make a difference in the world. Are you?
Step 1: The First Step of Guerilla Warfare...use Your Enemy's Strengths Against Him!
The first tenant of guerilla warfare is to use your enemy's strengths against them. In this case they have flooded our neighborhood with banners. They are easily recognizable. Lets use the recognition against them, shall we?
The logo at the top of the "Yes On 8" banner will do nicely.
However, gay people have a much more fabulous group to put on our banner!
It's fun to stay at the...Y..M ..C ..A!
Step 2: Your Enemy's Strength...
I hope they paid a lot of money to have this poster made because I'm going to shamelesly copy it.
I got out my trusty note pad and started doodling with their logo.
After coming home and finding my neighborhood plastered with these hate signs I saw someone with a closet door left outside for the trash. Ha ha.. great sign stock, and free!
I then channeled the spirit of the village people to turn their hatred into helarity. If you can't beat them, then make fun of them! Ha ha ha. Laughter really is the best medicine, eh?
Step 3: The Basics...
Jimmy and I devided up my little drawing into sections then also divided up my free sign stock into the same 20 sections. We posted everything up on the garage wall and started to draw it out.
A bendy stick make a good ruler for large curved lines.
My original is taped to the garage door at the top. The free closet door is under it. Both are devided into the same twenty sections. This allows you to just fill in one section at a time instead of trying to free hand the whole drawing. It's much easier to scale up this way. If I had a projector that would have been great but there wasn't one in the trash so... We work with what we have.
Start with pencil. You will do a lot of erasing.
Step 4: Go From Pencil to Pen
After using the pencil to get everything about how it should look, we followed up with a pen.
Working with just one section at a time for the main lay out. You then step back and look at the sign from a distance to straighten up errant lines and tweek things until they look right in pencil.
After that, you go over the pencil in black sharpie so you have something you can see better.
I went to the Homo-Depot and bought paint, the same colors the hate mongers used. I hope they paid for a big study to choose just the right colors so I could copy their work.
Step 5: The Light Show
Because I wanted people to know that 8 means hate, I decided to had a little light show to the display.
I measured my hedge row out front and sketched out a lighted display using last year's christmas lights.
Step 6: What It Takes to Drive a Nail
Jimmy helped out with the nail gun to make the sign. I first cut out the general shape using scrap wood.
After drawing it out with a pencil and paper, I picked some arbitrary size based on the size scrap wood I had laying around.
I then made a skeleton of the letters out of the scrap.
The xmas lights were wrapped around and around the letters.
It was easier to use different colors for different letters. I had to tape a few errant bulbs up that ended up between letters. It's recognizable.
Step 7: Ho Ho Ho
No h 8!
Get it? No h8? No hate!
Let's put it on the hedge row shall we?
Step 8: The Sign Is Up!
I used last year's xmass lights to decorate my skeleton sign. It took a little work but it wasn't to hard once things got going. I probably should have painted the sign flat black but I wanted to get it up tonight!
Step 9: Wave Your Flag!
I wanted the people in my neighborhood to know that there were gay people seeing their hateful yard signs seeking to take away our rights as humans. I wanted them to know that what they were doing by posting them was bad because it was an act of division, not of inclusion. I hope that with both humor and seriousness together, they would get a message that says, "Hey, we are all human, let's get along!"
I'm sure that many will get their breast up in anger that I'm poking fun at them. Sorry, but I find the best way I know to fight ignorance is with humor.
I hope you will follow my lead and fight bigotry where you see it. Religion is great if you need its comfort. Just don't expect to use it as a stick to beat your neighbors with. One day you may be in the minority!