On the walk home from work, I saw two boys who could not have been more than 12 holding hands in front of me. Then, one of them swept in and pecked the other one on the cheek. Instead of being all disgusted, which is what you would expect, the other boy grinned back and swatted at him, and this devolved into a bit of a punch-you-punch-me thing. Then they stopped punching each other, the one who had swatted first kissed the other boy on the cheek, and then they started holding hands again, and began conversing about AWESOME MONSTER TRUCKS.
It was one of the most uplifting things I have seen in my life. They were acting exactly the way straight kids that age act, where they are shy and very sweet about kissing, and with no pretension. They didn’t act the way people expect gay boys to act– they were in no way effeminate; they were very boyish little boys with high top sneakers and denim shorts and oversized tee shirts. But they were kissing and holding hands. In public. On a crowded city street. And that says something about how people’s perceptions are changing. That two very young boys are okay with not only telling each other that they like each other, but letting strangers know.
This is in sharp contrast to what is going on in a country where, according to their President, this would never happen because they don’t have homosexuals.
I have a few things I would like to say based on some misconceptions I have seen from other people. I have seen a few people point out that Moussavi may not be any better a man than Ahmadinejad. That is beside the point.
We, Americans and Europeans and anyone else reading this or watching the news or checking Twitter or anything else, we do not have a right to choose Iran’s leadership. We can have opinions about the candidates, but our opinions about the candidates have nothing to do with the issue at hand. The issue at hand is not even whether the election was rigged (although it seems pretty obvious it was.) The issue is that people have a right to complain and protest and question the system and not worry about being censored or silenced or, more importantly, beaten or killed. They have a right to say it was rigged and not fall victims to human rights atrocities. It does not matter who the election favors. It is not about that. It is about a country’s leadership doing everything but leading. It is about the right of these people to choose their government and then to expect that that government will answer to them.
The way the Iranians have responded to this makes me ashamed that we in the US did so little when we had an obviously corrupt election in 2000. Which brings up another point. I’ve seen people say this is just like our Presidential election in 2000. The fact of the matter is that there will never be a wholly uncorrupt election. The whys and hows are not the point. The point is that why the hell weren’t we doing anything about it? How much braver and stronger are the Iranian people who are out in the streets risking (and in some cases, giving) their lives to have a fair election? It makes me feel ashamed that we were so complacent, that we just sat back and let things run their course, when we live in a country that wouldn’t have shut down our access to the outside world, that wouldn’t have put dissenters under house arrest or killed students if they questioned the outcome of the election. It makes me feel like I didn’t do enough in my own country, that these people are willing to do so much when the risk is so high. And because of that I feel like I should do everything I can to help them, even from half a world away.
I’m about to go out to Union Square to join the rally in support of the Iranian protesters. I know they have been shut off from the world but I hope that, though it might not do much for them, they can feel the love and support, the admiration and outrage that so many of us are feeling for them. You are not alone. None of you are alone and every one of you is an inspiration to the rest of the world.
Mirrored from Antagonia.net.