I managed to catch the tail end of the rally as I lumbered across Hargett St. A dwindling processions of sign carriers, with stickers and pins adorning them saying things like "Keep Hate out of Our State", and "Hate is NOT a family value". I felt a gnawing anxiety that hadn't abated. Police officers skirted the perimeter of the rally point in groups of two or three, shades on, watchful. Late to the party, I scanned the retreating parties for signs of life, for the collective temperature of the proverbial room and moved further in.
It was then I, and a trio of police officers heard shouting. We all turned, with the cops exchanging steady gazes and me peering out and over the railing and down towards the corner. A large part of me wanted to be a part of the debate and public discourse I felt I'd missed while at my staff meeting, I somehow told myself that being around people who were equally dismayed over the shenanigans of state politics would be cathartic. I spent a great deal of time both looking at want ads outside of the state the night before, and mieandering back and forth between dismay and indignation at the turn of events. I wasn't sure what I expected out of riding the coattails of the rally, maybe some closure or a chance to understand the local color on the topic of the day, but the scene was ..interesting to say the least.
As I approached the source of the disturbance I encountered two southern gentlemen who seemed to be concerned with how much hell I was going to enjoy. I stopped when I watched a tall man condesending about praying for a long suffering, tiny redheaded lesbian and decided to enter the fray. We had a civil discussion about belief, subjective truth, and civil liberties. He kept going off topic (evolution is a ridiculous theory!!!) and I kept returning him to my original premise "Should my belief system dictate yours?",he was civil and I was tactful and it wasn't until he started saying that because we say "One Nation Under God" in the pledge that we've all cosigned being a theocracy, that I told him he was batshit crazy. After I reminded him that wasn't initially in the pledge of allegiance in the first place. He and people like him fully operate as though our nation is supposed to enforce God's Will (tm). And I'm learning that sort of belief is highly, highly resistant to reason.
He shook the hand of the tiny woman he'd been alleging he was going to pray would be "changed", and she, with a kindness I don't think I could have mustered, nodded and held his gaze. I waved after him as he stormed off, saying "Have a nice day, sir.".
I then plopped down on the curb and had a most satisfactory conversation with the woman in question; about the immediacy of needed change vs the "wait for change" meme, and how a changing of tactics might be in order if SB 514 is to be countered. We parted ways, myself feeling in better spirits and musing on the peculiarities of the worlds we inhabit.
With that in mind, I think I may have found my anthem for facing this coming conflict. A Fine Frenzy- Stood Up. Pretty badass, right?