This weekend I'm going home — to North Carolina, for my sister's graduation. Then to Virginia for a few days to spend time with my family.
I find myself anticipating the weekend with bittersweet feelings, which is strange because I've been so excited about this trip for weeks: escaping the city, seeing my best friends, basking in the springtime sun of my two home states, playing with this puppy, reuniting with fam from far and wide, ignoring responsibilities for at least a little while.
But last night an amendment was added to the North Carolina constitution, by popular vote, that will not only diminish the rights of same-sex couples, but also could harmfully affect those in civil unions, victims of domestic partnership violence, and the children of unmarried or single parents. I'm devastated and disappointed by these results, by the fact that those who voted FOR this amendment outweighed the thousands of passionate people who worked so hard to keep it from passing. I still have faith in North Carolina and believe this can be overturned, that justice will prevail in time — but it's hard not to get disheartened when facing how far we still have to go to ensure basic rights for everyone, not just in North Carolina, but in places all over the country and all over the world.
I choose to leave you on a cheery note, just as I'm sure my visit to NC will leave me renewed with hope. So here are some pictures of the cherry blossom trees at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. We visited two weeks ago, right at the end of their peak, when the flower petals were dusting down over the heads of happy chatting families.
I never understood the fascination with cherry blossoms until now. They're certainly breathtaking...though the best part is watching cute kids shaking the branches, dancing in the petals and crying "It's snowing! It's snowing!"
Update: May 9, 2012: President Obama takes a definitive stand for same-sex marriage — the first U.S. president ever to do so.