From YDNC Secretary Zoe Riddle-Fawcett:
I woke up yesterday morning with hope. For months, I refused to listen to those who said we were fighting an impossible battle. In a society that was built on and continues to thrive off of inequality, one must always have hope. When I heard Amendment One had passed, the emotions I felt were almost unbearable. The hope I had managed to hold onto had been crushed. I looked down at the "I'm Voting AGAINST Amendment One" pin still attached to my purse and tears immediately began to pour from my eyes as I thought of all the citizens in North Carolina whose lives will be unjustly disrupted by this amendment.
I've lived in North Carolina my entire life, and although I am not proud of yesterday's results I am here for a reason. The thought of leaving hasn't crossed my mind once. Leaving a place that supports inequality does not solve inequality. If every person who voted against Amendment One left North Carolina, there would be no hope for change; no hope for justice.
I've learned from this tragedy that we who belive in a just world are capable of coming together. We may not have succeeded the way we had intended, but we fought hard. Young women on my campus came together from completely different political and religious backgrounds and worked tirelessly to take a stand against this amendment. I am so proud of my Salem sisters for that. I am so proud of every person who took time out of their busy lives to fight against. That hard work has not gone unnoticed.
It is easy to be discouraged by the passage of this amendment. As a sociology major, most of my days are spent reading, writing, and discussing the reality of the oppression of those who are not white, straight, or an identifiable member of the male gender. I have days where I come close to losing all hope; I have days where I envy those who live a life of blissful ignorance. On those days I have to remind myself that if I were to give up hope, I would be giving up on everything I know to be true. I refuse to be a pessimist. I refuse to believe the world as it is now is how the world will always be. Our society was built by people; therefore, it can be changed by people.
Even after the heartbreaking loss we witnessed last night, I still stand by my convictions: we are not fighting an impossible battle. We will prove that no one should be denied life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, even if those pursuits may differ from the dominant narrative.
For as long as I can remember my mother has told me that "beauty comes from goodness." I was put on this earth to help make our world a beautiful place, and I will dedicate the rest of my life to doing just that. Everything is connected; hate, prejudice, greed, and ignorance adversely affect us all, not just those being directly oppressed in the process. With that said, I hope that those of you reading this will join me in furthering the transformation of our society from one in which oppression is sport to one in which we value every human being on this planet. Period.
My hope was crushed last night, but the bellows are already at work expanding that hope yet again. This amendment will not prevail over our us. We shall overcome.
Zoe Elizabeth Riddle-Fawcett