I’m still jump-up-and-down, throw-confetti happy about the fact that gay marriage is legal. As someone who is not that crazy about the idea of marriage for myself, it’s obviously not because I’m super-stoked that I’ll someday get to throw some kind of fancy party and make a registry full of kitchenware, or whatnot. Most of the marriages I’ve come into close personal contact with have been pure miserable affairs, but this new law of the land means so much more than an uptick in marriage and divorce rates… it’s like the ultimate “WE WON” of gay civil rights in the US, right? It’s like, our kids get to grow up with this official stamp of approval on the fact that love between two people of any gender is ok, is valid, is equal.
It’s an amazing feeling.
I don’t blog about being gay that much because… well, what is there to write about? I’m not a teenager in a small town coming out anymore, I’m not a 20-year-old with a shaved head going to lesbian-centric concerts anymore. It’s still part of my identity, sure, but my blog is about single parenting and adoption and foster care because that’s my life. That’s where I am. Happily, being non-straight has just become like having brown hair, or being short. A characteristic, but not a defining one. It also helps that I work in a liberal city, and if any of my co-workers harbor homophobia they’ve never made it known (this unit, not the last unit I worked on!). I had a relatively easy coming-out as a 16-year-old, an accepting family, and a spirituality that did not require any sort of grappling.
But still… I was alive when Melissa Etheridge came out, when Ellen came out on her sitcom, when it was a HUGE big deal when the first state legalized gay marriage, how I held my head higher every time I visited Canada. I remember thinking, sure, I’ll say “I do” whenever someone asks me to get married, because it won’t really be real anyway. I can walk away from it just as easily as if we weren’t married. My relationships were always to the side of the taboo, outside of the mainstream. Illegal.
So, it matters. It matters to my dignity and my pride. It matters to my self-esteem. It matters to my overall life satisfaction. Our country has come a long way, such a long way that my facebook feed is littered with rainbow-tinted straight family and friends’ profile photos. Presidential candidates have rainbow-colored mottos. The president of the USA addressed the nation and celebrated gay rights for all to see. 60% of Republicans in some polls don’t even really care that much about it anymore. When I someday tell my daughter how terrible it was when I was growing up for gay kids, and a hundred times worse for generations past, she will think it’s as crazy as I always thought illegal interracial marriage was.
It. Is. Amazing.
I may never get married myself, but the equality? Oh it feels so good.