So there are certain dates that people remember where they were when something specific happened. The Kennedy assassination, the moon landing, the Challenger explosion. My dates are a little bit different.
June 26, 2003. I’m sitting my office in Rosslyn overlooking the courtyard where the beauty school students would soon gather for their lunch break. I’m constantly re-freshing my browser when I see it. The Supreme Court has ruled against Texas’ sodomy law in Lawrence vs. Texas. It’s hard to quantify or describe the impact of that ruling on me. Despite (or maybe because) being born and raised in a religious environment (Episcopalian thank God!), I’ve always believed that God loved me. But hearing the Supreme Court ruling makes me start to cry. I close the door to my office and I text my best friend and former boyfriend to share the news. It’s like a door to a whole new, unexpected, future just opened before me.
November 8, 2008. I’m in Puerta Vallarta on a gay vacation. I’m in the hotel bar with my laptop and a cocktail. As one does. I settle in for a long night of election watching. The US makes history in electing our first African-American president. But the people of CA vote against same sex marriage. It’s like a weird sucker punch. If we can’t have marriage in CA, where can we have it?
May 24, 2012. John and I are sitting on the beach at the Four Seasons Resort on Nevis in the Caribbean. As the sun sets, we are sipping some bad champagne given to us by the gay couple we met on Antigua. We talk about out future. John’s new job. Getting married. Moving to Arlington. It’s all good. And yet not to be.
June 26th, 2013. I’m in San Diego for work. I hear that the Supreme Court has overturned Prop 8. Marriage equality is the law of the land in CA. I go to Hillcrest, the gayborhood in SD, and march with the masses to celebrate. I drink too much. I start to cry. That’s normal, right?
June 26th 2015. At work again. I know the ruling is coming and while I know, I hope, I believe, that the Supreme Court will make the right decision, I’m still on the edge. And then I see it on the internet. The Supreme Court has ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples. I say “yes!” probably a bit too loud and then go close more door. I read the legal reviews as the tears run down my face.
Tomorrow I will march in the National Equality March for Unity and Pride. I’m not a marcher. That’s not my style. But I’ll do it. Our President, while not authorizing outright discrimination against LGBT contractors, has relaxed the regulation requiring federal contractors to provide documentation about their workplace policies. It’s like a bizzaro version of DADT. And we know how well that worked. The President has also signed a “religious liberty” executive order that will allow organizations to discriminate against the LGBT community. As Jesus would want them to do, one assumes. But these policies are wrong and un-American. So I’ll march. To stand up for what I believe. To make sure that those who come after me have all of the rights and responsibilities that most Americans take for granted.
Happy Pride Everyone!