Wednesday was a good day. Finally, after all the effort that has been put forth, the federal government is going to recognize same-sex marriages. And finally, five years after the horrific battle that was Prop 8, it is dead, and it is over. Crowds waving rainbow flags erupted in cheers outside the courthouse in DC. Facebook feeds blew up in celebration. Gay and straight people alike gathered in various cities around the country to celebrate the latest and greatest victory for LGBT rights.
When I heard the news, I was alone at the breakfast table. My roommates were all gone for the day. I scrolled through post after post on Facebook in awe. I’m not married yet or a Californian, so that’s probably why this wasn’t hitting me as hard as it was some people. Then I came upon a graphic by the HRC. A simple three-tiered wedding cake held a double-bride topper. Most of the bottom tier was painted red. It read: “More that 30% of all Americans live in a state with marriage equality.”
Finally, it hit me. Thirty percent. Three-Zero. In between the lines I read: Thirty percent of the places you could live in this country will accept you and protect you. This is when the tears came.
Most recently today, they came in a Youtube video made by Youtube. They compiled several of the coming out videos people had posted, along with a few proposals you might have seen. In the background Macklemore was singing “Same Love.” I broke down again.
When I really think about it, very little has changed on a literal level. Federal benefits covering both spouses. Joint tax returns. It’s just names on paper. But when I saw an instagram pic of my friend at the Stonewall in New York, I knew it was so much more.
What I and so many other people around this country heard yesterday is this: We’re fighting for you. We’re on your side. No longer will we tear you apart. No longer will we turn a blind eye when others abuse you. We the people are throwing our hat in with yours. This is OUR fight.
After so much anxiety, rejection, pain, and tears over the years this was the most incredible thing that could happen. Society is on our side now. The tipping point has passed. Things are getting better, right now! The group of people who will hate and condemn and hurt us is a dying people, growing smaller by the day.
So for me, and for so many others around the country, yesterday meant one word: hope. And all I can say in response is “God bless America.”