My Experience of the Legalization of Same Sex Marriage in America

Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday after the U.S Supreme Court handed down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. Alex Wong/Getty Images

I woke up this morning, and in the begrudging haze of beginning my morning ritual, I tapped open my Reddit app, hoping the dim light of the phone screen would somehow give me inspiration to make it through the eight hours of work standing between me and my weekend. Today, it worked.

I hope i never forget the minute I saw that post. I hope I can tap into that honest, raw, sudden and encompassing feeling of exuberance whenever I’ve had a bad day. Because something today went our way. The Supreme Court finally recognized what we’ve known all along – our right to marry whomever we choose.

I hurriedly woke up my soundly sleeping boyfriend next to me with the news. He mumbled back, “really? They decided on healthcare reform yesterday.”

“Yeah, but this is SAME SEX MARRIAGE!” He was obviously not on my level. A great ally, my supportive, lovely, currently half asleep boyfriend was tragically straight. He hadn’t caught on to how deeply this was affecting me, how the news was lifting me up. He reached out a sleepy hand to stroke my cheek as I beamed down at him, my feet sticking out of the bed sheets in preparation to launch myself into the day.

Bisexual ShirtFor work I chose a shirt with a geometric pattern featuring purple, blue, and pink. It was a day for pride, after all. I slipped the fabric over my head like it was battle armor, but I knew no one I worked with would recognize the subtext. I hadn’t spoken much about my dating life in the sex months I’d been with the company, but my coworkers were aware that I lived with my boyfriend. Straight until proven otherwise. The shirt was for me.

I arrived at work five minutes early. The southern California roads were mystically clearer than usual, and the day was as sunny and bright as I was. I set about my work as usual, the happiness faded into the background of the monotonous typing. On my lunch break, my excitement was brought back to the surface and increased tenfold by numerous Reddit threads, Facebook posts, Snapchat messages and other media by my GSM friends and allies. Through the outpouring, I felt a collective relief. It was like we were all letting out a breath we had forgotten we’d been holding for years now. It was like we were Horton’s Whos shouting “We are here we are here we are here!” from our dust speck of pride parades across the country. We couldn’t be denied any longer.

By the end of my half hour, I was near vibrating from the realization of what this really meant. I had known this day would come, but it was today. It was happening right now. Our children and our children’s children would be able to look back and say, “that’s when it happened. That’s when my daddies could get married.” I wanted to capture every moment. I wanted to somehow seize the day and race off to some pride parade right there and then to be a part of it all. But I still had half a workday left, so I headed back to my cubicle.

A head popped above the partition wall as I arrived. “Did you hear about this?” my cubemate Brian said, pointing to the screen on the far wall of the office. I squinted, trying to see what news banner under the man in the suit was urgently trying to tell us all.

“No. Is it the gay marriage legalization?” I said brightly.

“Nah, they shot one of those escaped prisoner guys.”

“Oh,” I said, not pretending I had kept up on that segment of the news.

“But that gay marriage thing is crazy!”

“Yes! I just got back from reading all these great articles about it at lunch. I’m so happy!”

Brian seemed a little surprised at my overt enthusiasm. “Yeah…now you and your boyfriend can get married.”

Ouch. I reminded myself that he didn’t know I was bisexual, and so my celebration went beyond the expected “good for them.” Nothing could bring me down today.

“I mean, I’m not planning to get married for a few years anyway. Things could change.” Technically accurate. He wasn’t going to force me to come out on his terms. Talking about sexuality in the workplace was not something I wanted to do unless truly necessary. Besides, couldn’t I just be happy about our newfound freedom even if I did want to marry a man?

He laughed as if I had made a joke. I smiled at him politely and put on my headphones to signal the end of our conversation. Time for some #LoveWins jams on Spotify. I was going to get my gay groove on no matter where I was.

Our glorious achievement today doesn’t mean the swift end to GSM relations in every corner of the world, or even in our corner of it. I, however, refuse to let that temper my elation. We can be happy today. Today, I think we deserve to revel in our significant, historic, landmark victory. In writing this, I want to go forth into the battles ahead with today’s triumph in mind. When it looks hopeless, I want to look back onto gifs like this and know that we can affect real change within our own lifetimes in the minds of our peers and the laws of our lands. I want to hold on to this feeling of recognition, of blissful equality, of ecstatic joy for those who have too often felt beaten down, rejected, and ignored. Today is ours, and no one can take it from us.


My Coming Out

A couple weekends ago I came out as bisexual to my mother. My weekly-Mass-attending, very-involved-in-her-Catholic-parish mother. Why? Because it seemed like the time. All my friends knew, my sister knew, and anyone I met knew if it happened to come up. It wasn’t a secret to me. Additionally, I had submitted a piece centering around my bisexuality to a literary magazine. If I felt comfortable sharing this part of myself with potentially the entire world, how could I keep it from my own mother? What had for the past two years seemed like an “oh, it has never come up” ambivalence was morphing into an actively held secret lurking behind every corner of our weekly conversations. When the blue/black or white/gold dress phenomenon exploded all over the internet, I caught myself before joking that, “I probably see it both ways because I go both ways.” I would feel a twinge of guilt whenever she would talk about our “honest” relationship and express how glad she was that we would talk frankly with each other. I didn’t post any pictures of going to my first Pride for fear she would see them. Enough was enough.

I began the planning. I live almost 600 miles from my parents, so seeing them involves a 10 hour drive or a plane trip. I had already decided it was going to be an in person conversation so that a button could not end the potential awkwardness. I would face this head on. My youngest sister’s graduation was coming up, and my ticket was already bought and time off already planned to spend five days there. Now for recon. I called my youngest sister to assess any recent stances on sexuality. It wasn’t until 2 minutes into telling her my plan that I realized she had no clue what I was talking about, because I’d only come out to my other sister. Whoops. She was surprisingly nonplussed, reminded me that the Pope was “okay with it”, and even offered to bring up Caitlyn Jenner to my mom and gauge her reaction. Her repeated comforts of, “It’s fine, Mom will still love you” and “it’s not going to be a big deal” didn’t do much to calm my rising nerves. She was 17, what did she know?

Upon my arrival, I found it hard to get my mother alone. My grandparents, two aunts, uncle and two-year-old cousin were also visiting for the graduation, and the house was already crowded with us four kids and parents. I finally managed to snag her after a night of wine-drinking and general frivolity had caused everyone else to go to bed. I saw my moment as we put away the wine glasses.

I started with the literary zine I had written a piece to, and how I was excited to be writing and possibly becoming published. Her face lit up, but became tempered with concern as I, on the verge of wine and emotion fueled tears, sputtered out that the publication focused on a part of myself we hadn’t spoken about before. There was a silence as I mustered up the nerve. The possibilities flashed in my head. She could cry and spew gospel at me. She could look at me like a stranger. She could renounce me as her daughter. This could be the moment when it all changes. I stared down at the floor between our toes. The comforting swirls and scratches of the wood floor was easier to confront than her searching eyes.



I blinked and felt a tear roll down my cheek. I wouldn’t be ashamed. I lifted my gaze to stare at the cabinets to the right of her head.


“Oh, that’s it? I thought it was going to be bad news.”

Relief flash flooded over me.

She moved her head to meet my eyes, placed her hands on my cheeks, and continued. “Do you really think something like that could make me love you less?”

“I don’t know. It’s not very Catholic of me.”

“Hey, Pope Francis is okay with it! Besides, you’re my daughter and I will love you no matter what.” She was giving me a hard, serious look. I always thought women were more fluid and prone to experimenting anyway. But wait, back to the ‘might be published’ thing! Meg, that’s huge!” She hugged me exuberantly. “I’m so proud of you!”

Basically, my coming out to my mom turned into the “not a big deal” kind of coming out. But truthfully, I feel like I have been “out” for over two years now. My dating profiles and posting history on different forums would easily reveal this information, and saying, “I’m bi” feels natural to me and life-affirming, like I am taking on bi erasure one tiny step at at time. But with telling my mom, I truly feel like I am not hiding myself from anyone. Sure, I haven’t explicitly sat down my brother, dad, and extended family and explicitly told each and every person I’ve ever known, but knowing my family matriarch is on my side makes all of that just not seem like a big deal. I can just be me and know my fierce, protective, stubborn, self-assured, loving mom will be on my side. And I know I have picked up a lot of those traits from her.

That’s why I want to keep this as a blog rather than a traditional diary. Sort of a shrugging off of the last vestiges of the closet. Not hiding anything. I have some ideas already of stories I want to get on paper (so to speak) about figuring out my sexuality and the ups and down of being bisexual. I know that some other people out there may also have had similar feelings or might be just starting out in their questioning. If they find their way here, I can hope they take comfort in knowing someone else went through the same thing and that there’s not just the black and white of hetero and homosexual.