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.


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