I've mostly been away from friends, family and coworkers at a training session for the past 2 days so I've been a bit isolated from the excitement of the good news about marriage equality. I've been trying to read everyone's posts about it on breaks, but haven't really been able to talk about it with anyone yet.
Honestly, I hadn't really stopped to think about it much until now. Let me start by saying that I am 101% happy about this giant step (leap) and it really does make me feel more like a legitimate citizen of this country. And that's a big deal because I never really have before. And I also recognize that most of "my people" still don't have it.
That's the thing. I grew up in Texas where I lived a mostly closeted (and frequently scared) existence, outside of immediate friends and family. I've worked as a Show Tech for most of the time since then and, though it is better, it still really isn't a very gay-friendly environment overall. But now I work for a Creative Company and live in L.A. I'm still getting used to the idea that it's OK to be me. I'm totally out and happy, but I still find that I have to convince myself of that sometimes. The decades of programming isn't always easy to overcome. I've always been a 2nd class citizen and marriage has always been a thing that I'm not allowed to have, let alone think about.
But now I CAN think about it, and it feels so weird. Like severely weird. Like I've been blind my whole life and now I can see. I don't even know what to do with this new ability. I'm serious. This is something I thought I'd NEVER see happen in my lifetime even with all the advancements in recent years. I should be overjoyed (and I am), but I'm also scared to death. "Congratulations, you can fly now. Watch out for planes."
I guess the strange reaction is due to the fact that I think I have a responsibility somehow. Am I supposed to race to the courthouse? Do I get down on one knee or will that happen to me? Do I have to do cake tastings and pick out invitations and stuff? Oh lord, I'm going to need a gay marriage sherpa!
Danny and I have been together for 16 years and we've called ourselves married and had rings (until I lost mine) and we call each other "husband". We're already married in our hearts and minds and have been for a really long time. Would we be doing it just for the benefits? Is that even OK or does it somehow reduce the importance of the whole thing? Am I not taking this serious enough? Or too much?
I think that is what I'm most angry about when it comes to equality. It's not that the "other side" says bad things about me or tries to keep me oppressed. It's that in all this time, they've somehow subtly trained me to doubt my own value. To doubt my own sense of what I deserve as a human being. To doubt my own equality.
I think I need to do something about that. I need to be the citizen that I'm slowly becoming. I need to exercise my rights. I think this will be the last time I think about this at all. I'm just going to do it, because I can, I deserve it, and most importantly, I want it.