On June 26th, 2015, my life changed. Not only did I gain rights as an American citizen, but my heart grew to accept myself even more than I already had. Before that day, I would joke with friends about my gayness. Countless jokes about “I can’t even get married in this state!” and the likes of it. I think I made those jokes to ease the pain of what I was really feeling. Straight people don’t get it. They might “get it” but they don’t live with it. They don’t have to walk away from conversations where people are talking about “Gays going to Hell,” they don’t live in fear of holding someone’s hand of the same gender, and they don’t know what it’s like to live years of suppression.
I dated a girl for over a year of my life. Part of me thinks it was to grow a beard for who I really was, and the other part of me thinks I just didn’t really know myself at that point in my life. I’ve also dated men. There is a big difference being seen holding a man’s hand in public over a woman’s hand, and I’m clarifying this because I’m sure most people were saying “Be proud of holding a man’s hand, Garrett, it doesn’t matter!” –But it does. And it sucks. Because I read stories of people who get the shit beat out of them for acting who they are.
Why does all of this matter? Because up until the morning of June 26th, 2015, I felt like I didn’t matter as much. I’m not trying to be a sob story right now, but it’s true; Up until that morning, I felt like there was a war going on between Love and Hate, and Hate was surely going to win. Up until that morning, I thought the rest of my life would consist of me feeling eerie about holding my significant other’s hand in public out of fear. And I’m not saying I won’t experience closed-minded people because of a Supreme Court ruling, but I think things will get better.
“Loving” Christians are speaking out against the ruling:
- “Call it something else–marriage has been defined,” they say.
- “I love you, I respect you, but marriage is between man and woman,” they say.
- “What does this mean for polygamists? This surely opens the door for them,” they say.
- “This is a dark time in our nation’s history,” they say.
- “This country does not care about protecting my religion,” they say.
And the rest of us open-minded folks are speaking out for equality:
- You have your own definition of marriage. Not saying it is wrong or right, but it is not the same as everyone else’s. THIS WAS A LEGAL CASE. Meaning the Supreme Court justice’s (You know those “unelected lawyers” you refer to as if they are uneducated and small-minded.), had to offer LEGAL arguments in order to further this case. In order to be a voice for the many voiceless Americans, they can’t rely solely on professions of faith as a legal argument. They have to address real life issues that are pertinent to today’s American culture rather than “Here’s these 10 verses from a book written thousands of years ago, passed down through storytelling, and translated several times with a mix of probable completely false accounts of what really happened to these characters” to make their argument. Also, if I’m going to be married to a man, it’s going to be called a fucking marriage. That’s what it is. And I will make dinner like straight marriages, take the kids to soccer practice like straight marriages, have sex like…..wait. Well it’s almost the same as a “traditional” marriage, but better because we are actually good at fashion and interior decorating. Cut the shit with this “civil union” nonsense. Let’s call it what it is. Yes there are two penises. Yes there are two vaginas. No, it doesn’t make it anything less than your marriage because our genetic makeup is different from yours.
- Let’s go back to your definition of what marriage really means to you. If I were to ask you, “What does your marriage mean to you?” I would sure as Hell hope you don’t say “My marriage is a doctrine of rights and obligations between me and my wife (or me and my husband).” No. I would hope your definition of marriage extends to something further than the INSTITUTION of marriage, something many are confusing with the DEFINITION of marriage. If you’re going to take the religious route, think about what makes your marriage holy and spiritual: commitment, sacrifice, love, giving, humility, covenant, and trust for one another. If we are going off this definition of marriage, gays and lesbians have been married since the beginning. (Side note: I don’t care if you love me or hate me, but please love me and hate me unconditionally, without giving me caveats as to why I don’t have the right to marry whoever I fucking want. It doesn’t work like that, Christians. I don’t expect you to understand me, but respect me and go with it anyway. See previous blog post on “Unconditional Love”)
- Issuing a same-sex marriage license is the same as issuing an opposite-sex marriage license. Nowhere on a same-sex marriage license does it say “Check this box for multiple persons involved in your marriage.” People are equating the Supreme Court ruling to “What about multiple marriages now? If you’re going to bring the word ‘equal’ out then what about making it equal for polygamists?” No no no. No. This ruling basically said “Hey, LGBT community, repressed humans who have been dismissed by the legal system for years and years, WE HEAR YOU, and we know your orientation is something we cannot dismiss, something we understand now, and we are going to do something about your role as an American citizen, and ultimately, a human.” To be told “You cannot get married” is thus to be excluded from one of the defining rituals of the American life cycle, denying LGBT citizens the pursuit of happiness, and that is the voice the Supreme Court finally heard. We are not exceptions to the rule, we are now apart of the rule. And to equate people who CHOOSE to be married to more than one person is a false accusation of the direction we are headed.
- To say this was a “dark time” in our nation’s history is to say that bringing families together, uniting citizens of different genders, races, and backgrounds alike, adding love to our hearts, and opening our eyes to a misunderstood community–is “dark.” Last time I checked, we are the UNITED States of America, and we are now getting closer and closer to living out our namesake. (Side note: DARK? Was your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WHITE HOUSE not lit up with Rainbows? Doesn’t seem dark to me!)
- Your religion, marriage, health, children, cities, roads, thoughts, opinions, etc are PROTECTED. If they weren’t protected, Facebook would have a “This is illegal to be this stupid” button to show that your religion, your views, are not protected. What happened is that the Supreme Court decided love was louder than your chants about a bible verse. (See also: separation of Church and State. The Bible is not the Law of the Land–the constitution is….) What happened was that the Supreme Court decided to go with the majority of American’s hearts and minds (almost 70% of people are for marriage equality) and uplift a minority community. What happened was that followers of God found it in their hearts to believe that we should not be de-humanized and finally be treated as American citizens. What happened was that you are very much entitled to your opinion on the matter, but your opinion was not the opinion of the masses. See how that feels? Good. Now you know.
I cried like Kim Kardashian that morning I found out about the ruling (#UglyCrying). I cried for myself, my friends, my family, and those who fought until their death this battle that was finally brought to an end. This country has progressed a lot, and seeing the rainbow flag flying high and the LGBT community dancing around Stonewall Inn really gave me perspective on my own life. Scrolling through facebook, seeing the rainbow profile pictures of gays and straights, blacks and whites….it really made that day special and emotional.
It was a good day, and I will recount June 26th, 2015 to my future HUSBAND, kids, and anyone else who gives a damn.
You’re invited to the wedding. And I promise you the cake will look just like this: