We Did It

I think it would be a lie if I said “I never thought this day would come.” But I’m gonna be honest, I thought there would be bloodshed before it did. I thought there would be an all out war against us, and frankly I’m not convinced that won’t happen, but right it’s difficult to describe what I’m feeling.

I’m talking about the fact that the ban on gay marriage in North Carolina has been overturned. I am now free to marry anyone in my home state. I didn’t expect it to affect me as much as it is, primarily because I didn’t expect it at all. In the past week, at least four other states have overturned their bans on gay marriage, and it’s just something that I didn’t think I would ever see in North Carolina until the end of the fight, when we finally sweep the entire nation and get equal rights.

As of this moment, twenty-nine states are on board. In twenty-nine states (though not the one in which I currently live, which is about ten minutes up the street from the North Carolina border), I am just like everyone else. In twenty-nine states, I am guaranteed equal protection and rights under the law as every other citizen of the country. I have never in my life been patriotic, or identified with the concept of being “an American,” and I still don’t, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t finally feel like an actual citizen of the country I live in, and an actual human being. My own mother reacted with her nose up in the air to the news, but I don’t even care right now.

I’m a free citizen now. Granted, I currently live in South Carolina, but given the fact that the person (or persons, I’m not sure of all the details) who overturned the ban in North Carolina is the same person overseeing South Carolina’s ban on gay marriage, it’s only a matter of time. I can’t believe it, but I think we’ve reached the turning point. I think the scales are at last tipping in our favor.

I have nothing else to say. I’m surprised, I’m shocked. I gave the news to my ex-boyfriend who was incidentally my very first boyfriend, who lives in New York. He told me that he was crying at his job when he heard the news from me. You can’t understand this if you aren’t gay. All this time I’ve thought that I could empathize with black people or women because they too are minorities, but I was wrong. If you aren’t there, if you aren’t that person, you can’t know the vindication they feel when they win their freedom. This experience for me and for all the gay people I’ve known is an experience no one else will ever know or understand. It’s purely ours.

Soon. I think that soon, this battle will be won.

I hope that it won’t involve pitchforks and torches, but knowing the south, I’m expecting it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the bigots tried to use this as another excuse to start another civil war. Let them. I don’t care. Progress cannot be stopped. This is change for good. Let it come.

Today, I love myself in a way that I didn’t yesterday.

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