Undoubtedly many of my friends feel bombarded by all of the rainbows, all of the repetitive expressions of joy and celebration over the Supreme Court decision on marriage. But consider how we have been bombarded with your symbols that have excluded us all of our lives.
Every time you posted about a wedding or an anniversary, it was a reminder that until very recently (and even today in LA) we didn’t have that right, our celebrations had to be held in secret, if at all. Or we were relegated to celebrations of a lesser status (civil union). We were constantly reminded of being denied that simple opportunity to make a public commitment to our life partners and share our joy with family and friends. And because we couldn’t marry, we couldn’t have wedding anniversaries.
Every time you posted about your spouse’s illness or injury, it was a reminder that if one of us were ill or injured, we didn’t have hospital visitation rights, wouldn’t be given information by doctors or hospital staff, couldn’t make necessary medical decisions.
Every time you posted about new children in your family or your child’s school play, it was a reminder that we’ve been denied the right to adopt because our society would rather see children live without parents than place them in loving homes where they might be cared for by two men or two women. And if we had children, it was a reminder that we had to hide to protect them from those who would bully them, or worse.
Every time you posted about your teen’s prom, it reminded us that our children might be denied the right to take whomever they chose to their prom or that they might never make it to their prom because gay teens face such higher risks of violence and suicide.
Every time you posted about your office holiday party, it reminded us that we risked losing our jobs if our boss knew the truth about us.
Every time you posted your grief as you mourned the loss of your spouse, it reminded us that our loss wasn’t recognized because we didn’t have a spouse, we only had a “friend”.
We have been bombarded by your postings that remind us (as if we needed to be reminded) that we have been denied the rights you enjoy.
You probably didn’t mean to do this but nevertheless, it has been our reality. Likewise, we don’t mean to flaunt anything in your face, we are simply rejoicing that we have finally been granted one of the rights you take for granted. And we’re rejoicing even though it is only one of those rights.