I’ll admit it. When the Supreme Court decision on DOMA came down I bawled. It is truly a moment that I never thought I would see in my lifetime.
I thought more about my reaction as the day passed. Eventually I realized that I bawled because I had become so used to being a second class citizen that on some level I never thought it could change. I lived through the passing of Prop 8 in CA and it was excruciating. To have marriage equality granted by the courts in CA and then taken away by popular vote was both a painful moment in LGBT history and for me personally. At that point it seemed like gays would never obtain full equality in the US.
So on a day when the Supreme Court overturned DOMA because of Equal Protection things shifted In this country. That decision means that my country has now acknowledged that lesbian and gays are discriminated against and shouldn’t be. Because in our democracy all people should indeed be treated equal. It is a huge ruling. While it certainly doesn’t end discrimination against lesbian and gays it is an enormous jump forward.
Walking through a life where you are treated differently has a cost. You have to find a way to move through the world without constantly being angry. But there is a weight on you and you don’t realize how heavy it is until some of it is lifted. And the Supreme Court took much of that weight off of my shoulders.
There is a unsourced quote that says “Crying doesn’t indicate that you’re weak, it just means that you’ve been strong for too long.” And that sums it up. For years gay people have had to be strong in the face of discrimination and now with this decision they can instead be hopeful that soon there will no discrimination against gay people that is legally permissible. And that is a day I now feel like I will see in my lifetime. And yes I will cry when it arrives.