I’ve been dumbstruck by the supreme court ruling that ended up legalizing gay marriage in California. I knew it was coming. I expected jubilation, but have had a more complicated response.
This is also the week we met with our adoption social worker. Similarly, it felt sudden, after more than a year of frustrating delays. This lovely woman shows up, says “let’s get this done,” asks for the names we want on the birth certificates, and says we’ll be legal in September. What?
Partly, this is whiplash from great news.
But also I grew up sure that marriage and children weren’t a possibility for me, unthinkable. Until 10 years ago it would have seemed equally likely that I’d live in outer space or meet aliens as be able to legally marry another man.
So I think the first step in celebrating this incredible new legal right is a kind of mourning. Suddenly having this possibility makes me realize how stunting it was to feel I was the kind of person who wouldn’t be able to—didn’t deserve to—participate in one of the key social institutions of our culture. I love hearing all these younger straight people say to me “yay, it’s about time.” My higher self agrees with them. But it’s incredibly painful to realize that for a long time I didn’t think it would ever be time. Frankly part of me didn’t think we deserved to get married.
So now in the same week the State of California tells us they’re giving us custody of two beautiful children, and the supreme court says we can get married.
It’s so amazing, I’m kind of freaked out.
So let’s pop the champagne, and cheer the good news. Our family is just a breath away from being legal and permanent. Jay and I can marry and offer the kids all the benefits that affords.
But let’s also have a moment of silence for the victims, small and large, of the injustice that’s ending, and those that persist. May we heal those wounds, and finish off all inequality. (Voting rights anyone?) There’s more to do, but for now I’m going to try and truly celebrate the amazing good news.