Saturday, June 27, 2015
Musings on Yesterday's SCOTUS Ruling
Like a lot of people out there, I spent yesterday in happy tears. I swear, I got dick-all done, I didn't write, I'm not 100% sure we cooked supper (although, I suspect Julia did), and I was basically worthless as tits on a boar hog. I'm serious as a heart attack (which I always type attach, blergh), by the end of the day I was too pooped to pop.
I keep thinking about all the things -- y'all know, in that ALL THE THINGS way -- the joy, the haters, the political ramifications, the personal ones, the bizarre path that I took to stand where I'm standing, who I'm standing with.
I've told y'all before, when and where I grew up, there were no LGBT people and, while we knew gay men -- my Uncle M, his beloved partner R, lots of Mother's friends -- there were no lesbians. They were something that did not, under any circumstance exist.
I was madly in love with my best friend in high school. I'm serious. I would lay there beside her at night and just vibrate. We used to have people call us 'lesbos' at school, tease us (One particular lunch period someone threw a brick at us. I don't remember his name, I bet C. does), but we both had boyfriends, we both had sex, we both were what we needed to be to survive small town Texas.
Flash forward to my senior year in high school where I was married, pregnant, terrified and scared (it's a long story, don't ask, you wouldn't believe me anyway) and the plans of going away to college to be with the girl I loved were dust. Or three years later when I weighed well over 500 pounds and was trapped in a relationship that was unbalanced at best, and she introduced me to her girlfriend and I was so jealous I wanted to die.
Another three years and I was in love with another woman and being told "you should thank God every time he doesn't hit you" and believing that. Knowing that I would lose my child if I came out of the closet (and believe me, both the ex and the ex-in-laws made that clear).
I thought about dying a lot.
Then I went to college, discovered political activism, found out that there were a number of lesbians on earth, remembered that I wasn't a worthless piece of shit, and discovered the internet.
The internet brought me my best friend who introduced me to my wife.
Together J and I started the first online m/m romance publishing company. She convinced me to move from horror to romance. I convinced her to... hell, I don't know. I can tell you that the day I knew I loved her, I knew I couldn't do what I'd done for so long. I couldn't stay in the world I knew and pray that it would be enough.
She saved me. She saved me from pain and fear, she saved me from lies, and she saved me from the closet.
She didn't pull me out. I came out because I needed her to know that I could be brave enough to be who I was, to walk away from diseased bullshit, and be the woman I could be, with her.
For her, I could be brave.
Two years ago family members that are supposed to love told us that they didn't think we should be allowed to get married. That we didn't deserve the legal protections that institution brought.
We were told that we just needed to keep our mouths shut and be careful.
Be fucking careful.
I was careful when I did what everyone said I should. I was careful when I stayed in a shitty relationship because I was scared of what would happen if I left. I was careful every time I didn't hold her hand in Texas because I was worried someone would hurt her.
I haven't been careful one second since I asked her to marry me. I left home to live somewhere that believed that all couples have the right to be married, to be happy and have the legal protections that marriage brings.
Do I believe that the SCOTUS decision fixes things everywhere? No. In fact, I think right now is probably a very dangerous time to visit my hometown because a lot of those people are feeling attacked and defensive and ready to eat someone's face. Hell, we'll probably still be incredibly careful traveling to places where we can't be assured of hospital visitation rights being honored.
But it's a start.
It's a huge step forward.
Every time I introduce her as my wife and no one blinks, it's another step forward. Every time I go to a country music concert and I don't have to have a fist fight because I'm holding my wife's hand, it's another step forward. Every time I hear my son say "my mom and my stepmom", it's another step forward. When my baby-est sister says on her FB, "Don't tell me two men or two women can't love each other as much as a man and a woman. My big sister and her wife taught me what it meant to be in love", it's another step forward. When the girl I was in love with in high school can come back out of the closet and find her one and only, it's another step forward.
I'm a small town girl, that's it, but here I am, and thank goodness, yesterday, we all took another step forward.
Much love, y'all.