I woke up this morning, made my wife’s lunch for work, made the kids breakfast, and started a load of laundry. This is quite often the start of my typical day. I sometimes joke that my family is ‘painfully normal’ (but I adore this family!). However, to some, my family is anything but normal. There is simply one reason for that:
We are a same-sex, legally married lesbian couple.
My wife and I married two years ago, just two months after marriage equality was legally accepted in our home state of Delaware. DOMA had been struck down June 26th, 2013 and 11 states were recognizing our right to marry (It would be 18 states by the year’s end). I still remember realizing our marriage would finally be recognized! It was a dream come true. My fairy-tale happy ending! However, shortly after our quiet beach ceremony, the realization that our marriage was only ‘accepted’ or ‘legal’ in roughly 1/5th of our nation was disheartening. Marriage equality was providing us with more questions and not enough answers.
We had a swarm of ‘what if’s and ‘how do I’s. Most importantly: What would happen to the kids if something happened to one of us? Ok, we were fine if we just stayed in our home state. But what if we wanted to visit family in Florida, or in Texas? Jeez, what if we wanted to move!? Fortunately, two years later, we finally have our answers. With the Supreme Court ruling June 26th, 2015, we finally have marriage equality. At least we hope. Maybe. Hopefully.
The words equality, legally, and accepted still make me shudder a bit. Why does my ‘normal’ family need to ask for acceptance and equality? And maybe above all: to legally be considered a family? So, now my family is legally a family. But are we actually accepted? I think while acceptance has definitely evolved and grown over the past two years, the U.S. has a long way to go. Equality and acceptance go hand in hand. Although we have marriage equality now, until we have acceptance, we won’t have true equality. Until we have true equality, I will always fear that my rights can be taken away.
It really comes down to this: Love is love. Marriage is marriage. Our love is no lesser because we are the same gender. Our marriage is no lesser because we are the same gender. Please, keep advocating. Keep sharing our ‘painfully normal’ stories. I have to believe that acceptance is around the corner, and with it, equality.