Growing up I never dreamed that I would marry. In fact when I came out to my parents at age 16 my mother cried. She said she was crying not that I was gay, but that I would never be married, have a life long love or children. The children part didn’t bother me but the life long love and equal partner did.
I was gay and if that meant I would never marry then I was going to have to learn to live a single life. I would hope to meet a partner one day that would stay with me. We would live a life together without a legal contract. We would be subject to others making health care decisions for us. Others having rights to what we had built together if something happened. We would have to make our wishes known and protect what we could through trusts, contracts and wills. We could love but we would be different. We would never be able to marry or be recognized equally and legally.
Today I live a life that was never even on my radar. We have been together 25 years. We were able to marry here in California in 2008. In 2013 our marriage was recognized nationally. We now can make healthcare decisions for the other should we need to and our estate that we built together is ours. We are equal. Our life, ourselves to its core at the deepest level, is validated. It means more to me than I could ever begin to conceive that day when my mother cried.
I write this as we wait for the decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. Many couples like ourselves wait to see if they too can be recognized as we are…Equal & Validated. I sit in anticipation that hopefully my brothers and sisters, who like me were born with a same sex attraction, will all finally be able to choose to marry if they wish.
Love, it’s a four letter word, a good one.