Esurance has released a marriage-equality-themed ad where kids share their dreams for their weddings, and I started watching it just as this ad was playing silently on my TV, and good gravy, I cried and cried.
This ad reminds me of standing in my bathroom when I was 17, staring at my reflection in the mirror and praying to a god I didn’t believe in, please don’t make me gay. Please don’t make me gay. I can’t get married if I’m gay.
I don’t know why I have always wanted to get married. I just have. Along with writing a book and being a part-time ballerina and part-time concert pianist and having a pool full of MnMs, that was one of my dreams, even if I didn’t know who I would end up with. I wanted the love and commitment and protection and connection that came with marriage. I wanted to find a person to build that relationship with, to trust with my everything and love with my all. And I know that when I was figuring my identity out and not sure if I was bi or a lesbian or something in between, the murkiness of that future was a huge concern to me.
That was in 2008, the year I watched my home state of Florida amend its constitution to ban same-sex marriage. I wouldn’t come out wholly and confidently for another year and change. But you know what? It’s 2015, and I want to jump through the mirror and give that poor girl a hug and tell her that the entire world is going to change, and soon. I’m openly, unapologetically bi now. I have every intention of marrying a woman one day. And I can do that.
And it’s gonna be a really long time before every 17-year-old gay kid feels like they can come out safely and happily, but we’re on the cusp of a world where being denied 1,138 legal rights – where being legally second-class – because of the person they love is no longer a concern. We’ve got so much more to do, but we’ve come so far, even in the few years since I asked my reflection to ignore what I knew to be true about myself. And I’m gonna cry about that.
Oof. Thanks for reading.