As I walked to get coffee this morning, the strangest thing happened – my eyes started leaking. Like they were broken or something. I worried for a moment I needed to head for the doctor, because it didn’t really make sense. This morning’s announcement by the Supreme Court overturning DOMA and returning equality to marriage in California was the expected result articulated by most experts. So why this strange tear-related phenomenon?
Because we are getting there. This decision is a definitive line in the sand. It is a new baseline that it will be impossible for hatemongers and bigots and fear-based religious groups and figures to scream and shout our nation back from. It means change. Permanent change. It means that the tidal wave of progress for the LGBT community in being legally treated as individuals equal to all others in this great nation has set a new benchmark, thanks to the greatest bench in the land.
It also means we are one massive step closer to no longer needing approval. To no longer needing to justify or rationalize or explain our behavior and our lifestyle and the way we love and express that love to whomever we love. It is an enormous amount of energy we as individuals and as a community continue to expend in attempting to change the hearts and minds of those who oppose LGBT equality. And it is exhausting.
There is an element of approval-seeking in working to convince a majority of citizens and voters in jurisdictions across the country to cast their vote in favor of our rights. It creates rifts in the community about how we should behave and how we should fight and what our arguments should sound like and what we should walk like and talk like and dress like to make the best case to our opponents and those on the fence.
And we should not have to do that. We should not have to have conversations about what the dress and manner of Pride parades and events project about our community when they are shown on the news. It shouldn’t matter what we wear, what we look like, how monogamous we are or are not and how we each deal with the God we do or do not believe in as we live our life.
For me, what really stands out about today, beyond the importance of equality, is what that equality truly means for each of us as individuals and as an LGBT community. It means we are ever so much closer to the day when we can truly and completely stop caring what anyone else thinks of each of us and all of us. We can stop trying to convince family members and acquaintances and politicians and hate-spewing bigots that we are worthy and deserving of equal treatment.
Because on the day, and it is day frustratingly far for some and entirely too near for those who do not understand what equality should truly mean under the law, that equality for all members of the LGBT exists nationwide – we get to just be. Whoever we want to be. With no need to justify, rationalize or explain to anyone else, ever or for any reason. Each of us will finally be equal. What today really makes clear is that THAT day is truly inevitable. And today, inevitability is barreling toward our nation – and it sounds like a great big freak-flag-waving, jazz-hand-musical-theatre-singing, diva anthem belting its way permanently into history.