A Toast to Equality

Last Summer two women friends of mine got married in Maine.  When they came back to Austin, I co-hosted a wedding shower for them to celebrate their upcoming ceremony in Austin.  This was my first gay wedding, and I was surprised at how moved I felt as I stood up for them on this awesome personal and historical moment.  This Summer I'm co-hosting another shower for two gay men who were married in California last Fall, and will be celebrating in Austin with friends and family this Fall.  How amazing is this!

These two weddings involving four of my closest friends have really moved me.  Two recent experiences come to mind.  Last week at a friend's birthday party, I was talking to someone who will be getting married in Vermont on August 2.  He was talking about all off the people he knew who died of AIDS in the 80s and 90s, and how they could not have imagined this moment. We were both tearing up as he talked both about the gratitude and the loss he feels.  What felt most meaningful to him was not simply getting married, but the acceptance, love, and support that comes from the acknowledgment of the larger community.  The knowledge that he is part of the larger community, and who he is and who he loves can finally be celebrated.

The second experience involves a recent conversation with my six year old daughter.  She was talking about a boy in her class who has two moms.  She said, "He doesn't have the kind of moms who are married to each other, but the kind of parents who are married, divorced, and then remarried."  That the option of having two married moms is commonplace and unquestioned in her world makes me feel incredibly hopeful.  In my lifetime, I have witnessed the hate and isolation associated with AIDS and the open and inclusive words of a 6 year old who can create a future of choices and self-acceptance.  So for friends who have died of AIDS, and those who have finally been granted the basic human right of marriage, Congratulations!  And for my children, who will have one less mountain to climb, I am deeply grateful!