So, I realized today that I need to read a fucking newspaper every now and then.
I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and drinking my 2nd cup of coffee of the morning when I saw the news and almost choked on said coffee: yes, I found out about the monumetous Supreme Court ruling on Facebook.
I’m ashamed I had no idea a decision was coming. But I think the decision itself was something of a surprise to the public. An awesome, delightful surprise for most.
I walked around the office in a haze of happiness the rest of the day. I felt suddenly safe being as out as possible. Nobody can say shit about my preferences today…or ever, I thought. On a normal day, I’m self-conscious to the point of paranoia. I’m wondering if everyone is staring at my shoes because they’re men’s shoes or because they look awesome. I’m careful not to let the man sitting next to me on the train see the lesbian content on my phone. I turn the volume down a bit on my headphones to make sure no one hears that I’m blasting “Closer” by Tegan and Sara. (Even though none of those things make me a lesbian…) It’s like, I want to be out, but I don’t want to be out. I’m afraid of people’s reactions – even if they’re complete strangers.
Today, however, I carried out my normal routine with great pride. I almost didn’t care who knew. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I wanted to come out on Facebook. I didn’t, of course, but I did get the rainbow tint on my profile picture, since even my straight friends were doing it, and liked all the positive stuff people were posting about it.
I feel incredibly lucky to be living in this day and age. I am thankful that I live in a society where the public opinion is generally more supportive than not, and that I will not experience the same discrimination older generations did. I’m seeing stories about these adorable gay couples in their 80s who have been together for 50 years and are just now able to get married, and I respect the hell out of them for paving the way. Today I am proud to be an American. It took an embarrassingly long time, to be sure, but it’s here, people. It’s finally here.
I noticed something interesting about the public reaction. It’s as if the Supreme Court ruling has made it officially cool to be an ally (and officially uncool to be a homophobe). It’s not that I doubt the sincerity of my friends’ positive reactions. It’s just that, from now on, you’re a total fucking asshole if you say something like “Marriage is between a man and a woman, people!” like a super-Catholic friend of mine did. (It was OK. A bunch of people came to the defense and trolled her.) It’s funny how yesterday it was socially acceptable to be ambivalent about gay marriage, but today onward it is not at all acceptable to publicly dissent.
I’m happy about that. It’s nice to be state-sanctioned. It’s really nice. It feel like, if I were to come out to everyone right now, America would catch me if I fall out of their favor.
When I got home tonight, my brother had a friend over. The friend is quite a political talker for a 14-year-old boy. The second I walked in, he asked everybody if they’d heard the news about marriage and wasn’t it horrible.
I took a sharp breath and glared at him. My mom caught my reaction and shut him down with a simple, “Yeah. I wasn’t surprised.” (At least she wasn’t going to get into it while I was in the room. She clearly knows I’m a supporter, if nothing else. I’d like to think my loud plaid not-quite-flannel lesbian shirt spoke for itself today.)
It was really sad, though. Who takes an innocent 14-year-old boy and turns him into a homophobic asshole? I do hope he doesn’t grow up to be a homophobic asshole. He’s a nice kid.
But with changing laws and changing public opinion, I harbor hope that we have a chance at shaping tomorrow’s generation into more reasonable human beings.