A long overdue post, and a long overdue thank you.
I don’t think I’ve ever fully explained why it is that I got started doing all of this. I guess I haven’t explained a lot.
Those who have read prior posts may already know that I, like many LGBT people, was living in a sort of naive understanding of what marriage is. I believed for much of may adult years that as long as I have love I have all that I need. The tables suddenly turned over for me when Mac’s dad died (3 years ago) and I began to see what it was that his parent’s marriage gave mom the right to do.
As I dug further into it all I realized, not only were there implications on the death of a spouse but also within their entire life time together, there are protections and benefits that they enjoyed simply because they were married. So I sat, for another almost 2 years, stuck in research and talking to some of the local activists for LGBT equality. I learned about DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act)and dug deeper into marriage itself. I had already been aware of DADT (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell) but I dug into it more as well.
But still, all I was doing was research. My mind was quickly changing and with each new thing that I learned about our government and how it works I became more and more saddened, angry and just plain old fashioned pissed off.
Flash forward to November 16th 2009. I remember this day clearly (though I did have to look up the date because I’m not a date person). I’m flipping through the channels on the TV when I see this rather adorable looking bear guy (and hey, I’m on a diet, doesn’t mean I can’t look at the menu) sitting with his son. I stopped on the channel and this is what I saw.
Seriously, a 10 year old boy named Will Phillips sitting there with his dad, Jay, talking about his own mini protest. One child who’s view of the world is much like my own. I would say, much like many people’s today. A child bringing hope that some day soon, our country will see a more enlightened generation uproot the very fabric of hate and bigotry and replace it with love. And a family, no a Phamily, that stands behind him.
I was simply amazed at what a large amount of compassion resided within such a physically small young man. I was even more amazed at his willingness to stand up (or sit down in this case) for me and I was doing nothing to stand up for myself. I live my life and absorbed all of this knowledge and understanding yet, I’d done nothing.
This is the day that would change my life for good and forever.
And so, I began my personal fight for LGBT equality.
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that this Phamily of love all had facebook accounts. And in chatting with Laura (mom) and Jay (dad) I really got to understand even more about this fight than ever. Once again, this Phamily has changed my life.
Over the past few months I’ve begun to see more and more that this fight is not about LGBT equality. This fight is not about LGBT at all. It is simply about equality. Equality for everyone!
So I write this today as a huge thank you to a Phamily that reminds us all that if our own hearts and minds can be changed, so can those who would rather us not even exist.
Thank you Jay, Laura and Will.
You truly are a Phamily of love!