I was standing in the kitchen making breakfast for my two sons. They wanted waffles and bananas. They wanted whipped cream on top, not syrup. They said it was summertime and we should celebrate with whipped cream. It was sometime around seven in the morning in California.
My smart phone turned bright with an announcement.
#BREAKINGNEWS Supreme Court strikes down federal provision denying benefits to legally married gay couples
Was I reading it right? Did it mean what I thought it meant? Could it possibly be true? Was my smart phone smarter than me? It was too early in the morning. The news alert was too confusing. I needed it in plain English. I consulted an expert source: Facebook.
Where were you when you learned DOMA was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court?
It was the first post that popped up. I paused. DOMA had been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Where was I? I was standing in my kitchen with a bottle of syrup in one hand and my phone in the other. I looked at my sons sitting on the couch. I looked at C.J. He’s growing his hair out “like a girl” and every strand was sticking out in a different direction due to a good night’s sleep. He still looked dreamy in his flowered pajamas with a hula girl on them. One leg was daintily crossed over the other and his pedicure was showing signs of wear.
I got the goose bumps. Literally got goose bumps. Something had happened and I was having a physical reaction. I looked at my goosebumps. I looked at my phone. In our state, my brother can get married when and if he wants to. I looked at my gender nonconforming son. If he grows up to be gay he will be able to get married. All of my LGBTQ friends are finally being treated as human beings deserving of all of the rights, privileges and freedoms that I was granted simply for being straight.
I started to cry. Even though I had already done my makeup in preparation for a day at the office. Big, slow tears took their time down my cheeks. One day my sons will be able to marry the person of their choice and have it recognized by our state and our country.
I put the syrup away and got out the whipped cream. I applied it liberally to their waffles and set the plates in front of them. They cheered. So did I.
I got in the car and headed to work. I had a voicemail. My mother-in-law had called to get my brother’s phone number so that she could call and wake him up and be the first person to congratulate him on being able to get legally wed.
My husband called on his way home from working the night shift.
I answered the phone.
I figured that he hadn’t heard the news.
“It’s a great day for our cause, mama!” he said.
I teared up again and thought of a quote I had seen on Pinterest.
“Crying doesn’t indicate that you’re weak, it just means that you’ve been strong for too long.”
My husband and I have a cause that we’re passionate about. We are reluctant advocates. For three years, we’ve given people a glimpse into our lives, into the adventures in raising a gender nonconforming, possibly gay son in hopes that they would see that we are not weird. We are different. We are parents doing the best that we can as we raise a son who at times has wanted to be our daughter and, at other times, has longed to be a stereotypical gay man.
Risk is a four-letter word to us. And, openly blogging about our LGBTQ son has been a risk that we reluctantly took. Had anybody else done it before us or at the same time as us or done it after us, we gladly would have stepped off our soap box and supported and cheered from the sidelines.
But, that didn’t happen. So we kept on keeping on. Getting more and more invested in LGBTQ rights and our sons’ futures with each passing day.
When I learned the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings today it felt like a victory for me. Even though I’ve been married for 13 years. More than that, it felt like my six-year-old son – who has been called “gay,” “faggot,” “dick sucker” and “freak” — is being seen as a human being worthy of equal rights by the highest court in all the land.
I could have easily spent the day crying…and eating whipped cream…and cheering with my sons.
Hi, I just found your blog but I already like it so much. You seem to be an amazing parent, and your son is so beautiful! I am happy for the good news and wish you and your family all possible joy and happiness. May your son be a confident person who knows his value no matter what people think.
Your family was actually one of the first things I thought about when I read the news online. I was in a meeting but compulsively refreshing my browser waiting for the news to be released. I had a good feeling about it, I just don’t see any reasonable people being able to justify discrimination, although a few of the justices have their own twisted version of reasonable in my opinion. What a joyful moment that was to see people stand up and do the right thing and acknowledge that we all deserve freedom and dignity. I love the fact that we can all tell our children, you can marry whoever the hell you want. Now I’m looking forward to the day we don’t have to tell them they have to move to certain states to do so, but progress is being made!
congratulations. Know that the there are some many countries that have been waiting for the US to start to catch up with the rest of the world on this one. We’re all very, very happy to see this!
My mom and I cried too. Mostly because we are moving to California in about a month and it means 1) I will be able to get married one day (I was planning on it anyways :P) and 2) My mom can now officiate weddings for same sex couples. THe reason we are moving is because she posted the equality sign as her profile picture and a few people in our church had a huge problem with it, and my mom ended up resigning after a month of stress and bullying from the few people in our congregation who were homonegative and just flat out bad people… Well, anyways I cried because I knew that when we move, I will be able to be myself, unlike here in Texas and the reality hit me.
That is such good news! You and C.J. should celebrate with matching Monster High tops. 🙂 They made grown up sizes too: http://m.hottopic.com/hottopic/Girls/WhatsNew/Tees/PopCultureTees/Monster+High+Frankie+Stein+Girls+Tank+Top-10005992.jsp
Reblogged this on Just A Thought and Some Ideas.
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Ugh, the last part of your post makes me want to vomit. It is so hard to understand why people are so horrible and hateful especially against a young child. I hope that these comments were at least made to you through your blog and not directly to him, as horrible as it is either way. You are such an inspiration to me to stand up for my gender non-conforming 6yo son especially on days where it seems so hard.
And Woohoo to the Supreme Court.
This is one of those events I’ll always remember where I was when I heard about it, like the JFK, MLK, and RFK shootings. I was in the doctor’s waiting room with my partner after the DOMA ruling and before Prop 8, and knew immediately what the ruling was. All I said was, “This is awesome!” Now, even though we can’t yet be married in Michigan, we can get married on a future trip to Massachusetts and know it has at least some meaning.
Oh, it’s so wonderful! I love this news, and I love how you write about your experience. Had my chosen partner been a woman instead of a man, I can’t even imagine how ecstatic and relieved I would be today. It’s about time the U.S. has granted equal rights for the LGBT community! 🙂
Like you(CJ’s mom) I live in California. So I was thinking of you, knowing that our state will once again start having same-sex weddings. And knowing that you and CJ also live here in California.
I went to a big public celebration, and wondered if there was a celebration in Orange County. I hope you had lots of people to celebrate with!
I’d also like to point out that these rulings impact bisexual and transgender people as much as GL people. The common wording used (“gay marriage”, lesbian cople, etc) marginalized this reality.
Of course, the impact is much much wider, and CJ is the perfect example that this affects (the future for) kids…… And thus all parents (including those who don’t WANT their kids to be allowed to marry someone of same sex).
Yeah for SCOTUS decisions!
I cried too. I don’t really talk about gay rights issues with my almost 5 year old boy/girl twins because they live in that blissful world where they already believe that anyone can love anyone because no one has told them any differently. I hesitate to point out to them that there are people who don’t believe as we do, that love is love, no matter your gender. But yesterday morning I felt like I should let them know that something wonderful had happened. Through my tears I tried to explain it to them. “Do you mean that some people didn’t want me to marry Maxine, but now I can?” said my almost 5 year old daughter when she asked about the friend she always talks about marrying. “And I can marry Quincy now?” said my son. “Yep, you can marry whomever you want, or not marry at all. Isn’t that wonderful?” I asked. “Sure, mom. Now can you move from in front of the TV? You’re blocking ‘Gerald McBoing Boing'” said my daughter. I hope that this next generation of kids all grow up to see marriage equality as so natural that it’s not even worth discussing for fear of missing more “Gerald McBoing Boing!”
Reblogged this on Harry/Draco and commented:
There is not much for me to say on this topic that hasn’t already been said, but I wanted to share the post written about it from one of my favorite blogs.
cried. beautiful. thank you.
I heard the news from my best friend who texted me, “I can get married!!!” I immediately jumped online and read everything, but I am so glad that I heard it from her. I am so happy for all my LGBTQ friends and I can’t wait to see more steps in equality. I, too, have been crying on and off for the last day. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for sharing your story and for being an open and honest person. People like you brought us to this day.
I was at work, staring at the live blog that scotusblog was running, willing it to update faster. When I saw it, I didn’t believe it. Then I spent the rest of the day not getting any work done at all. I’m so happy that DOMA was overturned, and still upset and hurt that it existed in the first place. And also confused about what it will mean for me, in a non-equality state. But on the whole, happy is the thing.
All I can say to you and your family is thank you, thank you, thank you!
I cried too and you put into words exactly how I felt when I heard the news. I was watching t.v. and the online blog. Knowing that my two children will have the same opportunities to find love, have it validated, and share the same rights makes my heart soar! Thank you for sharing your lives with us so that we all can learn from your experiences. I know there is still much work to be done. I will be there working right alongside of you and all of the reluctant advocates.
One step at a time. The walls of seperation and inequality will be dismantled brick by brick. While I am over joyed with the rulings, I am bracing myself for the backlash from the religious right. It will be two steps forward and one step back for a while but we are headed in the right direction.
Yes! We’re heading in the right direction.
It’s still a long road though. Yesterday was a HUGE win for LGBT America, and like I said right after both the decisions came out: This is a big step in LGBT America. We not only pushed back on a law that was unconstitutional but DOMA was thrown down. Knowing now that one day my own state will hopefully allow me my marriage rights, I can feel confident that we are making moves in the right direction. Thank you to all those who have stood up and voiced your opinion. Sometimes the biggest challenge in this world is standing up and telling the majority that they are wrong.
I was in the field moving cows when the news came up on my smartphone. I’ll remember everything about that moment, as much as I remember the moment on September 11 of my sophomore year when the principle came over the intercom.
It was a wonderful day yesterday! I teared up a bit yesterday…but this morning reading your blog I cried…your words…the way your story unfolds just makes me cry….hoping this monumental day brings forth the momentum that our country seems to be on. Although it does not “fix” everything it is a huge step in the right direction. It saddened me to read those words that C.J. has been called…that is just unacceptable…you and your hubby and your entire family are working towards the changes that need to happen. Thanks for your wonderful blog. Thanks for making me cry!
DOMA falls, and some sanity returns to the nation. A wonderful step forward! Hugs to you and yours!
I cried too. While we’ve had state-level equality here in Connecticut for some time, there are friends who I’ve worried about as they grow older not having the federal protections my husband and I have. And now they do.
“I looked at my gender nonconforming son. If he grows up to be gay he will be able to get married.”
If he turns out to be transgender, which is also very possible, he actually had the right already… 😉 But no one can deny that this is a HUGE victory for equal human rights, and one step closer to true equality for ALL of us. 🙂
I’m not the right person to comment in detail about this, but I know just enough to say that marriage for trans people can be very complex and problematic. It is not simple, and depends on many particulars. Having no sex requirement for marriage definately changes things radically for trans people. Just as examples, marriage while in transition is possible, and having one’s marriage questioned legally is less likely. Psychologically, not having the marriage depend upon one’s legal sex is a big deal. This applies even if ones legal sex is firmly established. Much better to just be able to marry without anyone’s sex being involved.
I hope you’re right because I hope that by the time CJ is old enough to marry anyone, marriage equality will be a reality throughout the US. But today, for transgender adults, that’s not always so – transwomen can’t marry men in some places because the government still considers them men and bans same-sex marriage, and can’t marry women in some places because the government considers them women and bans same-sex marriage – in some cases, managing to ban both at once.
We’ll get there, and this is huge for people in California and great for couples all over the country, but it only actually changes who can marry in California, not elsewhere. (Though couples who marry in California and go home do get more than a few federal benefits, no matter where they live.)
And I am cheering right along with you.
This moment is definitely worthy of whipped cream. And waffles. And bananas, if you really need something healthy in there.
I had to explain to my straight older sister what the win was, and what it meant. I was watching a liveblog of the results and I remember feeling so relieved that DOMA was finally gone. tumblr spent the entirety of yesterday celebrating DOMA, Prop 9, and Wendy Davis. It was awesome.
Amazing! Wish there were more parents like you!
Cried. Well said!
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It is a wonderful day indeed. I have to say, though, that I felt physically ill at the names your son has been called. It really disgusts me that there is still so much hate in the world.
Reblogged this on JerBear's Queer News, Views & Memories and commented:
A wonderful post from an amazing woman from, you guessed it, an amazing family. This is the future I’ve been fighting for since my first gay rights demonstration 26+ years ago.
I am shocked that your son has been called all those names. Shame on those people.
Rejoice though for you, your family and for all non confirming people. A great day, one of hope for a future where people can be free to be themselves.
Loved the whipped cream as well, and the cheers!
Unfortunately, while it disgusts me too Rebecca, I’m not surprised. There is so much misinformation, and mixed with very small minds it is an ugly combination. I’m on yahoo comments all the time, try to educate as much as possible, which is no small feat, but do what I can. I’m appalled by the venom, hate and vile spewed that is generated by sheer stupidity, in the name of moral righteousness. My tag is consistently to have your likes and dislikes but educate yourself on how things work. But in today’s world that is an uphill battle.
Love how you guys think marriage equality is the be-all-end-all of queer rights.
It certainly isn’t the end (I suppose that mythical end will come when we live in a utopia where we all support each other regardless of race or gender or orientation) but it is certainly a huge step in the right direction. Celebrate the victories.
Nobody said that, but it’s a huge step. And don’t you dare rain on CJ’s Mom’s parade. It’s worth celebrating.
Of course it isn’t. But by ruling that queer relationships deserve the same federal protections as straight ones, the message has been sent that we are not lesser beings. That is *huge* and hopefully sets a legal tone that will steer us in the direction of an inclusive ENDA and other key milestones we need to reach. And it definitely warrants celebrating.
One step at a time Chris! This portion of DOMA was so blatantly discriminatory and harmful that it’s demise IS something to be celebrated and something that will be written about in our children’s and their children’s history books. AND it sent a very strong message to ALL that discrimination and bigotry should not be legislated and that we are headed toward these famous words “equal justice for ALL.” But this is a process, very complicated with numerous laws and legalities that will have to be changed, one by one.
That’s exactly what I was thinking, Chris. This is an important step as many have said, but saying that “All of my LGBTQ friends are finally being treated as human beings deserving of all of the rights, privileges and freedoms that I was granted simply for being straight.” Is a complete generalization. There are many more rights and privileges to fight for. I know that as a young queer middle class white person marriage was my first thought in regards to rights, and this ruling is huge in the way that it changes the cultural landscape and that generations of queers can grow up with this right, but it is not everything. Also, it does not mean that all gay and lesbian people can marry everywhere, it is still only legal in a few states.
I cried, too! I work at a city in the lobby where I answer planning questions. We have a TV there to entertain the public while they wait. I walked into a quiet lobby and CNN was on, anouncing the decision on Prop 8. That on top of the DOMA decision was too too much. I couldn’t help myself, I had to cry!! It is a great day!
You make my heart sing… Bless you.. And thank you for being the mom I never had..
It is a wonderful day indeed for my son as well. He will be DJing at Rich’s in Hillcrest, San Diego and doing a toast at midnight to celebrate the decision that made him an equal. I too teared up in knowing my son could now marry. Congratulations!
Some of my friends will probably be there! I got hit on by a beautiful transwoman at Rich’s once. It’s a fun place. 🙂