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.