I remember it vividly. I was 17, sitting in the computer lab of our business class, and the teacher had left the room when suddenly a student blurted out, “All gays should die.” I sat there feeling the heat begin to rise to my cheeks. Years of listening to people saying such hateful things bubbling to the surface.
What this kid didn’t know was my own mother had came out to me only a couple of months before. The wounds were fresh. My senses heightened to all of the derogatory language that surrounded me in such a small town high school. I couldn’t keep the anger in any longer. So I yelled. I yelled, “YOU have NO idea who you are talking about when you say that! NO idea who you are impacting!”
Tears began building in my eyes and I’m sure a few escaped down my cheeks. There was a stunned silence. Kaitlyn, the quiet girl, the girl who doesn’t challenge, the girl who gets along with everyone… yelled. And not just that, she spoke up for something that a majority of the people in room disagreed with. The kid stared at me. I looked back at him, my eyes daring him to say something, anything. I knew he regretted what he said, I could see it even if he couldn’t identify it. He muttered something about faggots and looked away. I went back to my work and didn’t say another word the rest of the class period.
This…. this is what I’ve had to sort through for most of my life. I have sat through whole sermons of pastors, who I deeply respect, speaking on how a family unit is incomplete without a both a father and a mother. That the children who are raised in an environment different from that are missing something important. And I, once again, am reminded that I am “different”. That my family is “different”.
And you know what? My family IS complex according to our societal norms. My dad gets along great with my mom’s partner. All of us, including both of my parents’ partners, can have dinner together and it isn’t awkward. (Waiters/waitresses often don’t know what to do with our bill)
We certainly have our flaws (just like ANY other “normal” family), but I do consider myself blessed with the family I have and I do not wish it to be any other way. This, all of this, has shaped me into who I am today. I am me because of what we, as a family, have gone through.
Don’t get me wrong. I have experienced a lot of shame in relation to this part of my life. But slowly, I am beginning to see I am enough. That my story matters. That God loves me unconditionally along with my non-nuclear family in tow.
After the SCOTUS decision, I felt numb. I wanted to be as excited as everyone else. I even posted a facebook status saying I was experiencing “all of the feels”. And to an extent, I think I was. I just didn’t know what they were. It wasn’t until I got on Facebook this morning and saw all of the rainbows that I began to cry. I was overwhelmed by the amount of support flowing through social media out at me. Telling me: “You are loved. Your family is loved.”
Marriage equality is for us too, the kids of the LGBT parents. We get to celebrate with our parents after the pain we as a family have endured. We get to experience the joy of watching our parents marry after that extra-long engagement. We get to experience the Love that has been overflowing throughout the world.
So thank you. Thank you to everyone who has shown support to our families. Thank you to everyone who has celebrated with us.