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The Kids Are (Gonna Be) Alright

So, um, I should probably be shamed to admit this, but our legal anniversary rolled by the other day without my noticing. Um...again.

It's not that I don't think it's important.   I mean, we've personally been caught in the traps:  the very small, progressive company that would have loved to extend her health insurance benefits to me, except they had never thought about it before and so they couldn't offer it until their contract with their provider came up for renegotiation.  

And the Customs guy who said he was sorry, but we had to fill out separate cards on our way back into the country from visiting Toronto because we weren't family.  We jumped all over him--we live in Massachusetts, we're legal, dammit.  We thought maybe we were his first encounter with legally-wed gay folk, except we had forgotten about the federal Defense of Marriage Act and so, of course, the freakin' Customs guy was right.

Even here in the Commonwealth, a few years later, some people seem easily confused.  We're still looking for a new health care center 'cause the woman at the front desk at the last one we tried insisted there was a problem with my file, because my “husband” had a female name.

With the weddings beginning in California, all the “traditional marriage=protecting kids” bullshit is once again running rampant.  (I've been told  to lay off the Maggie Gallagher columns, because I just foam at the mouth, but somebody's gotta keep an eye on her.)  I have no clue where these folks think gay and lesbian grown-ups come from—I know they can dismiss me as just some nutjob liberal New Yorker, but I've lived in Alabama, people,  and they have gay teens there, too. (1)

I went to a small, liberal, mostly-female college—there were lesbians and gay guys all over that campus and most assuredly not in the closets.  It wasn't just safe—these kids were running the joint.   But it still took me a long time to figure out it had anything to do with me, because I had been lucky enough to grow up in the shelter of a warm, strong, laughter-filled, love-'em-even-when-they're-working-my-last-nerve marriage and I wanted that more than I could say.  And I didn't think I could have it, and be a lesbian, too.

Thankfully, I got over that poisonous little assumption and so the anniversary we celebrate is our first one, an act of faith and love sealed in the eyes of God, with family and friends standing close, sharing our joy.  Completely meaningless, legally speaking, but a date I can virtually guarantee you we will never forget, because it was chosen very carefully, thirty-three years to the day that my parents made their own vows.

It didn't occur to us at the time that our state would get around to doing the right thing a mere three years later—my bride always speculated it'd happen in our lifetime, but we'd be little old ladies.

So while I'm really glad we didn't wait for permission, I am ecstatic that we have it, because it means we are moving ever closer to the day that gay and lesbian adolescents will think of marriage as just another of life's beautiful, everyday blessings, theirs to have and hold.


(1) When I first moved to the South, I used to joke that I was going to get a sweatshirt that just listed off my transgressions (“Catholic.  Yankee.  Dyke”), to get it outta the way.