It has been a while since my last post, and while I have a lot to write about related to my recent medical experiences, today is a historic day that I want to embrace. Today the Supreme Court released a landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States!!!
I remember almost 2 years ago as I traveled through Taipei to Indonesia to begin my journey abroad. The moment I landed on foreign soil, I rushed to the internet terminal to see whether a decision had been reached on Prop8 and DOMA. I remember reading the great news and embracing my new friend, and now basically adopted older sister, Tamara. While a sweeping decision had not been reached, progress towards greater equality in the United States had been made. It was an odd moment, one filled with mixed emotions. As my rights expanded back home, I was moving to a country and culture where these same rights were significantly restricted.
Over my time abroad in Indonesia, it seemed like every week marriage equality was expanding throughout the United States. I felt joy, but also a huge disconnect as I navigated living in a culture where being gay is heavily stigmatized. I began to recognize my immense privilege as my rights expanded while those of my Indonesian friends continued to be limited. Living abroad made me appreciate the privilege I have as a white cis-gender American, but also taught me a valuable lesson that legality does not always equate to equality.
Don’t get me wrong, I am ecstatic over the Supreme Court’s ruling today. I am overwhelmed by how much the social landscape has shifted in the U.S. over such a relatively short amount of time. I am also grateful to all of the advocates over the decades who have fought so hard for my and future generations to have greater equality. But I also realize that so many people throughout the world live in a system and culture where their rights are restricted simply because of who they are. I also know that while same-sex marriage is a huge step in the right direction in the United States, it is only a step, and not actually full equality. Issues of discrimination, particularly towards LGBTQ people of color, are pervasive throughout the country.
Why am I writing all of this on my blog, in such a public format? Many people know that I’m gay, but many are also not aware because I have never felt the need to actively come out to every person I know. I did not think I would make it so public through a format like this, but today is a day I’ll remember forever, and hope to tell my kids about. I have written several times on my blog how throughout my recent medical challenges, being vulnerable and embracing authenticity has not only been so relieving, but has been one of the most helpful ways for me to move forward. Through my experience with cancer I have realized the fragility of life, and thus how important it is to live true to myself. The authenticity though that I have been able to communicate through this blog and live in my day to day life is an immense privilege.
So many people throughout the world, (…and even with today’s Supreme Court decision), so many people throughout the United States, do not have the ability to fully embrace their authentic selves. That is why I feel the need to write this. I believe my privilege comes with a responsibility to embrace my own identity as well as advocate for those who cannot. The sad reality is that I have this privilege simply because of where I was born. One of the greatest challenges facing humanity is the fact that the circumstance someone is born into is often a determinant of their equality and access to opportunity. As I will write in a future post, this does not only relate to identity and social acceptance, but is pervasive throughout many issues, especially access to healthcare.
So I am going to celebrate marriage equality in the U.S. tonight and dance off the immense joy that I feel. But at the same time, I am going to think about all of my friends and millions throughout the world, and in parts of the U.S., who do not yet get to experience this same joy.
The legality of same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an amazing, hard fought-for achievement, and is one worth celebrating. Love has won today, but still not for all…It is important to recognize that the movement for equality does not end here, but must continue to move forward not only in the U.S., but throughout the world.
4 Replies to “#LOVEWINS…but still not for all”
To find truth and meaning in life and the world, one needs to be true to oneself. Thank you for sharing your truths and insights. Your sharing helps remind us to be true to ourselves and have the strength to discuss these truths. We are who we are and stand up and take pride in who we are . The supreme court decision brought tears to my eyes. We have taken one more step forward in recognizing the rights of people . We still have many more steps . Today here in NH we having our first Pride Day which is taking place in Portsmouth. I will be participating both as a marcher and as a musician as a member of the Leftist Marching Band. It is a day to be proud and celebrate. Thank you for sharing your truth which makes this day even more special . Be proud.
Jeremy, may you go from strength to strength! How wonderful to be celebrating this glorious milestone!
When we met yesterday and spoke of the welcome news of the Supreme Court decision of marriage I sensed your excitement and shared with you my own positive response. The Court’s decision is monumental, a moment of sanity and leadership that we have come not to expect from government today. But I did not “connect the dots” until reading your blog. Revisiting your enthusiastic embrace of the news in the light of your message late yesterday gives our earlier conversation a new perspective and enhances my own response.
Of a sudden, for me the Court’s affirmation of marriage for all moves from something of a liberal abstraction to a very personal sense of joy for you, my friend who I like and admire so much. How great for you to have a veil of doubt or uncertainty lifted. How good it feels to me to share in your joy and excitement.
If and when you decide to enter in to marriage, I hope that I will be able to be present to cheer you on and affirm you.
Bravo, Jeremy! Even in today’s climate, it is never easy to come out (after all these years, I still get nervous), but every time someone does, it helps someone else see the importance of equality and makes it safer for all of us! Nicely done, friend!