I’ve spent the days since DOMA was laid to rest by the U.S. Supreme Court allowing my emotions to settle.
I didn’t realize I had been holding so many emotions inside until I no longer had to keep these emotions in check.
When the decision was announced I was elated and when my daughter called and through her tears said: “Sometimes they get it right.” I couldn’t even speak to her – by then I was sobbing. I hung up the phone and continued to sob.
I cried for the 50 years that I felt I needed to hide who I was, and lie and cheat and deceive and live a life that most certainly was not mine. I continued to cry for the 50 years spent trying to be the perfect daughter, the perfect wife, the perfect church girl, the perfect small-town girl, the perfect friend, the perfect everything. The fact that I was living a lie made being the perfect anything close to impossible.
I cried for my allowing others to run my life for so many years, for allowing myself to be made to feel less-than, for being weak and for allowing self-loathing to take over my life. I cried until there were no more tears to be shed.
With the end of DOMA comes the end of the stigma that LGBTQ people are “the other,” you know - the less-than people who don’t deserve to marry and don’t deserve to be recognized by their government. It’s not perfect by a long shot. But if you are married in a state that recognizes gay marriage, the government will recognize your marriage and the federal benefits that come along with that. Until Section 2 of DOMA is made to go away -- which would make same-gender marriage legal no matter where you get married and where you live -- getting rid of DOMA Section 3 is huge.
I don’t believe for one moment that the haters will stop hating. If anything, I believe the demise of DOMA will only make them ramp up their homophobic, bigoted rhetoric.
So we must still be ever vigilant my friends, but for now I’m going to bask in the sunshine of being recognized for the citizen I am and rejoice in the knowledge that “Sometimes they do get it right.”
SDGLN Contributor Barb Hamp Weicksel was born in 1952 in Pennsylvania and moved to California in the early 1980s, where she met her partner Susan. They've been together some 30 years and share the love of Susan's four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her blog, Barb's Gift of Gab, can be found HERE.