Monday, as I wandered about the city running errands, I received a text message from my mother. “New Mexico passed gay marriage!” I erupted in laughter, unable to contain the waves of joy. I lived in San Francisco during that short window before Prop 8 passed, and the experience was the same. I was equal. Monday, I was equal. Yeah, I have no romantic prospects in this backwater, but I am equal.
It turns out that New Mexico did not pass gay marriage. Three counties here have. Still, it’s a start. We are on a tidal wave that is not turning back. Public opinion on the matter of gay rights has evolved more rapidly than any other issue in our nation’s history. In the span of less than a decade, we have turned the corner, and forced the nation around us to turn that corner with us. We have stepped out of the shadows and shame, and presented to our neighbors and families entirely human pictures of who we are.
Equal. I live in a city where I am equal. If Mister Right just so happens to be here, we can build a life together…and hopefully move to Santa Fe or Seattle. Or Providence. Or just about any other state with the same rights.
I was sitting with a friend who just returned from a year in Italy on Wednesday. She was saying that right now she doesn’t want to do anything on the weekends except be with her husband. She then confessed that she tries to mention him too often, because certain friends who are single and lonely become saddened at hearing about her joy. It intensifies their loneliness. “I like to hear about your joy, Hope. It gives me hope that someday I can have that too.”