Our Summer

As I look out my window the greens of summer have just started to fade. The cool wind of fall has decided to usher itself in a little earlier this year. And so with that, summer ends. Summer memories are stored in the nostalgic part of our brain. We look back every winter with an overwhelming feeling of remorse for summers end. Each moment is brought back inflated. Put on a pillar of greatness. Each summer of our lives is simply “the best” for one reason or another. But this summer, this summer marked so much for America. As I write this today Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has officially been repealed. Something that at first seemed to implement the seeds of equality we now see as something that put a cloak over something that needed to not be shielded at all. The government and military never had any right to ask gays serving in the military to keep their mouths shut. Lose your job for loving who you love. Die for us, fight for us, give years of your life for us, but do not tell us that you lay down with the same sex. Discharged when found out. Striped of their career. Their lifestyle. Being gay is not a lifestyle choice. Your job is a lifestyle choice; to choose to be ostracized seems like a very ridiculous choice. Being gay is as much as a choice as being born black is. Or being born tall, blonde, upside down… It is a choice for that individual to hide it or not. And for too many years that was expected of our gay military.
The absolute sense of Pride that I felt this summer when it was announced that gays could get married in New York was something I have never felt before. Growing up in America after slavery and after the civil rights movement I have never had any less than anyone else. I had my rights. My rights that so many before me had died fighting for, or died before getting to see.
And than you come to realize that all of these natural rights are there, but they are there for the hetero norm. For those who will have 2.5 children. Not for us. From the moment I came out to the world my rights went back into the closet.
But this summer. This summer moved me and others of my generation in a way we had never been moved before. We had a fight. We had a movement. So often do generations disengage from each other. But this fight united us all. Those who had been together for decades and wanted the rights they had been denied for so long. And us looking to our future and realizing how unfair. How unfair it was that the relationships we were forging would never be recognized as anything legally. The fear that comes with that. The absolute anger of realizing that your straight friends could have been married at 17, yet you still couldn’t not at 21 not at 64.
So this summer just like every past summer we fought. We took to the streets. And this summer, unlike ever other summer, we won.
As the leaves change color, and as autumn takes over us all, slowly leading to a cold white winter. I will look back to this summer much as I have always looked back at summers past. Except this summer will forever be my summer of freedom. Our summer, of freedom.

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