This morning I walked for an hour in Capitol Hill and I saw dozens of expressions of solidarity and love. I was picking up labels for some posters I am shipping and took the chance to capture what this neighborhood looked like on the day marriage equality became the law of the land. Those expressions were bright and proud and perfect. In the windows of used-clothes shops I saw them; on banners I saw them; on the very streets themselves I saw them.
It is such a blessing to live in a time and a place where love and support for love can be expressed so publicly. We are not a generation that will have to hide our relationships. We are a generation that can hold within ourselves our complete identities and use the strength of that self-knowledge to pull others with us into greater freedom and greater love.
As I walked, I wore one of my queerest t-shirts. It has a picture of Alan Turing and says: “Alan Turing Fought Nazis with Science”:
To me, that shirt is a reminder that generations before us lost some of their brightest minds to hate. It is a reminder that as a species we have for too long hobbled ourselves by refusing public entry to some because of who they love. It is a reminder that today took work; today took people giving their lives; today took the efforts of a generation of people who labored for a freedom they would never experience themselves but who persevered for a freer future.
Here are the expressions of love and solidarity I caught:
Today will be a before-and-after day. Before today, millions of Americans could not marry who they loved because of their genders. After today, they will have that opportunity. This does not fix the troubles of our country. Today an African American teen will get kicked out when he comes out. Today a Latina will be denied a job for her gender identity. Today people in countries where marriage is not equal will have to hide their loves like Alan Turing did or suffer the consequences of legalized hate.
Today is worth celebrating with all of our hearts. Anyone who changed their mind on marriage equality or helped change the mind of someone else earned this day. All of the plaintiffs, the lawyers, the activists behind today’s court case, they earned this day. I am so proud of all of us. When I walk with my friends in the Pride march this weekend, I will be so proud of my neighborhood, my community, and my country. I will be proud of the work we completed and our determination to do more, to bring more people fully into freedom and society. It will be hard; everything that matters takes work. We can do it.
“Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.” — William Shakespeare