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Living in Marriage Equality Limbo

Beautiful Puffy White CloudsI am standing in my kitchen with my baby daughter attached to my tummy. I am just trying to get this place in order. Having three kids means lots of mess. Like LOTS of mess. So anyway, there I am working away in my kitchen In North Carolina when a Facebook post pops up on my screen: Chkalov Breaking!!! Marriage Licenses in at least one South Carolina county are being granted right now.

I went from cleaning to crying just like that. The tears are so complicated. My partner and I were legally married in Massachusetts more than ten years ago. At the time, we had no plans to leave the northeast. But times change. We had a baby and wanted to be closer to family, so we moved to North Carolina where my parents are, leaving behind all the rights afforded us in Massachusetts.

After being here a couple years, North Carolina voters passed a constitutional amendment and I lost hope that I would see marriage equality in my lifetime. Then the DOMA decision and state-by-state, we are getting closer and I struggle to identify how I feel. I thought I would feel elated when this day came, but today I feel sad. I feel sad that this land of limbo is part of my family’s story. I feel sad that while this is happening in some states, there are people all across the country who have no idea when their rights will be validated.

I also feel overwhelmed trying to figure out what the latest SCOTUS decision will mean for our taxes and health insurance and how that will effect our lower-middle class life. I feel overwhelmed by the idea that we might not have to worry quite so much about our family’s future in this state.

I also worry. I worry about a backlash from people in our communities who aren’t ready for this. I worry about all the other way queerness intersects with oppression and the fight for equality across identities.

I am sad and overwhelmed and I worry, but I am also hopeful. I am hopeful that my children will only know about the oppression our family has faced through the study of history. I am hopeful that the issue of my marriage’s validity will one day be out of the realm of public debate because, really, I am just so tired about reading, hearing, talking, crying, cheering or whatever else about the issue. After all, I have a kitchen to clean and butts to wipe and dinner is not going to make itself.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for the nuance.

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