“I will not be “famous,” “great.” I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one’s self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.” ― Virginia Woolf, A Writer’s Diary
Fortunately, there’s Facebook where we can be as shallow and meaningless as humanly possible and therefore totally deny the fact, on a cosmetic level, that there is work to be done. Half my friends have rainbow-fied their profile picture so that, as more than one person has pointed out, my newsfeed looks somewhat like a Skittles™ factory just exploded all over the place. That alone will keep us from ignoring the important strides that were made last week. Everyone jump on the bandwagon, even if you can’t plan an instrument.
Independence doesn’t stop on one event, though, and for many people today is just another Monday. The kids are off to daycare. The car needs a tuneup. Don’t forget to call and make the baby’s six-month appointment with the pediatrician. Sure, Mommy and Mommy may have gotten married over the weekend, but on a practical level the commitment was already there and this morning, well, it’s pretty much back to work. The presence of a ring on a finger doesn’t change the fact that the newlyweds could, in some states, still lose their jobs, be denied seating in a restaurant, or have difficulty adopting.
Look at the date on today’s picture. When it was taken in 2011, what they were doing, having a baby as a lesbian couple, was groundbreaking. They couldn’t marry. Their families weren’t necessarily supportive (some members were, others not so much). Society totally shunned them. Healthcare laws worked against them. At that point, less than 15 percent of Americans said they supported equal marriage rights. For couples like this, the freedom gained last week merges with, and perhaps adds some glitter to an independence that has been growing for several years.
Make no mistake, there is a shiny newness to the Independence now available to our LGBTQA friends, but as they claim that Independence that realize that this is just a marker along a journey that is not yet complete. An important marker, to be sure, but just as that Declaration of Independence ignited some difficulties between those new US citizens and King George III, this Independence also faces challenges. Maintaining Independence is often more challenging that its declaration. Welcome to Monday. Time to move forward.