As much as I hate re-iterating points, I have to write about the same thing.
The decision that made same-sex marriage legal across the United States was a huge day for me. More than just that day, though, it was the culmination of years of progressive movement to that goal. A movement that I was a (very) small part of.
After graduating college in December '14, I was desperate for a job- like many other people. I was applying to everything I could find like a madman. Thankfully, in late February I got a response from Grassroots Campaigns to come in for an interview for work as a canvasser.
In the interview, the dude talking to me broke down what the organization was/did and who it did it for. A third party organization responsible for doing grassroots fundraising with street teams as well as door-to-door teams. Their ongoing campaigns when I got the job were Planned Parenthood, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), and The Southern Poverty Law Center.
I'll assume y'all know the first two (if not, it's an easy google). The Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC, is all about the legal defense of people who don't have any means to defend themselves in court. It's all about civil rights, and the defense thereof.
Desperate as I was, I would take any job. Of course I wanted something good, a career-starter, but there was something about being able to do my part to be active in affecting social change in this country I couldn't pass up.
I am queer myself. I identify as pansexual, though I say bisexual more often because it's easier for people to register/understand. I feel the struggle for LGBTQIA+ on a personal level, even though I present mostly as a heterosexual white dude.
Anyway, I got that job, and I spent three months raising money on the street for the SPLC, MSF, and also Lambda Legal. Most of my time was spent earning for the gay rights movement.
In New York City we consider ourselves fairly progressive, but there are always still those with real hate that they hold on to. I had a lot of hate slung my way, standing on the street asking for donations. It got really difficult sometimes.
But then on June 26, after I'd gotten a different job and moved my canvassing to the weekends, the greatest news rang out across the nation. #LoveWins was everywhere. It was a huge day for me, and I felt that personal stake for not only being LGBT but for doing the small part I did to help get us there.
There is a long way to go still. Legalizing marriage is but a small point in a huge and complicated mess of institutionalized prejudice. Trans men and women still live in fear of their lives when they leave their homes. For too many, the marriage announcement did and does little to assuage the fears they deal with on a daily basis. It isn't enough.
But it is progress. It is a step in the right direction to really make this country into all the things we laud ourselves as being. Tolerant, accepting, loving, free.
I think the first step is (hopefully) the hardest, and now things will start picking up pace. June 26th 2015 will be a day I always remember. But it should be the day we all remember as the first day of a new America.