I hadn’t been planning on writing about today’s Proposition 8 decision; there are many people more qualified and more eloquent than I am. I’m not gay and I have no plans to ever marry anyone. I can shout and protest and fight for equal rights, but this particular fight isn’t specifically mine.
But I realised that there is something I can write about it, something that is unique to me.
When I was a child, I dreamt of changing the world. I know, I know, lots of people do that. But for a long time, I honestly thought I’d be able to. Unfortunately, I lived with parents who believed that it was more important to blend in and not change the status quo. So I gave up. Which was probably the wrong decision, but when you’re eight or nine years old and getting no support, what other decision is there?
And nothing changed until I got to college, where I participated in my first protest. By then I knew that I was never going to change the world on my own, but I could do my own small part, and if enough people did their parts, maybe we’d make a difference. It was a disappointment, suddenly understanding that it would never be me, but it was an important stage of my personal growth too.
I’ve never looked back since. If there’s a cause that I support, I’ll make myself heard. Sometimes all I can do is sign a petition, sometimes I can attend a protest, and sometimes I can show my support by teaching others.
Usually, I never see any impact.
But once in a while, days like today happen. When I get to see the result of protests, petitions, information, and millions of individuals coming together to create change.
So maybe the Proposition 8 ruling doesn’t impact me directly. Neither did the vote for gay marriage in New York and I was almost in tears when that decision was announced. But those decisions are so much bigger than they appear. They give us hope that we really can make a difference. Each of us, who individually barely make a sound, can come together for something great. It takes more than just one person. But we’re getting to live through it, and see change happen. Eventually, and hopefully, in our lifetimes, we’ll get to see true equality. Don’t give up.
And to my younger self, who wanted to change the world… Look around, you’re finally getting the chance.