Gay marriage in the United States seems to be a reality. It's certainly something that I feel will happen in my lifetime. Maybe not at the federal level, but at least a handful of states will adopt it and be a place for gay people to show their love for one another publicly and legally.
But that's in the future. Right now, it is a very polarizing issue in the country.
And what's even more weird is that for me, is that this political issue is about my life. My future. It's about the person I have fallen in love with and want to spend the rest of my life with.
When I say I'm engaged, I don't want to make someone uncomfortable by forcing them to "side" with gay marriage and say "congratulations." But I also don't want to invite the kind of ugly and hate that can also come from announcing my upcoming marriage to another man. Now while telling someone isn't necessarily making them side either way, their reaction actually does show which side they are on.
So I'm mindful of who I tell. Of course most of the people I invite into my life are like-minded people who would only be happy for me, and who view the ring on my left hand as the symbol of love and commitment that it is, and not as a political issue. And I'm not a person to just tell everyone (I didn't post it on facebook) so generally I'm fine.
But the odd times I'm "outted" by my ring in front of people I don't know, there is always a moment of "are you with me or against me?" that goes through my head.
It's sort of like saying you're for one presidential candidate only to quickly realize, everyone else around you is voting the opposite of you.
It can be hard. While in my small bubble of a world, I'm 100% safe and supported, it's hard to keep in mind that it's just me and my guy, when it seems like half the country is against you. Marriage is just about the two of us, not about forging a new path or being political.
But by the simple act of pledging our lives to one another we are being political. We are forging a new path. Together.