Monday, June 23, 2008

The Personal is Political

You may remember the phrase “the personal is political”. This was written by Robin Morgan in a 1970 book entitled “Sisterhood is Powerful”. I carried that book around for my entire freshman year of high school. The phrase was coined to express that what was happening in women's personal lives was a political issue – from sharing household responsibilities to the lack of equal pay for equal work.

The phrase works in both directions. The political can also be very personal. The political action of leaders like Gavin Newsom has made possible this very personal experience of a wedding.

I can remember starting to deny marriage to myself when I was only in grade school. Others imagined themselves in white gowns and even started "hope chests". I scoffed at them. Children know without being told what is forbidden. I knew I would never grow up to be a bride, so why waste time dreaming about it? I refused to go to the prom, because it seemed like a wedding on training wheels.

Despite my generally optimistic nature, I could not believe that my family, my community or my country would ever give a stamp of approval on being gay. When I met Barb in 1982, I still could not imagine that our relationship could be anything we celebrated publicly. It was years before everyone in both of our families knew that we were in a committed relationship.

In 2004, when marriage was first dangled in front of us as a possibility, we jumped at the opportunity. After getting that license, we couldn’t believe how different it made us feel. We felt more connected and valued than we ever had before. Then, the marriage was annulled and we were disappointed but also defiant.

Now, we have finally achieved a level of equality. We are personally very happy and politically very committed to making sure that this marriage can never be annulled. The measure on the fall ballot that would deny the basic right of marriage to others must fail.

1 comment:

adhyayan said...

The introduction is very well written.