I remember when even the possibility of legalizing civil unions sparked national debates.
I remember learning what a hate crime was the week that Matthew Shepard was beaten, tortured and left to die in Wyoming.
I remember when my girlfriend of four years left me because her parents told her that our love was sinful and 'didn't count.'
I remember when my best friend told me he was gay in a wavering voice with tears of shame in his eyes.
I remember at Christmas when my aunt asked all my cousins when they were getting married except for me (and I am the eldest).
I remember the day I left home but didn’t feel homesick because it never felt like home to begin with.
I remember when I had the courage to have my first one-night stand and the guy told me he wasn’t gay but does this to ‘blow off steam.’
I remember going to my first PRIDE weekend in West Hollywood and thinking I found heaven on Earth.
I will remember the moment I exercised my right to take my partner's hand, go down to our neighborhood courthouse and celebrate US.
Author's Note: These repressed voices of my close family and friends stand loud and proud today. Let today be filled with acts of compassion and happiness to everyone in your life. This ruling is a powerful reminder that we all deserve the freedom to love and be embraced for who we are (publicly)! Our Smile Project celebrates YOU.
As my Uncle Chad says, Carpe Homo Diem!
Cover photo credit @ Chicago Tribune.