(Originally published on The Huffington Post on 2/2/2012)
As you probably have heard, the Washington State Senate passed a marriage equality bill Wednesday night, clearing the way for a vote in the House, which looks poised to legalize unions for same-sex couples throughout the state. This means that if I walk out of my house in Portland, Ore. and drive across the I-5 bridge to Vancouver, Wash. (less than five miles away from my front door), I am now considered equal to my heterosexual counterparts and can legally marry the man I love, but once I drive back over that bridge to my house in the state I pay taxes to, I become a second-class citizen once again and cannot.
Well, fuck that, Oregon — and fuck that, America! How can people hate me and my love so much? All my life I have just wanted to be myself. I have wished for others to respect me as a human being in return for respecting them, but instead, I have been made to feel like something less than by my country, by my fellow man and, once again, just moments ago, by my home state.
I smell freedom across the I-5 bridge to Washington, and I want it. I deserve it. I am thrilled for my brothers and sisters in our neighboring state, but being able to see equality now just over the river has added insult to injury. Equality is mine to have as a citizen of this country and is, quite frankly, no one else’s to give. Marriage discrimination, as with any form of discrimination, is truly a cancer on our society. It destroys everything we work so hard to protect, and it weakens us. It strips away our freedom and is just plain un-American.
We are entering into a political vortex this year, with campaigns and agendas flying by every which way. I encourage you to stay focused on equality. Keep fighting to be yourself. Demand respect as a human being, and in return, respect others. Do not let your country make you feel less than any longer, because you are not. You are exactly who you are supposed to be, and don’t let the state of Oregon or any other bigots who “aren’t ready” for marriage equality tell you otherwise.
This is your country, and your love is just as beautiful as anyone else’s love. The end.
We are going to win this. All of us. Any day now…
To get involved in the LGBT community where you live, click here. Change starts with you.