In The Eyes of the Law
In the eyes of the law,
my family was not valid when I was born, or when my brother was born. My family was not a true family when my parents sang to me, when they taught me how to read, took me to the zoo and on playdates with my friends. My family was not really a family when we danced together in the kitchen or went camping in the woods or walked a mile for ice cream sundaes. My brother and I ...were not part of an actual family when we made our parents breakfast in bed on mother's day, or when we defended them to our classmates on the bus ride home. When my parents taught me how to ride a bike, how to throw a baseball, how to work hard, how to laugh and create and love and advocate and hope, we were not a valid family. My family was illegitimate when my friends began using "gay" interchangeably with "stupid," while I bit my tongue. My family was not really a family when my parents pushed and supported and gave all of themselves to me and my brother through middle school and high school and first jobs and piano recitals and loss and breakups and new family members and college applications and inevitable change. We were not truly a family as we sat together, wrapped in blankets, watching the thunder and lightening through the living room windows. I was raised by parents who, in the eyes of the law, did not deserve a true union. Parents whose love, in the eyes of the law, did not count.
When this picture was taken, my family was not considered worthy enough to have the same rights as others.
On the day of my brother's graduation, the day that represents the end of twenty years of outstanding parenting and perseverance and unconditional love, my mothers were finally considered by the federal government to be equal to the hundreds of other parents surrounding them in the audience, cheering their children on as they crossed the stage.
My family and the love within it has been valid and real from the very beginning. It has taken far too long for the government to realize what I have known since the day I was born.
To my mothers,
Thank you for waiting.