What a beautifully surreal week…

16 May

This week has been kind of amazing, in an extremely surreal way. It seemed almost appropriate that we had 90+ degree weather in Oakland during the end of the week – a perfect setting for so many historic events to take place in…

On Wednesday, Karen Bass was sworn in as the Speaker of the Assembly. She is the first African-American woman to lead any state or federal legislature, and it was inspiring to read her speech. From what I heard from those who were in Sacramento, it was even more incredible to be part of the excitement.

But the real excitement for me came yesterday morning, when I received an alert from Equality California about the California Supreme Court’s decision (PDF) to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage. I was a bit surprised at my reaction – I was teary eyed at the moment I heard and those tears have returned several times as I’ve thought about what this means.

It’s odd because for most of my life, I haven’t thought much about marriage. It never really seemed that necessary or even desirable to me. But yesterday, when I found out that I could now marry my girlfriend if we wanted to, I realized that this right is incredibly important to me. (My girlfriend certainly helped me come to this realization by showing up at my office unannounced yesterday afternoon with popsicles for me and all my co-workers.)

Today, it hit me again when I got another email with an FAQ about marriage, in light of the decision. It became so concrete when I found out that I could get married almost immediately to anyone I wanted, no matter his/her gender (well, assuming s/he wanted to marry me). Really, I could get married next month, and the gender of my partner wouldn’t be an obstacle.

I know this probably all sounds obvious considering the ruling, but it’s taken a day and a half to fully settle in. It completely alters my life options, and I couldn’t be much more elated by this.

This evening, riding home on the bus, I ran into Rebecca Kaplan. I hadn’t realized until I read her Daily Kos diary earlier this week, but if elected to the Oakland City Council, she would be Oakland’s first openly lesbian elected official. In this surreal and wonderful week filled with firsts and changes, it seemed appropriate that as I ended the week, I ran into someone who’s poised to make history on June 3rd.

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