"Living honestly, loving openly, and laboring out loud for equality is our only way forward."
Shakespeare once asked, “What’s in a name?” Well, when it comes to marriage, the name of the union means everything. The word "marriage" implies commitment, trust, and most importantly, legality — calling our union anything else is like taking a red marker to a Payless shoe and calling it a Louboutin; it’s just not right. So, when President Obama announced his completed evolution on marriage equality this week, for us, his 2012 slogan of “Forward” finally fit.
For almost two years we have been fortunate enough to bask in the glow of wedded bliss. We were so overjoyed with being able to legally wed in our home city that we framed our marriage license and used it as a guest book at our formal wedding ceremony. Our license now hangs prominently in the entrance of our home. Why? Because it’s not just a piece of paper to us. We are bound by love and protected by law — well, at least in the 6 states and the District of Columbia where same-sex marriage is legal.
Being an out, black gay married couple is at times like being invisible. There are few other models for you to draw inspiration from, and your story is rarely ever told. But when the President said “I think same sex couples should have the right to be married,” it was like he finally saw us, and he signaled to the rest of the nation that they should see us as well. He saw more than the struggle and tragedy that plays out in the media when some atrocity occurs — rendering us little more than victims. No, the President saw our love and recognized it as equal to that which he shares with his wife.
Marriage equality is not just about the love of two people, it’s about the love and recognition of our common humanity. When people try to deny our commitment and our family, what they are really doing is denying our humanity and subsequently our capacity to love and be loved. This week, President Obama got that — he decided to love his fellow citizens openly and honestly.
Living honestly, loving openly, and laboring out loud for equality is our only way forward, and we are elated that now we have a President whose evolution we can believe in.
Danielle and Aisha Moodie-Mills are living, loving, and laboring OUT loud. Read their musings on politics, pop culture and all that falls in between on their blog ThreeLOL. Follow them on twitter @threeLOL.