‘The Beginning of the End’

Edith Windsor, on her victory today:

I do think, in many ways, the fact that the federal government will no longer discriminate against us — I understand “us” is we who are already married — but that’s a huge step.

When people asked, “What do you think will happen if you win?” I talked about, in some ways, the beginning of the end of stigma. It’s the beginning of the end of a lot of internalized homophobia, it’s the beginning of kids and teenagers falling in love for the first time and knowing that they can marry someday.

It’s already showing in the community. We have different self-esteem and different hopes, and different hopes means different futures.

State by state, the prejudices will fall away. Things won’t get better, people will MAKE them better, and ten years from now we won’t be able to believe where we were today, the same way I can’t believe where we were ten years ago:

Hard electoral losses in 2004 were credited largely to opportunistic bigot groups pushing state anti-gay measures to turn out the Republican base. Conservative Democrats were quick to say I Told You So.

“I believe it did energize a very conservative vote,” Senator Dianne Feinstein said at the time. “I think it gave them a position to rally around. I’m not casting a value judgment. I’m just saying I do believe that’s what happened.”

“So I think that whole issue has been too much, too fast, too soon,” she added. “And people aren’t ready for it.”

Turns out lots of people were, in fact, ready for it. Ready to be treated as equals, ready to be protected under the law, ready to be alive and in love and a part of the story they wanted to tell. And they fought to get us here today, and they’re heroes, one and all.

A.

One thought on “‘The Beginning of the End’

  1. Skye Winspur says:

    Yes, there are many heroes to credit.
    My real celebration came with the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in December 2010 — and then a little celebratory echo when the repeal came into effect some months later. Gay servicemembers coming out of the shadows was more powerful in my mind than any number of legally sanctioned weddings could be.
    And I don’t recall anyone from Buzzfeed asking Dan Choi, who fought so hard for DADT repeal, asking how he felt on the day of his victory.

    Like

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