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It is a foregone conclusion these days that full marriage equality will happen. Especially since a sitting President has now come out in favor of it.

What I know is that we would never have come this far without you, the straight allies of equality.

I would like to share my personal struggle with all of you. Join me under the orange squiggle of fab and I will tell you why it means so much to me personally.

Once upon a time I was a young, bright eyed, feminist lesbian, who thought I could change the world. Then like many of my straight counterparts, I fell in love, and sank into blissful domesticity. As the years with my love passed, it became clear that she had issues, and eventually we learned that she was bi-polar. I won't recount the struggles of living with someone with that condition, I will just say that she suffered far more than I did. One of the symptoms of her illness was uncontrollable spending. I could never save money because she would always spend it. Eventually I had to quit work to care for her and we barely scraped by on her social security. For this reason we never were able to complete the legal documents necessary to protect each other in case of death.

Well it doesn't take a genius to see what could happen. Yes, she died (after 20 years together) and I lost the property, house, cars, etc.etc.etc. that we had worked for and acquired together. Worse, our daughter also lost it. Because she was not the "blood" of my partner she had no legal claim.

I recount this, not to garner sympathy. My life is wonderful and I am blessed beyond any imaginings I could have had back then. I recount it, because as all of you know, public policy has personal implications. They effect real people and real people's lives. I am just one of many hundreds of thousands, if not more, who can tell this sad story.

I never imagined, back then, that marriage would ever come to be a real possibility for me. I was used to living on the fringe, never being a real member of society. I never imagined that anyone but my gay and lesbian counterparts would come to understand the struggle, the fear, the uncertainty, the basic unfairness of it. Or even care. After all, it doesn't affect you personally. Even straights with gay family members back then, didn't get it. They mostly loved their gay family members and prayed for them. Well prayer is ok, but understanding and taking up the drumbeat of equality is better. Much, much better.

A friend told me today that I am a stepping stone for the next generation, and I am proud to join all the countless stepping stones that have gone before me. But we couldn't do it without you. So thank you. Thank you for caring about a fight that doesn't have to be your fight. Thank you for marching with us, for voting with us, for being our allies in what seemed a few short years ago like an impossibility.

Thank you.

Originally posted to azrefugee on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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