But never in my life had I wanted to be gay more than last week.
See, last week, as you all know, the Supreme Court heard arguments to strike down both Proposition 8 in California and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Like so many others, I changed my Facebook profile picture to the red equals sign.
And so did my sister.
And so did my brother.
When my father logged onto Facebook that afternoon, he asked me why all three of his children had the same profile picture. I explained the meaning to him and this set off a firestorm.
In hindsight, I probably should’ve said it was to show how much we all love bacon or something equally uncontroversial.
My father than posted to my sister’s and brother’s pages, voicing his disapproval of their pictures (he never actually said he didn’t like my mine, but that could simply be because he is used to me doing things like this), stating he disagrees with marriage equality and isn’t happy with their decision to support it.
This broke my heart.
Because my father is a good man. He’s a crazy, gun-toting, Fox News watching conservative, but he’s a good man.
And I know if I went home this weekend and told him I was a lesbian and had met someone and wanted to marry her, he would be 100 percent supportive. He would walk me down the aisle, give me away to my wife, toast the two of us at our reception, and love and spoil our children.
And there would be one less person out there supporting DOMA and Prop 8 and discrimination against the LGBT community.
Unfortunately, I am not gay and, like so many others, my father can’t make the jump from his children’s happiness to the happiness of other’s children.
We hear it all the time., We've heard it in the recent rape cases: What if it were your daughter or sister or mother? Well, so what if it’s not? Does that make rape any less heinous? Because it isn't happening to someone you love it is okay? Because your child is straight and legally allowed to marry and divorce as many times and he or she sees fit, you don't care if your neighbor’s child has the same right?
I would like to believe that even if I didn't know a single gay person, I would still have changed my profile to the red equals sign. I can't know for sure, because I have a number of people in my life who I love and call friends who happen to be gay. And, while I know my changed profile picture will have zero impact on how the Court votes, I still changed it to show my friends, loved ones and strangers that I think it is pretty shitty that I can go out tomorrow and marry some random stranger, meanwhile they can't marry their partners of many years.
I only hope one day my father will feel the same way. And that it won't take having a gay grandchild to make him change his mind.