LA Times Letters
I’m 54 years old. Half a century is more than enough time to get used to the idea that something is not an option.
Which is precisely what made Wednesday so remarkable.
I called home to see if Jaymes had remembered to pick up the water filter from Home Depot. He answered the phone with the most exuberant “I love you” that I’ve heard from him in our six years of partnership. He told me that Proposition 8 had just been declared unconstitutional by the federal court.
Then he asked me to marry him.
What a surprisingly strange, otherworldly experience.
Later I closed the class I was teaching with the news that I was headed out to celebrate the Proposition 8 ruling. When one of my students asked, “Are you getting married?” and I replied, “I was actually proposed to this afternoon,” the class burst into a spontaneous wave of applause. That surprised me a little.
And with each student’s expression of congratulations — and there were many —I realized it wasn’t marriage per se that was being congratulated. It was the fracturing of a 54-year-long story of being “less than,” of being “other.” It was an affirmation that my relationship deserves equal protection. Wow.
By the way, Jaymes didn’t remember the water filter from Home Depot. And I can’t imagine having cared less.
The writer is a professor of psychology at Antioch University Los Angeles.