A Day for Love, Equality, and my Mom.

June 26th has become one of my very favorite days. It has become a day of gratitude and reflection. 

Today is a day I remember the best and funniest side of my mom; it would have been her 67th birthday -- she LOVED birthdays! And, in recent history, it has also become a day to reflect on equality and what it means to be a part of this incredible time in history when laws, hearts and minds are shifting. 

Google's homepage currently has a quote that says, "Be who you are. Love who you love. #prideforeveryone."

Time magazine has written that "June 26 is a date that represents what happens when America works the way it’s supposed to work... June 26 isn’t just a symbol of marriage equality or gay rights– it’s a day that commemorates a collective change of mind, the American ability to choose freedom and equality."

I absolutely agree.

June 26th has more than a decade history of being a day of equality:
  • 2003 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Lawrence v. Texas that gender-based sodomy laws are unconstitutional.
  • 2013 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5–4, that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  • 2015 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5–4, that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. 
Last year's Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex marriage in the United States was two days shy of Julia and my one-year anniversary. We were planning to elope to Colorado since Texas was adamantly opposed to equality -- it didn't seem like that would change, and we didn't want to put our life on hold or give archaic politicians the power to validate our relationship.

When it was announced that marriage equality was the law of the land I was overcome with emotion -- not just for us, but gratitude for the people who had fought and even lost their lives to make it happen. And, sorrow for those who have had to live in hiding, and who were not given the rights that Julia and I will have in our marriage simply because they were born to a previous generation, or live under an oppressive regime. Not a day goes by that I don't feel incredibly blessed to be able to love Julia openly, wholeheartedly, freely and legally.

We are lucky.

I would like to think that there is some connection between June 26th being a day of love and equality, and my late mother's entry into this world. I know that if she were here, she would love Julia and support marriage equality and happily celebrate her birthday at a Pride parade. 

My mom had a zest for life. She loved parades and festivals. June 26th is the perfect day for pride parades and festivals to be held around the country -- if she were here she'd probably end up on a float with the drag queens, wearing a tight pink dress, big hair and sparkles, out-dancing everyone :)

On her 52nd birthday, the year she passed away, she hosted a big rock 'n' roll themed costume party simply for the excuse to dress up, be flamboyant, and dance.

Beyond pride festivities and equality, there are other ways that June 26th is the perfect day to celebrate my mother's life.

June 26th is the kickoff of Shark Week, and she loved sharks. We spent our summers at the California beaches, and while I was terrified we might encounter a shark, she was hoping we would see one. She also had a giant crush on Chris Isaak, Wicked Game was one of her favorite songs. So it makes me happy that she shares her birthday with him.

Lastly, June 26th marks, "Forgiveness Day," which is explained as "a time to forgive and to be forgiven. The world will be a better place for this day." 

I do believe that the world is better for this day. 

It's a day when people are reminded that they can love who they want to love, and I can celebrate the woman who taught me that it was okay to go against the crowd and not be afraid to be unapologetically myself. The woman who gave me the courage to take a chance on love.

Today is a good day.

Happy Birthday, Mom. xo