Teenage Kyle saw love as the ultimate expression of human grace and evolution. Human beings talk a lot about love, but really showing it to others is difficult because we've been taught we shouldn't feel, we shouldn't show these feelings.We've been taught compassion is a weakness. Love and sex are sold as hollow commodities that you need to buy to have or express and they are used to make us feel small, inadequate, and uncertain. Love and sex and compassion, expressed in a authentic way, never leave you feeling like that, but it takes a long time to figure all that out and lots of tries getting it wrong, before you get it right.
If you had asked the teen Kyle if he ever would see a day when LGBTQ were treated with dignity and respect and finally acceptance, he would have told you, no, but that it was worth fighting for it even if he wasn't going to see it. He also didn't think he would be able to get married. He wasn't cynical, just a young person surrounded by voices that told him he wasn't worthy of any of those things. He was also well versed in how hard women, people of color, native peoples, immigrants, spiritual minorities and other marginalized groups were still fighting to be treated equally and as whole beings. Court rulings don't change hearts.
The SCOTUS ruling is the latest end, in this iteration of this familiar battle, but make no mistake this is one battle in a very long war. As I said before, court ruling don't change hearts, but, thankfully, one thing I've observed is that people do change other people's hearts. All the marginalized people I mentioned didn't see instant change when courts favored them in rulings. It took decades of further activist work and people getting to know them to get any real growth for any of them.
Celebrate today. Breathe. It is a wonderful achievement as LGBTQ Pride Month comes to a close, but do not forget the sweat, blood, and lives lost over the last century to get to this point. This moment was not free. It had high costs. Go into tomorrow prepared to fight. Now the really, really hard work starts. Fill you lives with love and happiness and watch out for each other. That's the best way to deal with our opponents and the best way to fill the coming decades and build our continuing legacy.