A big victory occurred for the gay community on Friday, June 26, 2015: The Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide, finally granting us our constitutional right to legally wed our partners.
This landmark action coincided with Gay Pride festivities across the United States and really gives us reason to celebrate. It is a beautiful thing to witness this in our lifetime after all of the struggles we’ve endured fighting for gay rights.
This monumental move demonstrates the progressive movement we’ve made to gain recognition and acceptance of the validity and legitimacy of our relationships after being a marginalized group for so long in our western society.
We still have a long way to go with reducing discrimination and other injustices aimed at our community, but this decision is the game-changer we’ve all been passionately fighting for in seeking equality. Cheers to everyone throughout history who contributed to this glorious achievement.
Here are 3 ways the legalization of gay marriage is going to change your love life:
3. You Have Another Milestone to Look Forward To
We are all socialized and groomed in our culture to marry, but as gay men and women, our relationships were never validated or given any credibility or value.
As such, we lacked role models, templates for healthy relationships and milestones or rites of passage that helped us along our journey on finding a mate and building a lasting partnership that would ultimately lead to marriage.
Many of us never thought marriage was ever going to be in the cards for us, so we never aspired for it.
Our worldviews and thoughts of what could be possible have now been rocked, and we have the ability to co-create with our partners the ideal vision for a legally-recognized partnership that was never afforded us before.
2. You’ll Have to Address Your Real Feelings About Commitment
For some of us in the community, this is a time of excitement. For others, it can be a stressful transition to embracing a new lifestyle choice that was never available to us before, as is commonplace with any type of change.
It may force some couples to address long-standing relational issues or their feelings about commitment and what this looks like now that marriage is a viable option they never thought was possible or had to think about before.
It is my hope that the legalization of gay marriage will now help create more permanence in gay relationships as same-sex love is now more affirmed and accepted.
I hope this creates a shift in our ability to express our feelings for our boyfriends/girlfriends and partners in the public eye and that we can begin to become more free in our public displays of affection with more hand-holding in public venues, being able to kiss in public in ways our heterosexual counterparts have been able to take for granted.
1. Your Relationship Can Be Just as “Normal” as a Heterosexual One
Shame will reduce, homophobia will decrease, the coming-out process will be less painful and arduous and get to a point where it’s not even an issue because to be gay is to be as “normal” as heterosexual is — and it’s not viewed as a variant or “alternative lifestyle.”
The landscape of gay dating and relationships is now changing. Whether you’re single and dating or already in a relationship, it can be helpful to reflect and discuss with yourself or your partner what this all means:
- What does marriage mean to you?
- What are your expectations of marriage? Are they different or the same as what you had for relationships before?
- If you’re single, will you add marriage to your personal requirements for a partner? Is marriage a negotiable or a non-negotiable need for you? Will this impact your screening of dating prospects for whom you may deem as a suitable mate?
- How will you conduct your dating life now that same-sex relationships are more legitimized than ever before with the legalization of gay marriage? Will you be more open and expressive, or will your style be as it always has?
- If you’re coupled, what is your vision for an ideal marriage? Co-create this as a team with your partner and make it happen. Begin this imaging process if you’re single and work to make it manifest during your dating journey.
Please post your thoughts and comments about the impact you think the legalization of gay marriage may have on your gay dating lifestyle and practices. How could it impact the gay community as a whole and society’s adjustment to the reshaping of the marriage institution? Let’s dish!
Photo sources: EntertainThis.USAToday.com, NYPost.com, Content.Time.com, Columbian.com.