Last week, when the highest judiciary in the nation was discussing the fate of countless families like mine in California and possibly throughout the nation, I want to take the time to explain my individual perspective as the 17-year-old daughter of two moms. My parents met at a mutual friend's college party and immediately hit it off. They were "married" in a religious (although not "legal") ceremony several years later. They were married again in Victoria BC, after Canada legalized same-sex marriages, and they tried to be married again in California in 2008 after same-sex couples were temporarily given the right to marry. They were turned away by the county recorder's office because their Canadian marriage was now recognized. They will celebrate their 30th anniversary this year.
At present, none of these marriages are valid in the federal government's eyes -- unless the Supreme Court chooses to overcome prejudice and overturn Proposition 8 and DOMA.
I also want to address the claim made by proponents of Proposition 8 and DOMA that LGBT-headed households are harmful to children. This, in my experience, is completely false. My sister and I grew up knowing no other family than ours; two women who love each other and love us. That is just the way it always was. I can't believe that anyone would try to tell me that just because my parents both happen to be women, they love me and my sister any less or are any less capable of providing for us, than if one of them was a man. In no way did I ever feel that I was missing anything that my moms couldn't provide.
Our family situation is as stable (if not more so) than any heterosexual family. Because I never knew any other family dynamic, I never felt that I was missing anything. And I wasn't. I have two parents who love me and that is all that matters. As a 2-year-old child, I began to notice that I had two mommies, while other kids had only one. "How did they get to be so unlucky?" I wondered. It never occurred to me that society considered me to be the unfortunate one. In my innocence, I assumed that families like mine were the lucky ones.
I started campaigning for equal rights and marriage equality when I was only 7-years-old at a campaign rally in Los Angeles. At that point, I was too young to comprehend that anyone would actively work to prevent a minority from obtaining basic rights. I've been campaigning ever since, lobbying in Washington, D.C., and speaking on panels about the normalcy of having two moms. And now, as a high school junior, I know that I am who I am because of my moms, and I couldn't be happier or healthier.
I remember waking up the morning after Prop 8 passed wondering how this is possible and questioning why people didn't know better. How is it that a 17-year-old can see what some adults cannot seem to? That love makes a family.