Three years ago this morning my then-partner and I sat in our living room with our laptops open to SCOTUSblog and - with tears in our eyes - watched marriage equality return to California and DOMA go down.
A year ago this morning my by-then-wife and I sat with our laptops open to SCOTUSblog and - once again with tears in our eyes -- watched marriage equality become the law of the land.
Yes, June 26 (also the date of the 2003 Lawrence v Texas ruling) has been an auspicious day in the struggle for LGBT Equality. And while that struggle is inarguably far from over, we nevertheless celebrate today with Pride Parades and rainbow flags - celebrate the incremental victories on the road to the audacious goal of actually becoming a nation where liberty and justice for all really means "all."
This year we celebrate in the shadow of the backlash of state sponsored anti-LGBT discrimination and the tragic shootings in Orlando - events that make it abundantly clear that the virus of systemic homophobia is nothing less than a public health issue that continues to infect our nation. Homosexuality doesn't need healing - homophobia does. Gender neutral bathrooms are not a threat to anybody - transphobia is.
And yet we celebrate. We celebrate the designation of The Stonewall Inn as a National Monument to LGBT Equality. We celebrate the first time a presumptive presidential nominee marched in a Pride Parade. We celebrate the thousands of couples and families who now have the equal protection of marriage. And we celebrate the announcement that the Pentagon is about to lift the ban on transgender troops in the military.
We don't celebrate because we're in denial about how far we have left to go. We don't celebrate because we're willing to settle for where we are. We celebrate because the celebration fuels us, feeds us and reinvigorates us for the work ahead.
The work of choosing mobilization over polarization in the upcoming election cycle - getting out the vote in the face of arguably the clearest choice in our lifetime between moving stronger together into the future or turning the clock back on decades of progress.
The work of ending employment discrimination against LGBT Americans who can get married on Saturday and fired on Monday simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
The work of building coalitions across differences - using what we've learned in the fight for marriage equality to partner in the struggle against racism and sexism and to secure comprehensive immigration reform and sensible gun safety legislation ... just to name a few.
All of this is hard work. Long haul work. Incremental work that is profoundly countercultural in an instantaneous gratification world. But on this June 26, 2016 -- as we stand on the shoulders of those who could not have imagined the progress we celebrate today -- we recommit to claim their legacy as we continue the struggle until there are no incremental victories left to win. We pledge to stay "in it to win it" until we achieve that audacious goal of actually becoming a nation where liberty and justice for all really means "all."
Happy Pride, America! The best is yet to be.