To my son,
Yesterday, you turned 6 months old. I can’t even begin to express in words how much you amaze me every, single day. You are learning to roll and sit and grab. Your giggles melt my heart. Your smile warms my soul. I can’t imagine my life without you, and find it hard to remember how I existed before you were here.
Yesterday also marked a sad day for our country. In North Carolina, 61 percent of voters effectively passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman. I know you don’t know what that means, but I’ll try to explain. Some girls love boys – like Mommy loves Daddy. But, sometimes girls love other girls, or boys love other boys. Some babies have two Mommies and some babies have two Daddies. Some people think one type of love is better than the other, but most of us know that love is just love.
Some people might ask me why I care so much about what happened yesterday – shouldn’t we be busy just celebrating your half-birthday? After all, we don’t even live in North Carolina. Most people would find it ironic that your Mommy is a registered Republican. (You probably don’t know what that is yet either – I’ll wait to explain when you’re a little older.) And others might say it especially doesn’t matter, because North Carolina already didn’t recognize gay marriage. But you see, son, it does matter.
You’re going to learn that you were born in a country where you can be whatever you want to be. You have something that lots of men and women fought very, very hard for – freedom. You get to decide if you want to go to college, or to trade school, or just finish with high school. You get to choose whether you want to start your own business, or work at a big company on Wall Street, or join the Army. You get to decide to have children, or adopt children, or foster children. You will be able to own a house, or a car, or a boat. You can practice a religion if you want. You can own a gun, like Uncle Ian. You can write about politics and say all you want, like Aunt Elizabeth. The world is your oyster, my love.
Unless you are gay. You see son, if you are gay you might not be able to get the job that you wanted. You might not be able to adopt a baby because you can’t have your own. You might not be able to marry the person you love. You might even feel like you have to hide who you are. Why, you ask? Well, son, because some people believe that one kind of love is better than another. Some people believe that certain kinds of love are wrong.
I know you may not understand these things now. After all, you’re just learning to crawl and you don’t really know this kind of complex love yet. But I thought it best to tell you now, just so we can be clear.
Every Mom and Dad wants their child to have it a little bit better than they did, and I want you to know my wants for you. I want you to know that no matter who you are or who you love, I will never love you a single ounce less. I want you to know that no matter who you marry, I will love them as I love you. I want you to always be true to yourself and never worry that Mom and Dad won’t support you. I also want you to be kind and open, and know that no matter who you love, your kind of love is not better than any other.
I dream for you a world where you can be free to love anybody. Because my heart would break if anyone told you that you were wrong for being who you are. Freedom is what our country was founded on, after all. And you deserve to exist in a reality where no one has the right to decide that one type of love is wrong. You deserve to live in a place where you can marry the person you love, without question.
Mommy doesn’t really like to talk about politics, because she thinks it’s the fastest way to make enemies. But I felt like this was an important message to give you. Today, there are 30 states that have laws discriminating against the gay population. Our own state is one of them, just like North Carolina. But I hope that by the time you are ready to get married (or maybe even sooner!), that number is 0. You are my son and I want the best for you. And, after all, every gay person is someone’s son or daughter. Maybe if more people remembered that, they wouldn’t try to tell them that they are wrong for being who they are. Because every human being has the right to love.
I Love You,