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It's been 1111 days since my last diary.

Which was also my first diary. What can I say, I'm not a prolific dKos diarist.

For the record: Four Left Feet: Dancing at Maine Weddings.

That day, I needed to post about the sadness I felt when my neighbors in Maine voted against marriage equality. I'm from Massachusetts, I'm a lesbian, and I'd been to a wedding in Maine the month prior. That entire evening I'd been hyper-aware of my queerness, even though I'm a chubby, femme-y lesbian who passes and passes and passes, whether I intend to or not. I'd been thinking on the ride home about how I could have more rights in one place, and fewer rights in another -- not because of any change in myself from one place to the next, but because of a change in something as ephemeral as opinion.  

The morning I wrote that post, I was desperately sad. I tried to be optimistic, I tried to believe things would be okay, but it felt so personal. I knew people had fought the good fight, and done their best, and that the times were changing. I knew how much worse it had to be for queer folks living in Maine. I knew I was the lucky one. I felt relief and guilt and sadness and I tried to feel hope.

But gay marriage had been voted down. I felt like a majority of people were telling me -- me personally, the girl who giggled at the idea of adopting lobsters from the lobster pounds, and knew what Stephen King's fence looked like in 1992, and had camped in a field to see stars you couldn't see from the city, and had waded into the ocean on Memorial Day weekend because kids in New England don't know what warm water feels like -- I felt like a majority of people from this place I knew so well were telling me that my love was wrong.

That feeling stayed with me for a long, long time.

And now my neighbors in Maine have voted again, this time to permit gay marriage. I somehow didn't think it would happen -- neighbors, I'm sorry. I didn't give you enough credit. I should have known better. I should have understood that basic New Englander contrariness, and basic New Englander belief in fair play, in minding your own business, in getting out of your own damn way, would win out in the end.

Neighbors -- thank you.

*

These days -- 1111 days later -- I'm planning my own wedding to a lovely woman who loves me. We've danced together at a lot of weddings since we started dating, a handful of months after I posted that diary. We've celebrated love with a lot of friends; some gay, some straight, some on the broad spectrum in between. It's amazing to me to realize that the next time we dance at a wedding, it will be our own.

*

When we started talking about our wedding, friends said things like, "You should elope! Planning a wedding is a nightmare! Go to Las Vegas. You'll thank yourselves later."

I said, "We'd consider eloping to Vegas if we could legally get married in Vegas," and many beloved, straight, ally friends were taken aback by the reminder that what is legal in Massachusetts is not legal everywhere. That was somehow both lovely and sad -- lovely because to them, gay marriage is so normal, of course you can do it anywhere. Sad not only because that's not true, but because it doesn't matter to them the same way as it matters to us; they don't keep a list of places where they will and will not be legally married. Sad because that list exists. Sad because this is a world where such lists might exist for a long time to come.

That list is shorter now.

*

I'll probably go back to lurking, for another 1111 days perhaps. But so much has changed and for some reason that number really caused me sit back and take note of it all. I've been reading along, supporting my causes and supporting your causes, trying to have faith in the system and seeing the good my president was doing; I was never much of a contributor, but I was here and tried to help. It feels so good to know that I'm a tiny part of a network that pushed and dragged and welcomed progress into this country; it feels so good to know that network brought positive change to communities far away from mine--Washington, I'm looking at you--and to places close enough to home that I think of them as home.

In the words of Republicans this election cycle, "Are you better off 4 years later?"

I am. I really am. We all are. And we brought each other here, to this better place; a hundred million left feet, dancing together.

Thank you, neighbors.

Originally posted to rejoice on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 07:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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