I made a better activist for LGBT issues as a straight high school student than I do now as a gay, capable, intelligent adult.
I had this moment today where I realized that I had stopped caring. I had stopped caring about marriage equality and social equality and everything else. I went to the rallys, sure, but not for the right reasons. I went because I was gay, because these are my people, because I owe it to this community to be there.
When I was in high school, I never even thought about liking girls. It just didn't even register that I could. "The small valley I grew up in didn't really have any gay people, so how could I be gay?"
But even as a heterosexual teenager, I followed gay marriage every moment of every day. I organized campaigns, I got kicked out of classes for protesting, demonstrating, arguing against my Mormon teachers.
I followed it because my heart broke for every couple who loved each other and couldn't get married. My heart broke for the lesbian couples where one person had to legally adopt the child that was rightfully their own. It broke for the gay couples who weren't allowed to adopt. For the couples that were ridiculed and discriminated against. For partners who weren't allowed to stay together when the other was dying in a hospital.
My heart broke for them. And now I know for us, for me. So why is it that when I became a part of the LGBT community my heart stopped breaking? I lost all compassion. I was so caught up in the fact that there were cute girls at the rallys, and so fed up with organizations asking me for money, so fed up that we were losing in every part of the country, that I think I just shut down. I stopped thinking about it all so that I could ignore it all and not feel the disappointment and the heartbreak.
I realized today that I didn't care anymore, and that made me feel awful. I felt cold, callous, and completely detached. I don't want to be detached. I don't want to forget that this isn't just about marriage equality. That term sounds so detached from the issue it is representing. Like it's all about wanting to be married. That's scratching the surface, to say the least. It's about the struggle that LGBT couples go through every day that straight people don't. About the injustice that we receive. About all the places that won't rent to gay couples, and the adoption agencies who refuse to trust us with children.
I remembered today, why I cared. Why this was so important to me. Even though my heart is breaking all over again, I'm glad that I'm not detached and jaded anymore.