It has been a few days since the voting has ended and I have somewhat regained my Facebook account and I have let some of the madness settle. There is still a long way to go and many things that can happen but the ever so public plea for votes has ended. No matter what the outcome the Doctor and I feel like we have made an positive impact. The long term impact of this contest remains to be seen but I know we have touched the lives of at least a couple of people.
We were touched by the mother who sent us an email thanking us for so publicly taking a stand. "I am so happy my son has a positive role model." I cried as a young high school student sent us a message telling us that we were his hero. And the couple that has been together for 50 years but has not been able to be legally married emailed us to tell us that they were "impressed by our courage." These are the people we unexpectedly impacted in this contest but these are the ones that mattered the most to us.
We tried to steer clear of the controversy. I know we were competing for votes against some very worthy couples. We all had heartwarming stories and things that set us apart. The Doctor and I never wanted to be identified as "the gay couple" with didn't want to play "the gay card." We are a couple that is very much in love. A couple that has stood by each other through the good and the bad. In our entry we minimized the hatred we had faced because we were entering a contest about love. In the entry we minimized the activist stances we have taken because we were entering a contest that was clearly about love. We entered this contest because we love each other, and then we were off an running.
Many people criticized us publicly or via email of just being any old "gay couple" saying there was nothing special about us, but I think that is an important point. I think that part of the reason we did so well in the contest was because we were a regular couple, who fell in love, and survived a lot of things. A couple that many people could identify with. There is nothing special about two men falling in love, or two women, it happens all the time. But society does not see the normalcy in it. Or is it possible that they do? We did after all make it to the top of the standings.
And then we were attacked for being that "gay couple" in some not so nice terms. We were attacked because of who we were and because the Doctor and I are proud of who we are we didn't back down. We stood by being the gay couple, we stood by our love and we pushed forward. The better we did the more criticism we would get from others. But by now we were on a mission. This became more about the statement we would make then about the Doctor and I. This was about marriage equality and all we had been fighting for. This allowed us to fall into the activist role and begin speaking out once again. Sure we wanted to win the wedding, so we could celebrate in style with our family but this was about our community. We wanted to positively represent our community in this contest now.
"We're Here. We're Queer, Get Used to It" has been a rallying cry but maybe the message we could send by winning the popular vote in this contest is that American's are used to it. That there is a new face of marriage and it has no gender. Last June I wrote an article called "What Have You Done Today to Make You Feel Proud" in my blog. I have done many things in this past year that I am proud of, but this contest has taken it to a whole new level. I am smiling from ear to ear no matter what happens because we can change things. We entered this contest because we love each other, we entered this contest because we saw it as a great opportunity. Is it possible that we can change perceptions on the way... yes, it is and because of that I am Proud!