Yesterday was July 4th. I admit I find fireworks (and crowds) overwhelming, and was relieved to be in bed with my wife and baby as the pyrotechnic thudding and loud, distant music did their thing.
But yesterday I felt what I’ve only begun to feel in the past few years, as my understanding of our country and the way we fit into the world has deepened: Pride. I feel proud to be American, and happy to be here. I love that I can be gay, and trans, and married to a woman. I’m bothered that there are still a lot of ways in which I’m a second class citizen but those are increasingly due to my status as an Earthling and a woman and a trans person and a vegan pacifist unaffiliated with any major religion, and not my status as an American. It turns out that 2013 is beginning to be a pretty good time to be queer in America. For the first time I’m really starting to feel like America doesn’t mind that I’m here, and maybe even values my family’s contributions to and presence in society.