On May 2nd 2011 I was freed from the oppression caused by growing up under the numbing fear of terrorism. The relief that swept over the nation was palatable as Osama bin Laden, the boogie-man of 10 years was gone. The night he was killed I celebrated with a few thousand people in DC as we felt a wave of pure joy wash over us.
On Wednesday June 26th 2013 I witnessed a similar experience of coming out of oppression and into joy as I stood on the steps of the Supreme Court waiting to hear how 9 justices felt the statement “All Men Are Created Equal” applied to me and my LGBT brother sand sisters.
As the news came down and over the past 2 days I have felt a lift in oppression. No longer does my country discriminate against who I can civilly marry and the rights we are entitled to.
There is still oppression in over 30 states where LBGT families are not recognized as married and in 29 states LGBT people can be fired without cause just for being gay. Just as terrorism is not dead, oppression is still acceptable in many states.
Yesterday my friend and former boss asked me which of these 2 experiences was better and to me they both represent witnessing a uniting force of love lifting us up out of the normal human condition offering us a chance to glimpse the divine.
Oscar Wilde penned these lines that express how powerful this moment was:
“There was a time I might have trod the sunlit heights, and from life’s dissonance struck one clear chord to reach the ears of God.”