I don't know what it is like to be blindly hated for my sexual orientation. I've simply, yet proudly, donned rainbow garments and stood side-by-side LGBT friends in rallies and parades.
I don't know what it's like to be attacked for holding the hand of my loved one or thoughtlessly kissing the lips of another, but I've stood up for friends, even strangers, in the face of bigotry and intolerance.
I don't know what it is like to constantly fight, day in and day out for decades on end, for a right so many take for granted. No one has ever told me I couldn't marry my partner because of an aging and outdating religious belief.
And yet, when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of marriage equality, proclaiming the equal right for all who love to marry those accepting of that love, tears streamed down my cheeks; ceaseless and constant and filled with an overwhelming happiness.
I watched cities around the country react to this historical decision as my ten month old son obliviously played with his building blocks in front of the television, smiling ear to adorably tiny ear. It was in that moment I realized how powerful today's decision truly is. I felt the palpable tides of time, that will methodically carry this ruling into the future and forever alter our country; proving that love does, in fact, conquer all.
And I, for the first time in months, felt like my son is growing up in a more beautiful, more understanding, more peaceful and more loving world.
While this ruling does not directly effect me, it does directly effect my son.
Because of today, my son will grow up in a country where there is no gay marriage or straight marriage, there is just marriage.
Because of today, my son will see no difference between the love a man and a woman share, than the love a man and a man or a woman and a woman share.
Because of today, the world seems a little less scary and I'm, therefore, a little less terrified of the day I have to send him into it.
Because of today, my son will have the freedom to choose to marry whoever captures his heart, whether it be a beautiful girl I'll probably pose a series of inappropriate questions to when first meeting her, or a handsome man, who I'll probably pose a series of inappropriate questions to when first meeting him.
Because of today, inevitable talks of love and sex and differences are easier. I no longer have to explain why some people can get married, and others cannot, even though the love both sets of individuals experience is the same.
Because of today, my son will see acceptance and tolerance as normal, celebrated qualities that every citizen should embody.
Because of today, my son will know that he has the freedom to explore his sexuality, and that the end result of that exploration will not put him in harms way or label his love illegal.
Because of today, my son can proudly speak of his parents, knowing that even though he was too young to remember, he was raised in a home that supported the rights of all people to love the one they love.
My son is far too young to comprehend the complexity of love or companionship. He has no idea what sexuality is, or the ways in which sexuality or sexual preference may impact his life. He doesn't understand marriage or have any knowledge of the constitution or realize that inalienable rights are still being fought for by citizens of the very same country he was born into.
But one day, he will.
One day my son will fall in love and, because of today, I rest a little easier knowing that whoever that person may be - black or white or man or woman - he will be able to celebrate that love openly, proudly, and legally.
I smile a smile similar to his, from ear to not-as-adorable ear, knowing that I can one day grow into a wrinkly, crotchety old woman who does nothing but reminisce about the good ole days...
... and tell my children and grandchildren about the day love won.