I have a bad habit of underestimating how far my voice carries, and there are no closed doors in our office. It’s a way of compensating for the age of the building and the lack of an open floor plan. The downside is that there are no clear sightlines, so I never know who might overhear.
“Does it bother you guys that Paul is wearing a tie today?” Paul is our new marketing coordinator. He’s the boss. We usually dress down on Fridays, but maybe he doesn’t feel comfortable doing that.
I don’t feel underdressed or threatened as a result of Paul choosing to wear the normal business attire, but I could. Maybe the others could, too. So I ask the other two members of the content team.
They wince. Paul is standing in the hallway, a few feet from our door. I cover my face in my hands, then ask if he heard me.
They pull a face and shrug.
I ask if he’s coming this way.
They shake their heads.
We stay quiet for about half a minute and then I clear my throat and quietly resume our original discussion. It was something about office culture and goals and communication, so I don’t think my question was entirely irrelevant. Like, I can trace the train of thought that led me to ask it, but it’s the sort of hastily-considered utterance that doesn’t usually make it past my censor.
The point is, I had spent the past forty-five minutes not looking at my computer or my phone, so when I turned back to those, I found I had missed the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality by about ten minutes.
That’s where I was on June 26, 2015, the day gay marriage became legal everywhere in the United States.
When Amendment One was struck down last year, I couldn’t properly express how I felt. I shared an article from WRAL on Facebook, blending in with the liberal milieu.
Today is different. Today, as the arc of the moral universe bends a little more toward justice, I am celebrating openly.
It is a day worthy of celebration, too, a fitting culmination to a month-long display of pride. It’s true that there are other dignities left to secure. There is workplace discrimination to stamp out, there are transgender equalities to guarantee, and there is true tolerance to be had.
But today, as I look forward, I will smile knowing that the future keeps getting better. It gets better every day, and I know that my voice will carry on and on.