Words Together for the First Time

West Point chapel

Chapel, West Point, New York state

It’s been a great era for the LGBT community in the USA. Nothing’s perfect, but the changes have been amazing.

The chapel at West Point — the US Army college in New York state — is having a wedding of two lesbians.

President Obama, who said that he’d end “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” did just that. The American military didn’t implode. Reenlistment by non-gay soldiers didn’t cave like some homophobes predicted.

More states have approved marriage equality. Hate laws are still on the books in some states, but it is an improving situation. Everything could change in a flash, but it’s good right now.

The big news didn’t make any newscast. I was watching a TV show (Person of Interest on CBS). There was an extortion attempt against one of the episode’s characters: someone threatened to kill “her wife” unless the character did something. Lesbians on prime time television. It’s happened, even in the tightly puckered world of US television plots. This time was different.

“Her wife” was mentioned without comment. The fact that the characters were LGBT was just an accepted incidental. There was no subplot relating to their gayness. Nothing in the storyline was augmented or diminished because we had a lesbian couple. That’s just who they were.

I noticed because it was so matter-of-fact. Words that are put together today are combinations I never thought I’d see —

  • her wife
  • his husband
  • military same-sex wedding

There’s lots more work to do, of course:

“I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.”
— Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, August 27, 2003 (Fox News interview)



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