15 years ago I struggled even to say the word "gay". I was scared, confused and terribly conflicted inside. I had known since middle school that I was different, but beyond that I still didn't fully understand my feelings. Why did I notice that other boy? Did I want to be his friend? Did I want to look like him? What was this strange attraction I felt? I was sheltered in a way that left me feeling clueless to why my peers chose to pick on me and call me names. Why did that guy keep calling me "fruit"? My eyes were slowly opened and because of my religious upbringing I was left feeling ashamed of who I was. Clearly there was something wrong with me and maybe I could make it go away.
I thought college would bring about a fresh start and a new beginning, but again I was challenged by my peers. I was "out", but in a way that most would probably consider "quietly out". I shared my story with close friends but did not broadcast my orientation to the whole world. It still felt like I needed to keep quiet and hide who I was. I still very much enjoyed my experiences at Trinity University and found myself focused on my studies and friendships.
When I graduated from TU and started working for Continental Airlines I was excited to join a workforce that seemed to be extremely inclusive and open. I started coming out of my shell and felt free to be myself. I no longer had to constantly keep my guard up. It's not that I completely changed or started acting differently, it was more so a confidence that started to build relating to understanding my own self worth.
I was incredibly excited and thankful when Casey came into my life. We had an instant connection that was undeniable. I quickly knew in my heart that this would be the man I would spend the rest of my life with. But even at that point, I wasn't sure that we would ever be able to get legally married. When we celebrated our wedding in 2012, the state of New Jersey only recognized civil unions. I never said I wanted to civil union someone someday… I grew up saying I wanted to MARRY somebody someday. Casey and I were able to "upgrade" our civil union to a marriage in 2013 when New Jersey made it legal at the state level.
Fast forward to last week, June 26, 2015… The Supreme Court's ruling made same-sex marriage a right nationwide. What an amazing outcome after so many years of legislation and activism. There is still progress yet to made and many causes to stand up for, but I am just so thankful to be in the position that I am today. I am no longer afraid or confused. I have confidence in myself, my husband Casey and the future we are working so hard to build for us and our soon to be children.
This past week I also celebrated my 10 year anniversary as a flight attendant. How did time fly by that quickly? I started training with Continental Airlines just one week after graduating from college and will hopefully never have to apply for another job for the rest of my life. I know my parents initially had their concerns about this career, but in the end I can see that they are proud of me. My travels have taken me all over the world and my eyes have been opened to so many cultures and experiences that I would have never had with another profession. Sometimes flight attendants are treated with minimal respect, but let us not forget our responsibilities beyond food and beverages… we are so much more than that. We have the unique opportunity to make a difference, whether big or small, impacting hundreds of lives at a time on a daily basis. I love my job and I love going to work… not everyone can say that.
In other good news, our caseworker Laura made her second visit today. Everything went really well! In the next two weeks she will write her report and upon completion we will be finished with our home study. Next up will be an information session with a local adoption agency in New Jersey. We are hoping to soon make a decision on which path we will take in terms of going with either an agency or attorney. There are a lot of things to consider but it is exciting to see that we are getting closer and closer to adopting our first child.
As always, thank you for your continued support. We continue to receive encouraging messages and greatly appreciate all of the personal comments. As KNIT FOR BABY continues to develop, I find myself thinking about the future and the day our kids will one day get to look back and see the whole journey we went on to bring our family together. It is such a beautiful and motivating thought. This is all for them.
Have a great week and HAPPY PRIDE!
David & (Casey)