Today’s blog post is written by our Social Media Director, Erik McIntyre.
Now, any twenty-something knows like I do that a post-college Facebook News Feed is no longer filled with photo albums of drunken costume parties, status updates about skipping class or Bumper Stickers (remember those?). Today, our News Feed looks much different. Not only has Facebook evolved tremendously in the last decade, but so have its users. I’m talking to you, fellow youngsters. Now, my News Feed seems to be inundated with three things: engagements, marriages and – you guessed it – babies.
For quite a while, each time I saw one of these types of posts, I was overwhelmed with feelings of frustration, confusion and jealousy, but mostly, just confusion. How was everyone else’s life going so according to plan and mine was… well, not? Though, as we get older, we learn a valuable life lesson in not comparing the success of our lives to that of others – something that’s become increasingly difficult in a social media obsessed world. Now, I do my part to swallow my pride and click “Like” on the often poorly staged engagement photos, and go about my day.
However, there was one love story on my News Feed that was just a bit different than all the others. There was something very unique, but so familiar about the story of my two former classmates at Ithaca College that had a different impact on me when I saw their wedding pictures. Their names are Mario and Jason and they are the first gay couple I know personally to be engaged and married in my lifetime. Mario and Jason’s story was recently featured on Freedom to Marry’s blog. They met in college when Mario and I were freshman and Jason was a senior. Despite a slight age gap and a long distance relationship for most of their time together, they stayed strong, defying any and all obstacles. The two are now happily married and living together in NYC.
For me, this union wasn’t about anything else but love, respect and equality. When I heard about their marriage, I wasn’t filled with jealousy, bitterness or confusion. I was overcome with hope, pride and joy. Their story made me step back and realize that not only is LOVE possible, but that marriage equality is a very REAL thing. This wasn’t a couple I didn’t know plastered on the front page of the Huffington Post, it was Mario and Jason!
It’s important to remember that progress is being made each and every day by people across our great nation. We have a President who supports LGBT rights. We have a number of organizations and lawmakers that fight tirelessly for marriage equality in each state. What I know now is that when the day comes and I find the man I love, our marriage will be accepted, praised and dignified, and that makes me proud. Mario and Jason, thank you for being champions, not only of love, but of equality. Congratulations!