The Swirl: A Moment to Remember
The ongoing adventures of an interracial lesbian couple.
Per our usual Friday morning routine, I was in the kitchen cooking breakfast and belting out my own renditions of Luther Vandross and Rihanna’s Greatest Hits when Kenzie awoke. She came in and gave me my morning kisses before breezing by to turn on the TV. Like many other LGBTQ couples, our eyes had been glued to TV and phone screen for days. After daily disappoints with the Supreme Court’s decisions to delay an announcement on marriage equality, I had become numb to the disputes and debates that flooded the airwaves. I went from checking the news on my phone every hour to simply settling with seeing the announcement pop up on a friend’s timeline. Growing up as a little black lesbian in Alabama, I had never even dreamed that a day like this would ever come, and it almost appeared that I had been right.
Kenzie, on the other hand, monitored every announcement. She turned to the news, and I began to sing even louder. In the midst of my morning serenade, I heard Kenzie excitedly yell, “We won! We won!” Although I’ve probably only bought a handful of lottery tickets in my life, I automatically assumed she meant that we’d won the lottery! It couldn’t be! I ran up to her as she began jumping up and down, still chanting “We won! We won,” and I asked her, “How much?” She said, “Marriage! Baby, marriage equality won!” I couldn’t believe it! I joined her in jumping up and down, and then we embraced in a tight hug that seemed to last forever. She laid her head on my shoulder, and I felt warm tears, hers and mine, dampening my shirt. When we finally let go, we stared into each other’s crying eyes with matching looks of disbelief before refocusing on the TV screen to read the headline one more time…just to make sure.
The scene on the screen revealed a similar state of euphoria, as dozens of LGBTQ couples and advocates exchanged hugs and kisses on the steps of the capitol. Very seldom am I ever speechless, but for just a moment, it felt like we were frozen in time. Our phones began vibrating and chirping with congratulatory texts and phone calls that would go unanswered. This moment was ours. Kenzie finally broke the surreal silence with the words, “Mrs. and Mrs. McCall-Barnes.” It was official. No longer would I have to refer to my wife as just “my friend.” We began discussing changing our last names and how our future children’s birth certificates could now reflect the names of both mothers. The days of being too afraid to even acknowledge our love before our colleagues and the court of law were in the past, or so we thought…
Our magical moment was soon interrupted by the talking heads on the TV screen. Everyone was not as happy as we were. Many protestors recited Bible verses and legal jargon in defense of “traditional marriage,” while others repeatedly tossed around the buzz word of the day, “tyranny!” Much of this sounded like the same nonsense I’d learned to ignore, until I heard the mention of Georgia. The commentator explained that there are still 5 states where the LGBTQ community has no specific legal protection against job discrimination or hate crimes, and Georgia was at the top of that list. Although discouraged, Kenzie and I were not about to let anyone or anything ruin our beautiful moment. We turned off the TV and enjoyed our first breakfast as Mrs. and Mrs. McCall-Barnes in the state of Georgia.
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Kenzie on Instagram: @KenzieAndKia