This morning, I woke up in a country where I have the right, granted by my government and protected under the law, to ask someone to marry me. I know that that doesn’t sound like a big thing to a lot of you. But when I was growing up, I didn’t ever believe that that would be a reality in my lifetime — I might only be a wean, but remember that I did most of my growing up under Section 28 and that homosexuality had been decriminalised in Scotland only four years before I was born. It’s a huge thing. It’s no wonder I can’t shut up about it.
I was on a life support course yesterday and then I had a time-sensitive errand that I absolutely could not not run, and so it was that when the arguments were being summed up I was in a garage with Flo’s wife trying to find a feed that would play on an iPhone.
“Sorry,” we said to my (wonderful) car salesperson. “Sorry, we’re being very rude but they’re voting in the Scottish Parliament.”
“Is this the marriage law?” he asked.
My car salesperson is a straight-talking straight Glaswegian. There was a time when I would have avoided a conversation about LGBT politics for fear of the response I might get. The fact that I no longer avoid those conversations is a little bit because I’ve changed.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous, if you ask me,” he said.
And then Beanie flapped at me because they were voting and I abandoned all pretence at polite conversation, first while we watched the vote and the announcement that the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Act had passed at 105 votes for to 18 against(!) and then while we screamed and hugged and cried. In the middle of the garage.
“I’m sorry, I’m okay, I’m sorry about the crying.” I rambled, incoherently, in half-sentences that I couldn’t finish because I had to keep stopping so that I could stop myself from bursting into tears, trying to explain the significance of what just happened.
“You’re all right,” he said. “I was just saying, it’s absolutely ridiculous. I mean, what’s the difference? You should just be able to get married!”
That, right there, is how we’ve changed the world.