“I only wanted to love him.”

As Zerlina said earlier this morning, President Obama’s announcement yesterday that he believes that same sex couples should be allowed to get married was significant. It represents an historic turning point in this particular struggle for American civil rights.

This video, by Shane Bitney Crone, is about what it can look like, and feel like, when people are forced to live and love without those rights. Shane was not married to his partner of six years, Tom. And when Tom died, his family, who had never accepted their son’s homosexuality, cut Shane out, of their lives and of their version of Tom’s life. Shane was threatened with physical violence if he came to Tom’s funeral.

This story, and many thousands more like it, are a part of America’s history of denying civil rights to LGBT people. That history should never be forgotten. But yesterday, the President took an important step toward leaving that history behind.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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