Here’s a video to make you cry (happy tears!).
This past weekend, the White House held an LGBT Pride reception. Dr. Scout, who is the director of Network for LGBT Health Equity at The Fenway Institute and is transgender, had been planning for this party for a year. In the middle of Cross Hall, in front of the US Marine Band, Scout did this (skip to 1:55 for the goods):
The video’s hard to hear, but here’s Scout’s prepared proposal:
Because the last three and a half years, you have been an amazing adventure. Because you try harder than anyone in the world. Because while I’m a little scared to spend the rest of my life with you, because you’re so damn fierce, I’m also amazingly excited about the possibility.
This is, first and foremost, a personal moment between Scout and Liz. An incredibly human personal moment, since Liz Margolies, who is executive director of the National LGBT Cancer Network, is ambivalent about the institution of marriage and actually had to give the proposal a couple seconds of thought! Scout told me:
I was scared witless even before the event, but then when she started backing away I thought, “Oh no! We agreed remember, you’re going to say yes. Remember, yes!”
And she did!
By taking place at the White House, this action becomes more than the proposal. It’s a public declaration that transgender folks are people who live and love, and that this deserves to be seen and celebrated. When trans folks rarely get recognized in public for our humanity, this becomes a brave and impactful action, beyond just the bravery it takes to get down on one knee. Regardless of your thoughts on marriage (mine are pretty similar to Liz’s), you’ve gotta be a fan of the love on display here. I’m incredibly moved by this action and what it says about my community (not least of all because Scout’s one of those wonderful people you meet and instantly want to be around).
This story has caught fire, and sadly that includes a few loud people who think someone’s gender identity should be a prerequisite for if they get to love. In Scout’s own words, “It’s been really a surprise to us how much of a story this has become. Reminds me how often just living our lives openly can be revolutionary.” I’m not going to link to any of the haters, or really give them much thought here. Cause this beautiful proposal at the White House is great evidence that they’re losing and we’re winning.