Twenty years ago I was watching the Berlin Wall coming down, beginning a five-week process of selling my stuff, saying my goodbyes to family and friends, and preparing to leave England forever. I felt lonely and forlorn: going to a country where, if they knew I was a dyke, they wouldn’t even let me enter the country, where the only person I knew was Kelley.

Last night I shared a lovely little bottle of Barbaresco with Kelley in front of our fire to celebrate being Everything But Married in the fine state of Washington. Now, instead of worrying that the government won’t let us be together, I know that if Kelley and I want to split up, we’ll have to petition the court. (It’s Federal vs. State laws we’re talking about, of course: apples and oranges–but still.) The wine was a gift from our friends and neighbours, Vicki and Ron, who went out and beat the bushes for votes, who talked to their friends and colleagues–who, in other words, are partly responsible for helping get this law on the books.

Who knew, twenty years ago, that pinko commie queers would be taking over the world by…blending in, by being welcomed. Germany in stronger for reunification. I think this country will be stronger once it stops limiting its citizens. Our neighbourhood is stronger for its inclusiveness.

How about yours?