When I created the character of Gilly Tomlinson, the political climate in the United States was very different. We were in the last two years of the Bush administration and the dialogue about marriage equality was minimal and the loudest voices were of those who cloaked their ignorance in the name of “family values.” Gilly was to be a character whose greatest struggle was being an openly gay man. Northeastern Pennsylvania isn’t the easiest place to be different, from sexuality to race to socio-economic level. I always knew he was out to his close friends and had a boyfriend in far-away Washington, DC, but as far as work and family went, he was just a bachelor trying to get ahead at his law firm. These social constraints were key to his character and the choices he’d make.
Now, the loudest voices are from people outwardly defending marriage equality and civl rights. Even some of my 8th graders created persuasive presentations on why gay marriage should be legal and wear pins that say “That’s So Gay Is Not OK.” After the Supreme Court’s decisions in favor if civil rights for ALL Americans, I am overjoyed to know I can revise what I had planned for him in the sequel. Will he struggle? Of course; however, his world, our world, is different from when we went to bed last night. I cannot wait for his part of the story to reflect this.
Today’s rulings don’t mean smooth sailing, just as the Civil Rights Act doesn’t mean we all overcame. I’m just excited that today opens so many options for all of us.
I’ve never been happier to revise.