Dad Would Be so Happy

By Jenn Brown, Executive Director


In October of 2013 I was waiting in line for burgers on South Congress in Austin. My Dad called, so I ducked out of line for a second to answer. I could tell from his voice immediately that he had something important to tell me. And it was amazing news. He was getting married!

As a part of his marriage, he was also coming out. He had been with his partner for quite some time, and they were ready to share their love with the world.

I was the first person he told. His cousin later told me he asked Dad, “What did she say?” And my Dad replied, “She squealed. She was so happy for me.”

When we celebrated my Dad’s wedding that December, I cried the whole time. I will admit I’m a wedding crier — there is just something so amazing about sharing in people’s love and commitment. But this was extra special. My Dad finally got to be who he was. He finally got to marry the person he loved. And we were all a part of it as the loving family we are. I couldn’t have felt luckier that day.

What we didn’t know at the time was just how important that wedding would be. Less than a year later, my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and digressed quickly. It was so fast. There were so many decisions to make. And from the doctor to the nurses to the host of others involved, my Dad’s husband got to make all the decisions. It was never weird, it was never a question. They were married, and it was his right. I remember being so relieved they had married and that the person my Dad loved and trusted most in the world never had to fight to be the person in charge.

I tell this story not to be a downer on a joyous day, but to tell a personal story about why today’s Supreme Court decision is so important. It is so important that we all get to choose who we marry, how we lead our life, and who can make decisions for us.

I’ve cried most of the day — a combination of pure joy for the decision and sadness for the fact that I don’t get to share today with my Dad. He would have been so happy. But if I can’t share it with him, I am happy to be able to share it with my Battleground Texas family and all those who can now marry their loved ones. Here’s to love!