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It’s been a historic summer for gay rights. America is finally living up to its “land of the free” motto and treating individuals with respect simply for being human, not on the basis or their sexual orientation. Now all 50 United States recognize marriages between a man and a woman, two men, and two women as equal. There is no “gay” vs. “straight” marriage – there’s just marriage.

Although there has been some resistance from individuals such as Ted Cruz, who hinted that nullification may be possible on a state-by-state basis,  states must abide by the federal law, which now states legal marriage can be between two men or two women.

So, why am I writing about this on a mental health and suicide prevention blog?

Not only is the Supreme Court’s ruling historical, it should serve as a source of hope for those of us who identify with the queer community. I know people who have hid in the closet for years because they felt they had no reason to be out. They felt as if they were seen as unequal, inhuman, and had no reason to live the life they knew they should be living. Now, as of just a few weeks ago, no one will have a reason to feel that way because under the law they are seen as equal.

This is not to say that all discrimination and hate crimes against the queer community will come to a screeching halt – they won’t. But America is on the road to recovery regarding my community. We are being seen as equal slowly but surely. We are beginning to be treated with the respect we deserve. We are finally being treated as human.

If you identify with the queer community and feel insignificant because the world has treated you poorly on a social and legal level, please know and understand that you are not alone. You are not fighting this battle solo. You have a whole army of people behind you. We are making a difference. We are making history.

If you want to read more about the Supreme Court ruling, there are some great articles on CNN, the Atlantic, and USA Today.

If you need someone to talk to, please feel free to reach out to me @NotPeter_Parker on Twitter or email me at [email protected]. If you want to speak with an LGBTQ crisis professional, you can reach out to the Trevor Project (866-488-7386) or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 if you feel the need. If you are looking for a queer-positive space where you can connect with other LGBTQ youth, sign up for TrevorSpace!

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