We Stand in Their Footprints

Over the weekend, while surfing the web, I came across another beautiful same-sex marriage proposal video (I am a total sucker for them!).  And, as I watched my eyes filled with tears, I got a lump in my throat and my heart grew another size as I witnessed a brave young man propose to the love of his life.  But then, something completely unexpected happened.  A wave of sadness washed over me.  Actually it was more like a wave of mourning.  And there I sat thinking “WTF!”…  I have watched dozens of these videos over the past year and have never experienced anything even closely resembling this feeling.

Then, after a long moment, it hit me…  I knew exactly why I was feeling what I was feeling.  It was the sudden realization that millions of LGBT men and women never lived to see this life affirming moment in time…  Millions of LGBT men and women never got the chance to stand in front of their peers, or their families for that matter, and profess their love publicly…  Millions of LGBT men and woman were forced to live in the shadows and pretend to be people they weren’t, people they could never be, because of the hateful actions of an intolerant world.  And I have to say, in that moment, my heart broke a little.

And then another realization washed over me.  The realization that they are with us…  That they are smiling down on us right now, providing us with the rainbows we stand under and the solid ground we walk on… And their footprints are the footprints that have led us to this moment in time…  And then I thought about how incredibly proud they must be of the community that we have become.  A community that is no longer willing to stay locked in a closet built for us by the ignorant.  And then, I smiled…  I smiled a huge smile because the reality hit me…  No longer are those closet doors (doors built by others) simply being opened, they are being blown off their hinges.

So, in this moment, I would like to say “thank you” to all of those brave men and woman whose actions carried us to our destiny.  You are the true heroes.  We are your legacy.


Michael Foley

About the Author

Michael Foley

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Michael Foley currently lives in Los Angeles where he pursues his passions. Writing, psychology, spirituality and politics. He has been a fierce advocate for LGBT rights since the early 80′s, during which time he was part of New York City’s Act-Up and a volunteer at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. He has worn many hat’s over the years including nearly a decade in Corporate America where he was an Operations Manager in the Insurance Industry (please don’t hold that against him). Today he is a produced playwright and actor who continues to support and fight for LGBT equality and the healing of the LGBT Community.