The Power Of Words

John Corvino captures a moment of social transition. When his mother first got to know his boyfriend, she kept referring to him as John's "friend":

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when Mark (my partner of seven years) and I were visiting my parents in Texas. We stopped by the large salon where Mom recently started working.

I’d visited the place before, but Mark hadn’t, so Mom grabbed him by the hand and started introducing him around. “Hey, everybodyI want you to meet my son-in-law.”

And that's without marriage equality in either Michigan or Texas, where John, his de facto husband, and parents live. But John sees the connection:

In calling Mark her “son-in-law,” Mom is saying something that is false legally but true socially. The fight for marriage equality is largely a fight to align the legal reality with the social one. And the more often ordinary people refer openly to that social reality, the easier it will be for the legal reality to catch up.

If we build it, they will come.