In honor of Valentine's Day, GLAAD is featuring a guest post from Scout and Liz Margolies, an LGBT couple who were married last year. Scout's proposal to Liz at the White House was filmed and became a viral video, garnering the attention of MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry. Harris-Perry featured Scout, who is transgender, and Liz, who is a lesbian, on her show, and attended their wedding in New York. As Scout and Liz celebrate their first Valentine's Day as a married couple, they have an important message for LGBT youth below.
This year, Scout and I are celebrating our first Valentine’s Day together as a legally married couple. It took us our whole lives to get here.
The world had to change to allow us to marry and we thank the LGBT activists who fought hard to win that battle. But, both of us also struggled to find out who we really were and then we had to find each other. We came out 30 years ago as lesbian and transgender in a world that was often hostile. We took a few wrong turns. We kissed a few frogs and had our hearts broken multiple times along the way. More than once, we each lost hope.
Then we found each other. We are not a fairy tale and love isn't always easy. We’ve had our fair share of conflicts. We’ve struggled with living two states apart, and building the communication that would hold us through the years until we can envision living together. We’ve shared in the joys and heartbreak of separate parenthood, with the deliberate decision not to become a Brady Bunch blended family. And beneath all the work and grit, we’ve come to truly know and deeply accept each other. As usual we won’t be together this Valentine’s Day, but by videochat and a smile we will feel love’s connection and comfort.
We are the truth that love is possible even when it starts from the complicated beginnings of being an LGBT person in this world. As former struggling teenagers and now parents of teenagers we feel acutely how alienating Valentine’s Day can seem for many LGBT youth. Who will love you? How in the world will you find them?
If we could have one wish this Valentine’s Day, we’d wish we could deliver a hand-made construction paper heart to every LGBT young person in the country, saying we love you and we hope you have a great year. If for some reason you’re not getting valentines from others, then we wish we could deliver you a dozen. Stay true to your own heart and someday every one of you will be getting valentines from the people who see who you really are and love you. Even if the road seems difficult now, we trust you’ll build the network of friends and lovers that will be a source of comfort in your worst storms. And you will always have that little imaginary heart of construction paper that says Liz & Scout <3 LGBT Youth.
Liz Margolies, LCSW, is Executive Director at the National LGBT Cancer Network. Scout, PhD, is Director of the Network for LGBT Health Equity at The Fenway Institute.