By David Cho New Organizing Project blogger ==============================================
May 27 marks a historic day: Larry King ended his radio show in 1994; Britain agreed to return Hong Kong to China in 1997; UCLA won their 7th NCAA basketball championship under Coach John Wooden. On this unique date, I popped the question to a very special and important person, my-then girlfriend, now fiancé, Jane.
I always felt a huge rush every time I gave a speech in front of hundreds and thousands of people. But proposing to Jane was the most nerve-wracking. Was I not ready?
What was most important was that she said “Yes”. And I was forever grateful and indebted to her.
Look how happy she looks!
But up until this very moment, I actually felt awful the entire day. I reflected back on my DREAM Act activism the past three years: sharing my testimony for the first time in public at City Hall; speaking in front of 25,000 people at May Day; driving to Washington D.C. from Los Angeles for the Campus Progress National Conference; appearing in numerous rallies and radio stations across the nation; and being featured in C-SPAN, CNN, Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and the White House blog. I enjoyed every moment sharing my story and inspiring other students to fight for the DREAM Act. We came so close to passing it last December. Having said all this, I felt like I was betraying the movement and millions of students in my situation.
I questioned whether marrying Jane was the “right” thing to do. Will people consider me a traitor? Will I still be able to continue to share my story locally and nationally? How? Am I leaving fellow undocumented students in the shadow?
Hundreds of questions cluttered my head throughout the day. I talked to my close friends, like Nancy Meza, who supported my decision and urged me to suppress my pride. I thanked my friends for their support. After contemplating about my decision, I decided to pop the question. The deciding factor was my love for Jane. We are ready and excited to embark on a new journey together. People in many circumstances take different paths in life – we made the decision to marry a bit earlier than the rest of our peers.
This movement and the millions of undocumented students have shaped me into who I am today. I will continue my activism, remain as chair of ASPIRE at UCLA next academic year, and keep fighting for the DREAM Act.