Opinion: Obama's speech shows changes for same-sex parents

President Barack Obama's speech at Barnard highlighted how the conversation around gay rights has progressed on campus.

Editor's note: Rose Arce is a senior producer at CNN and a contributor to Mamiverse, a website for Latinas and their families.

By Rose Arce, CNN
(CNN) -- Monday morning, as we scrambled to get Luna off to school, there came a moment when the timeline of my life leapt into fast-forward. I was carrying around an iPad turned to CNN, checking in to see what news awaited me at work, while Luna danced around me, knowing my partner or I would turn off the TV if watching it slowed her down. Then, suddenly, something brought us to a halt.
"President Barack Obama is speaking at Barnard College today," the news reader said. Our eyes widened, and we shot each other a smile. The president was speaking at Mama's school.
    I had arrived at Barnard in 1983, fresh from a school run by Jesuit priests, where gay groups were banned from the premises. A boy I'd known had been severely harassed for being gay. Barnard was a long step better, but on the first day of college, my dorm mates fell into silence when one young woman delivered this news: "I have two mothers," she said.
      I remember asking whether one was her stepmother. "No. My mothers are gay," she said. "They had me together." She looked so uncomfortable, and no one was stepping up to make her feel any better.