The First State Allowed Gay Marriage In 2004 & We've All Grown Up A Lot Since Then

On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to allow gay marriage, and at the time, it was just the sixth jurisdiction in the world to do so. Hillary and Julie Goodridge, the couple who brought the landmark case against the state, needed a police escort as they walked into City Hall to apply for their marriage license.

Since Massachusetts set the precedent in 2004, it has taken 11 years for the federal government to follow suit (but, hey, better late than never, right?). If you ask Julie, it really hasn't taken very long at all. "I think it's happened incredibly quickly," she said in an interview with New York Magazine in 2014. "The whole country has started to recognize that inequality, regardless of who it's targeted at, is problematic."

Since the ruling, Julie and Hillary divorced after five years of marriage and 18 years together total. Their daughter, Annie, who was just an elementary school student at the time of the ruling, has already grown up and gone to college. They're not the only ones who have moved on with their lives though. The world has seen many a breakup and many a college graduation in the time that it has taken same-sex marriage to become legal under federal law. Here's a look at what else has changed.

1. Mean Girls And The Notebook Topped The Charts…

...and let's be honest, they haven't left since. Before 2004, you probably didn't care at all about Ryan Gosling. Now, we're all baking a cake filled with rainbows and smiles. But some things haven't changed. "Fetch" still isn't happening, and you still can't ask people why they're white.

2. There Were No Weapons Of Mass Destruction In Iraq...

…but we're still not too sure about Iran. The United States invaded Iraq in 2003. Now, we're still there, kinda. And we're pretty much everywhere else. FYI: If you turned 18 and enlisted in 2015 that means you were only 7 when the first gay wedding took place.

3. The Most Popular Holiday Gift Was A Nintendo DS…

…first generation. It's still somewhat popular, but it'll cost you double this holiday season. Last year, you probably wanted an iPhone 6 — and you probably ordered it on Cyber Monday, or you skipped Thanksgiving dinner altogether and started Black Friday way too early.

4. Don't Ask, Don't Tell Prevented People From Serving In The Military…

…until 2011. Who could forget about this monumental win for the gay community (and, really, society in general). President Obama signed a bill to repeal the discriminatory policy on Dec. 22, 2010, and it went into effect the following September.

5. Gas Prices Reached $2 Per Gallon…

which was a record. Now, the national average is almost $3 per gallon, and that's pretty reasonable compared to what gas has cost between 2004 and now. Your road trips might cost a little more today, but at least now you could always just take an Uber. (P.S., take a moment to admire present-day Ryan Gosling.)

In 2004, while you were swooning over pre-biceps Zac Efron, Julie and Hillary Goodridge were making history in Massachusetts. In 2015, you can finally swoon over whoever you want, no questions asked. Cheers America, marriage equality looks pretty good on ya.

Images: Giphy (5)