Jody and I got married last Friday.
We were lifted up in joy by her parents, her twin sister and sister-in-law, and my three closest friends from the good ol’ days–ma familia–Andy, Jonathan, and Gary.
After a limo drive from midtown Manhattan to the New York City Clerk’s office, we navigated the completely unromantic environment of marriage bureaucracy, took a number à la Baskin Robbins, and waited our turn to enter the “Wedding Chapel,” a purple shellacked, not-so-hallowed hall that made us all laugh out loud.
Our ceremony was officiated by a goodfella straight out of New York Central Casting, a gentleman who genuinely loves his job (“IF anyone HERE knows of any LEEEGAL reason why THIS couple should NOOOOT be wed, speak NOOOW or forever HOOOOLD your peace”), closing out with a ringing, “I now pronounce you… MAAAAAARRIED!”
Pictures in the Wedding Garden across the street (“No, Alice, you can’t just lay your purse on the ground. This is New York!”) followed, then we limoed our way back to midtown and Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain for an afternoon of splendiferousness. There’s just no better word for it.
My friend Frank said, “It’s not like turning 18. You will feel different.”
Three days later, maybe he’s right. There is something extraordinary, and I must say humbling, about having friends and family surround and embrace you while celebrating your becoming a family–their family. I don’t care how sophisticated you are, it’s just not the same as moving in together and people saying, “Yeah, that’s cool.”
Three days from now, about seventy-five other people will descend upon us in Atlanta to participate in the Episcopal church blessing of our legal union–that’s how the Bishop described it to us, that the church will bless a union that is already legal. Again, that so many people will spend their time and money to come lift us up, to be our family, our net, to acknowledge us as they have one another… to have that occur on our behalf is somewhat discomfiting–in a good way. It’s new. It’s different. It’s unexpected. It’s a little bit uncomfortable. It’s that dream I didn’t dare dream come true.
This is what it means to be equal. I didn’t quite know what I was missing. I do know that it’s worth fighting for.
If you have the opportunity to vote for a candidate or local initiative that supports equality, this is the joy, the inner peace, that you can accomplish for all your gay friends and family. You and you alone have that power. I for one am infinitely grateful when you use your power for good. Thank you. ;c)