Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We Got Hitched!

Well, gays and gals, we finally did it. As I wrote previously, Paul and I decided to head to DC and get gay married. With just three weeks to get it all organized and the much-appreciated help of family and friends, we pulled it off on Friday, the 14th in the city where I once lived, attended my first Pride at age 18, and marched in the streets on so many occasions for over the last three decades.

It was a whirlwind of a weekend that, in many ways, mirrored the the weekend we first met.

Was it love at first sight? Well it was something like that. I've always said, "when you don't have a plan, you better have good timing." We were both at the right place in our lives and the timing was just right. Suffice to say, that when I first laid eyes on Paul, I knew that his was the face I wanted to wake up to every morning.

Our first date lasted all weekend, culminating on my 40th birthday. Fast forward 13 years, three moves, 11 ducks, three cats, trips to L.A., NYC, DC, Florida and Paris (twice), uncountable ups and downs later and we decided it was time to make it legal in nine states and the district.

It was actually the Marriage Equality victories in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington State this year that got us thinking seriously about jumping the broom. We made the announcement to my family at my niece's wedding in November. With only a few weeks to plan, it was amazing how quickly everything came together with the help of family and friends. Thank you all for your support.

Our dear friend, blogger and activist Bil Browning performed a beautiful, simple ceremony in a park at Judiciary Square next to the Courthouse. After filing the license at the courthouse, we attended a gathering of family at my nephew Andrew's condo near Logan Circle, where we were greeted by such an outpouring of love and acceptance. What an amazing afternoon.

Bil wrote a piece about it at The Bilerico Project, where he quoted my father, who said, "I never thought I'd see the day that Steve got married. Times have really changed and I'm so glad I've lived long enough to be here for today. My son got married and just a few years ago I'd have said that would be an impossibility."

It wasn't just a celebration of our wedding. It was a day of healing as my family welcomed their prodigal back into the fold, for which I am so grateful.

I have to admit that over the years, I got so caught up in the fight for equality that it became more about the fight, than my own relationship with Paul. To those who say "it's just a piece of paper", I say, you are so wrong. Marriage makes a difference. It's not just about sharing in the over 1,100 legal rights and responsibilities that straight folks are entitled to. It's about love. I have never loved my husband Paul more than I do now and that makes all the difference.

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