When I talk about my spouse, people often ask about my husband. I don’t always correct them with fear of being rejected. I am not ashamed of who I am or who I am married to, but it’s something I don’t talk about to strangers for fear of what could happen. This is a theme that can be heard from many LGBTQ persons.
What makes our relationship, our marriage, different? There are two women. That is it. We love each other to the moon and back, and we bicker like the best of them. We have good days and bad days, and most anything can be made better if we have each other near. We made vows to each other, which are our promises for life. We want to grow and learn and experience all that we can together. Sounds pretty normal, right? Why is it that I don’t feel normal or like I can’t always share this part of who I am?
On November 3, 2018, we got married at Barn on the Ridge in Burlington, IA. It was a cold day, but it was absolutely perfect.
Planning our big day was stressful because there are a lot of things to get in order, which is definitely something most couples who plan a large wedding experience. However, there are some stark differences when the couple planning their wedding or living their relationship is a same-sex couple. Here have been some of our experiences:
*We were denied a service based on someone’s personal views on our relationship. We had exchanged several emails with a photographer who we were looking to hire and meet up with, and after most of those emails, he put two-and-two together and realized we are two women getting married. He told us he couldn’t shoot our wedding, for personal reasons, and then referred us to gayweddings.com. It was a huge upset for us because it was someone denying our love for one another.
After that, we felt we had to continually “come out” to all of our vendors so they knew what they were getting themselves into. Luckily our vendors were amazing. They embraced and affirmed our love! We had THE best vendors who loved and supported us through the planning and execution of our big day!
*Tradition is thrown out the door–mostly, anyway. How will you walk down the aisle? Will you even walk down the aisle? What will you wear (we got this question A LOT)? What will your last names be? All of these questions came from well-intentioned people, but it is something that straight couples don’t have to deal with as much or ever.
*When you tell people you are getting married and you’re right next to your fiancee’, they ask which one is getting married. Here’s a funny but slightly ridiculous experience we had in our wedding planning adventures:
The day before we went to decorate, we went to Sam’s Club to get some flowers (mainly babies breath and fillers) for the tables. The floral guy, Geno, was very talkative. We asked him about getting all the flowers we needed. He asked what they were all for, and we said a wedding. He continued to talk until right before we were headed to checkout and asked, so who’s getting married? We said that we both were…to each other. He gave us a look like “nah, you’re kidding me”. We just walked away.
I have a gay cousin. He was murdered.
Then we made it up to the check out, and some women behind us were like, “Ohhhh pretty flowers! What are they for?” We responded, “for our wedding.” They asked who was getting married. Like clockwork, we looked at each other and in unison said, “We are…to each other.” There may or may not have been some hardcore eye rolling happening. Then Geno, the flower guy, comes up as he was leaving his shift and said, “Isn’t that NEAT?!” Then he proceeded to put his hands on my shoulder, stood on his tippy toes, and whispered in my ear, “I have a gay cousin.” I was like “COoooooool”. Then he whispered, “He was murdered. Stabbed 72 times.” Uhhhhhhh? What?! I know my facial expressions were of horror. Now I know Geno was trying to make a connection with me…since I’m queer and he knows someone who is queer, but DAMN! This is exactly what I didn’t want to hear. He then proceeded to tell Lindsey and I that his cousin was a beautiful man who was a beautician. This whole conversation threw us completely for a loop, and at that time, all we could do was try to hold back our laughter. For those of you who know me, you probably know that didn’t work so well.
*Weird shit like that happens ALL the time. We were at the DAV one day, and the person working asked if we were sisters. I told her that we were actually engaged to be married. It was awkward.
*We were getting our nails done early in the relationship, and the person doing my nails continually asked me if I had a boyfriend. He asked like 5 times. Each time I responded with “no”. About the third time he asked, I told him I had a girlfriend. He. continued. to. ask.
Why do I share these stories with you? It’s not to make anyone feel bad. It’s not to gain pity from others. It’s to share our truth. These are things that happen to same sex couples (sometimes way worse), and if you are not in a same sex relationship, these are things you don’t have to think about. My goal in sharing our truth is to help you, the well-intentioned person, try not to make these same mistakes. So be a good person. Treat all couples, regardless of sex, gender, age, religion, race, etc., with the same respect. After all, we are all here to love and to be loved. Let it be about love.
End of rant…
& Peace to you,