Growing up, I never thought about getting married. I wasn't the kind of girl who planned her wedding and imagined riding off in the sunset with some dude. Maybe it was because I was queer...maybe it was because marriages never lasted in my family...I don't know. I do know that when I came out at 21, I didn't mourn the loss of the fairy tale but my mother did. She had saved her wedding dress for me as well as the glasses that she and my father had toasted with on their wedding night. She was profoundly angry at my coming out but profoundly saddened by the realization that I would never get married. In one of her darker moments, she shattered the glasses and burned the wedding dress, something that she later regretted tremendously.
Marriage is a strong presence in our culture. It winds itself through books and movies, through playground conversations and classrooms, through expectations and unspoken words. Would I marry Luisa if I could? Yes, for practical reasons. Would it change the way we feel about each other or our commitment to one another? No, not at all. That said, our society holds up marriage as the Happy Ending for relationships. So, what does it mean when some people are allowed to marry and others are not? What message does that send? I want my children to know that their parents' relationship is just as valuable as any other relationship, their family as honored as any other. More than that though, I want my children to grow up believing that they can be honest about who they love. I want them to believe that all people are equal and worthy of respect. I want them to be able to define their own Happy Ending and, if that includes a wedding, I want them to know that their love will be celebrated...even if they happen to be queer. They'll always have their parents' support and that might be enough...but they deserve more than that. Really, they deserve the world.