I’m not going to spoil the happiness of this story, but I have to say, one of my favorite lines ever: Marriage agreed with me. Yes. Yes, exactly. Meet my guest for today’s Marriage Project:
Love is love; it has no prejudice toward color or gender. Love is just love. I have never been able to understand why that is a problem for others. Nor am I able to understand why any two people in love cannot express that within marriage. Why does one couple’s love mean more than another couple’s love just because of a silly thing like gender? It just doesn’t make any sense to me and I’ve gotten into debates about it to try to understand the point of view that gay love isn’t real love. But by the end of these debates I didn’t understand any more than I did before, I was just a lot more upset and teary eyed.
I grew up in the country in Eastern Washington and wasn’t exposed to very many “controversial” things, but I was the black sheep of the family. I was always a little too outspoken, a little too open minded and far too curious. So I decided on a whim to pack my things and move to Long Beach, CA to see what life was like without people telling me what was right and wrong or even worse, proper.
Needless to say, I was not prepared for what I was about to experience going to a design school in California. Within the first couple days I had met many men far more feminine than I, had seen gay couples walking in public holding hands, and had a guy living as a girl in transition down the hall. Most shocking of all was my fashion-designer roommate telling me that yes, people actually buy ugly purses for thousands of dollars!
It all was shocking to me, but I loved every minute of it. I lived in the dorms for a few months then moved to the apartments with a friend. After living there for a couple months we went to our first Pride Festival, since our apartment was right by the parade. I had never seen such a celebration; there were scantily clad men and women on floats singing, “I’m. Coming … out. I’m coming out! I want the world to know …” there were the manliest drag queens I’ve ever seen along with queens I thought there was no possible way they were really men. There were Dykes on Bikes (which I secretly found myself crushing on), there were gay couples young and old, black, white and every race under the sun. I honestly had never experienced such an outpouring of love in one place.
Soon after Pride my roommate and I were joking and wrestling and then kissing. Yeah, that was another shock to say the least, but it didn’t stop us, nor did it take us long to fall completely head-over-heels in love. It was a whole new feeling that was exciting and terrifying at the same time. Neither of us felt we could tell our family, and because we were both living away from home neither of us had to. I remember being scared yet absolutely proud to hold her hand in public. What if somebody saw? What if it upset someone? I realized I didn’t care, she was my girlfriend and I was proud to hold this beautiful woman’s hand anywhere we went. Though the relationship didn’t last till death do us part it was an important chapter in my life and it opened my eyes to the fact that I have this amazing capability to love a person – man or woman. It taught me that gender has no bearing on the depths to which you can love a person.
I moved back to Spokane two years later and was so scared because I knew I would have to come out of the closet to my family eventually, and I did about a year after my son was born. When I did, my sisters were not surprised because I seemed a little too friendly with that roommate from college I had brought home for break. But they didn’t understand why I would want to limit myself to no marriage and no more babies if I decided to be with a woman. I told them that I wouldn’t be limiting myself at all! I knew eventually marriage would be a possibility, and as far as kids go my son was a bit of a fluke since I wasn’t supposed to be able to have babies at all. So whether I chose a man or a woman there would be hurdles to overcome.
Four years ago I met the man who would become my husband in the truck-stop shower where I worked. No I am not making this up, I swear! He is everything in a person I knew I needed. As we grew closer as a couple and a family we started talking about marriage and began seeing it in our future. My biggest fear was that I would be unable to give him a child of his own. I knew he loved my son, but also knew that he wanted his own. We set our date to be married on 10/10/10 at 10:10am (because yes we are that cheesy) and they were amazing weddings. Yes, weddings.
We had the day all planned, our vows written, the readings carefully chosen and the altar built. We were prepared for our outdoor wedding to be inside due to rain. Everything was set except for the marriage license. So we went down to the courthouse to get it and the clerk told us that we could not be married until the 11th at the very soonest due to Washington’s three-day waiting period. We were one day too late. I proceeded to go to the bathroom and hysterically cry. Many tears fell until we decided to go get married at the Hitching Post in (no waiting period) Idaho, and then we could renew our vows on our wedding day.
It was an amazing day; I had never felt so in love as I did when he swept me across the room for our first dance. I knew that this man had declared his love to me for both the woman I was and the one I would become. He had taken my son as his own and loved me even if I couldn’t bear his children. And with that kind of a public declaration of love I knew that we would come across hard times but with his hand in mine we would make it through.
I may be a total romantic, in fact I know I am. My doctors all said that it would take fertility drugs to give me another baby. Yet, we got married 10/10/10, went on a honeymoon for a week and found out the next month I was pregnant. Obviously, I know a little paper saying we were married didn’t do the trick. But in my heart it was the moment that I said “I do” and “until death do us part” that created peace within my body. Marriage agreed with me. As I write this I have my baby sleeping in my arms and my husband sleeping next to me and in this moment I think I may have fallen in love with him all over again.