What’s amazing about marrying my
sweetheart, besides my incredible good fortune, is the feeling of
being old-fashioned. I’ve talked to all kinds of straight folks who
pooh-pooh the marriage idea. A youngish insurance guy I spoke with
the other day laughed at the idea that gays would destroy marriage
and said, “Marriage is already destroyed.” He cited divorce and
spousal abuse and ignoring the needs of the kids as the real
So, with that resolved and no feelings
of guilt about what non-gays have brought on themselves, I am pleased
to say that my sweetheart and I will forge ahead with our plans to
marry in October. With a growing number of gay and non-gays planning
to watch this dangerous joining of two women who want the commitment
the ceremony commands.
That’s the other amazing thing: the
incredible people who want, or are willing, to witness our vows. Some
of them are traveling long distances at considerable expense to be
there with us. I’ve usually been a reluctant observer so it’s
hard for me to imagine what draws people. My much loved nephew
married last month and I thought it made more sense to save the money
my sweetheart and I would spend getting there and give it to the
Perhaps I was being too sensible. The
groom, despite what I assume were nerves and misgivings, said his
wedding day had turned out to be one of the best days of his life.
From the suppressed delight in his smile as captured in a photograph,
and the pleased shy expression on his bride’s face, I can see why.
I don’t recall ever seeing anyone embody so well the expression
“looks like the cat who swallowed the canary” as my nephew. He,
by the way, married a woman too. Good choice.
Now I too find myself so traditional
that I want to make legally and spiritually binding this to have and
to hold thing. My sweetheart is perfect for me. I am throwing myself
at her feet, trusting the mercy of her love. She thinks she is the
lucky one, but I can tell you right now that no one on earth could be
more grateful or more blessed than I will be to stand at her side and
hear her put into words, in front of those who people our world, her
desire to entwine our lives, for the rest of our years and beyond.
When my sweetheart invited her dad and
sisters, I had my doubts they would want to see her marry a woman. I
had the same doubts about my brother. But my brother has to stay
related to me, whereas my in-laws-to-be have options. In the past
when I’ve been accepted by a partner’s family, treated as family,
valued for who I am, I’ve found myself persona non-grata after the
split, as if they’d never broken bread with me or entrusted me with
family secrets or with their daughter, sister, niece, grandchild.
This dear family is stuck with me. One sister thanked me for making
my sweetheart so happy when it’s I who should be placing offerings
at the altar of the goddess of happiness for leading me to this woman
on this day. In this place.
That’s a third amazing thing: we’re
getting married in Massachusetts. We were both raised by New
Englanders; my sweetheart’s from Connecticut, and my whole family,
except myself, is from Massachusetts. It was a shocker when
Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. Going
there to legally marry a woman is so beyond what I ever would have
expected to lie in my future that I cannot wrap my mind around it.
Of course, we’ve chosen Provincetown. Everyone knows going to
Provincetown is something like going offshore to gamble, a place just
outside the law. But in reality it is Massachusetts, the state where
my mother and father, my brother and sister-in-law, my grandparents,
and now my nephew, have been legally wed.
Does that sound seditious? I don’t
know of anything less threatening to the institution or to society
itself than loving couples wanting our unions blessed by the state,
religions and our birth families and friends. Gay partners are out to
make families, not break them.
[Editor's Note: Lee Lynch is the author
of over 12 books. Her latest, Beggar
of Love, was called “Lee
Lynch's richest and most candid portrayals of lesbian life” by
Katherine V. Forrest. You can reach Lynch at
Copyright 2010 Lee Lynch