Why Gay People Should Marry

January 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Brandy Black, Family, Same Sex Parent

By: Brandy Black

I’m reading “Lesbian and Gay Parents and their Children” by Abbie Goldberg and it got me thinking about my passion for gay marriage.  I will occasionally get into this debate with gay friends who don’t understand why it was so important for me to marry Susan.

Before we got married (or had a “commitment ceremony” as some prefer to call it) I didn’t even realize what it would mean to me. Frankly, my mother talked me into it right after I “came out” to her.

The days leading up to my coming out were torturous. I was prepared for the absolute worst-case scenario.  I expected my parents to be angry and hurt and quite possibly disown me.  I made myself sick night after night worrying about telling them the truth.  In my case it was the dishonesty that was the worst of it all, because once I actually told my parents that I was in love with a woman, all of the baggage and pain I had been carrying around suddenly dissipated.

In that conversation with my mom -me weeping and my mother accusing me of being homophobic as she couldn’t understand why I was the one so upset -she asked me if Susan and I were going to get married and have kids.  It had never occurred to me that this might be an option; this was 10 years ago when conversations about gay marriage were barely stirring in the media.   She then went on to explain the importance of committing to each other in front of friends and family.  “It’s not just for you but for the people around you who don’t understand the blurry lines of gay relationships. It’s a way to tell everyone that you are pledging to one another for the long haul.”

I had thought about it a lot, what it would mean to “marry” Susan.  In my eyes we’d be renegades, naughty girls doing what we shouldn’t (even though it felt so right).  But my talk with my mother disarmed me, made me realize we weren’t rebels; we were following our hearts and allowing ourselves the life that we deserved.  Now that I had “permission” from two of the people closest to me to feel proud of my relationship, I wanted a wedding more than ever.

Once we had the ceremony in front of 80 of our closest friends and family -when it wasn’t legal- life was different.  Something changed after we made those vows to each other.  We opened up and let the other in, partners with a flood of trust and love for one another.  I can’t explain the meaning of it all but she shifted from my girlfriend to my life, I mean wife.

Now having gone through all that a wedding encompasses -a shower, ceremony, registering, and a honeymoon- it was more than worth it.  The constant validation from all of the people in our lives meant everything.  Support came gushing our way in the form of eloquent speeches, notes in the guest book, tears from our friends’ eyes as Susan and I walked towards each other through the sea of people. Susan stood beautifully before me in all her glory, my best friend becoming my wife.  It changed my life, which was the point.

In her book, Goldberg writes:

Qualitative research by Alderson (2004) provides evidence of some of the perceived effects of civil marriage among lesbians and gay men.  Alderson interviewed married lesbians and gay men in Canada and found that, for many participants, getting married created an added sense of security that was deeply felt and greatly appreciated.  Consistent with the findings of Solomon et al. (2005), Alderson also found that many participants felt that marriage brought greater depth and completion to their relationships, cementing them in both financial and emotional ways.  They also understood their marriage as symbolizing monogamy and as providing recognition for them as a family.

This was true for me.

Share

Comments

14 Responses to “Why Gay People Should Marry”
  1. Planning a wedding right now for Tariku’s two Aunties (in our backyard). This inspires me to start making those calls! I forwarded this along to Auntie Anne, who will no doubt be calling you about where you got that stunning dress. Thanks for your beautiful blogs.

  2. Brandy says:

    Aww,Thanks Jillian- that means a lot. I love that you are planning a wedding for them- you are amazing! Tell Auntie Anne she can call anytime.

  3. Alison says:

    OMG-Susan in a dress !
    I would have paid money to see that ! :-)

  4. Brandy says:

    Thanks Alison- Susan says “see picture above and send us 5 bucks”
    But seriously, she borrowed my make up because she didn’t want to buy her own for only one day and I of course wasn’t with her when she was getting ready so I later found out that she put the blush on her eyes and the eye shadow (which was dark brown) on her cheeks and surprise surprise with that amazing skin- she looked STUNNING! What can I say, she’s a natural beauty.

  5. LA urban dweller says:

    I had the very distinct honor of getting to see these two beauties -2 brides! 2 gorgeous brides! -walk towards each other and let me just tell you, no wedding union then or since has moved me more.

  6. yourbff says:

    wow, it seems so long ago and also just yesterday…..loved it all!

  7. Brandy says:

    Wow- thanks Urban Dweller :) very sweet.

  8. Samantha says:

    My partner and I are going on nine years this Wednesday. We both wear rings. We refer to each other as wife. We are as committed as the day is long. But, we have not had a wedding. I’ve always longed for a wedding, and ideally it would mean something legally too. I also yearned for a conversation, similar to the one your mom had with you, with my mom. A couple of straight girls, we were both scared shitless to come out. When we did, everyone was fine, but the idea of a wedding or a commitment ceremony was never, ever brought up. Though not verbally confirmed, I think both of our families feel like the wedding part wasn’t/isn’t for us, that weddings are very straight oriented, the next step after you’re boyfriend and girlfriend. I wonder if we would have already made that trek down the isle if I had, if we had, the uninvited support and encouragement of our mothers. Sometimes it would be nice to hear that the law doesn’t matter (even if it does) and that as a couple you can celebrate your love and support of each in front of your friends and family and have that be enough.

  9. Joey says:

    I love this Brandy!!!! Trevor’s parents are really wanting us to get married (legal or not), they say we are the only children not married and they want us to have everything we deserve as much as the others. We in fact are looking at a place in a couple weeks to see if we like it for a 2013 ceremony. You words make me teary eyed, Treovr and I have accomplished so much in our relationship and it’d the one thing I so want with him.

  10. Joey says:

    I love this Brandy!!!! Trevor’s parents are really wanting us to get married (legal or not), they say we are the only children not married and they want us to have everything we deserve as much as the others. We in fact are looking at a place in a couple weeks to see if we like it for a 2013 ceremony. You words make me teary eyed, Trevor and I have accomplished so much in our relationship and it’s the one thing I so want with him.

  11. Brandy Black says:

    Samantha-
    I encourage you to consider making the step to do it anyway, we had the support on one side of our family and not really the other (my mother-in-law was tough) and she ended up making the wedding amazing, I’ll write about it soon. I can’t tell you how many people that I have talked to that said their parents would never support their lifestyle let alone their wedding and now are happily married with support from the family. I realize not everything turns out like fairy tales but there is something about people seeing all the love and support you get at a ceremony/wedding and realizing that you are just like everyone else and they begin to drop their rules about straight and gay. Consider it!

  12. Brandy Black says:

    Joey-
    Do it! I’m so glad you are! It will change your life, it really will. I have come to believe that gay people need weddings far more than straight people do :) I think if I were straight I’d elope!

  13. Joey says:

    Brandy – FYI… J&A will be standing up with/for us :), we asked them at the beggining of summer. Them and two other great friends, another couple.

  14. Brandy Black says:

    That’s great. Do you know Justin married us when it was legal on our official anniversary?
    Love them.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Subscribe without commenting