Friday, April 11, 2014

That Whole "Gay Marriage" Thing...

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but Cindy and I are both women... and we're gay... and we are married... to each other.

Let's establish an important distinction: There are weddings - that's the actual ceremony.  And there are marriages - that's everything that comes after a couple is pronounced married.  As a society, we talk a lot about "same-sex marriage", but when we hear that phrase, it's normally about the right for a same-sex couple to marry.  It isn't really about the actual marriage that follows.

If you were to google around the internet, you will find plenty of blogs and articles about the struggle for (and against) marriage equality.  You'll even easily find a handful of same-sex wedding blogs - with pictures of traditional and non traditional brides and grooms... and groom-ettes... and Mr. brides... and on and on.  But what I can't seem to find are articles or blogs about same-sex marriage.

I generally reject the whole "men are from mars, women are from venus" thing as issues related to upbringing and cultural influences on a person, rather than inherent differences between the sexes.  People like to perpetuate some notion of men being macho or women being shop-a-holics, because they think it's funny.  Personally, I think it's mostly inaccurate.

And from what I've seen, marriage is pretty much marriage.  Once you're in it, your problems and triumphs are probably similar to most everyone else's.  The only thing that makes my marriage different from my best friend's marriage is that she is married to a man, and I'm married to a woman.

Maybe that's why it isn't easy to find same-sex marriage blogs.

Or maybe we (as a whole) haven't gotten comfortable with the legal right vs. wedding vs. marriage distinction yet.  So maybe finding gay marriage blogs is a semantic/search-term issue.

Or maybe we (gays) are so focused on the big, bold, exciting fight for the right to marry that our quiet little married lives don't quite hold our attention.  So we don't write about that part.

Or maybe we're afraid to talk about marriage once we have it - fearing the haters will find a way to take it back.

Or maybe (and this is the most personally frightening of all), if we write about our marriages, some ill-intentioned, anti-gay person will find us in our homes, or recognize us on the street, and physically come to attack us.

Whatever the reason behind the blog scarcity, there's this hole in the blog-o-sphere, and it's vacuum forces are drawing me into it.

So here we are!  Not ignoring the extraordinary work so many people have done to afford every couple the right to marry in 17 states (and Washington D.C.), as well as the work they continue to do for the rest of the country, these are the early days of life on the other side.  It's like marriage equality is the big bang, and we're still feeling the effects of the cosmic background radiation as its ramifications ripple outward, but those effects will normalize and decay over time, to the eventual point of hardly being noticed anymore.

Or, on a personal level, having marriage equality is like attaining enlightenment.  Paraphrasing Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield: first enlightenment, then the laundry.  This giant and important, life-altering thing happens.  And then you carry that thing back to your work-a-day life.  Project Happy Life - a little blog about a little married couple, living their little lives.  And we happen to be gay.

On the occasion of receiving our marriage license from the State of New York.

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