Reflections on gay marriage from a groom to be…


In February of last year, my perspective on living changed…for the better.

We’ve seen the scene played out in movie after movie, story after story.  A couple is having a romantic dinner. The setting is picturesque. A seaside table at an Italian restaurant. Freshly lit candles. The moon and stars fill the night sky. A man pushes his chair back after uttering a couple of awkwardly rehearsed sentences and gets down on one knee. He smiles as he gazes in the deep, bright blue eyes of his lover. Words roll of his tongue – words he never thought in his wildest dreams could ever come of his mouth.

And, he said “Yes!”

And from that moment – very traditional in all respects except one – our perspective on living changed…for the better.

We are getting married!

The Happy Couple

He said YES! Wedding Ring

 

 

 

 


As our wedding day creeps closer and closer, I think I can speak for both of us when I say we have not a clue what we are doing!

You see, growing up as a gay man, facing exclusion, rejection, discrimination and a general lack of role models when it comes to relationships – this was never in the cards for “us.”  And our society as no experience with the unique opportunities presented when there are two grooms, not one…or two brides, not one. It’s both exciting and scary, familiar and unfamiliar, comfortable and uncomfortable.

And, that is life…in all of its complex glory!

It reminds me of how I experienced President Obama’s election and swearing in as President almost eight years ago. I was working at Lilly at the time – a conservative, mid-western company with very traditional “values” and deep Republican pockets. Even so, Lilly senior management understood the cultural and national significance of this particular swearing in. In the US, TVs were setup in conference rooms and public spaces to broadcast the ceremony. Everyone was invited to step away from their work and share in this once-in-a-lifetime experience that changed our country…for the better.

Looking back, that meant that we were in a room with friends and strangers from all walks of life. Older, younger, republican, democrat, black, white, gay, straight, bi, Thai… And for one moment, we were united in a common experience. The unexpected benefit of this setup was that I was able to share in a moment with colleagues who had faced exclusion, rejection, discrimination their entire life because of the color of their skin – who never thought that becoming President was in the cards for “them.”

From that point forward, future generations of Black Americans would never grow up being told, “You can be anything you want to be when you grow up…except becoming President…because only White folks make it that far.  It’s just the way it’s always been, and always will be…”  

A whole generation and beyond was giving hope…hope for a better world.

 

Last summer, I was at a Flow Arts Festival in Illinois with Brandon when the Supreme Court decision was made public regarding gay marriage in the US.  I’ll never forget that morning. I let out a loud, primal scream of joy. It felt like nothing else I had ever experienced.

My worldview had fundamentally changed…for the better.

The mood at festival was much like that Lilly conference room. With me were friends and strangers from all different walks of life. And for one moment, we were united in a common experience. The unexpected benefit of this arrangement was that others in the community were able to share a moment with me and Brandon and others who had faced exclusion, rejection, discrimination their entire life because of their sexual orientation – who never thought that getting married was in the cards for “us.”

From that point forward, future generations of gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans would never grow up being told, “You can be anything you want to be when you grow up…but you can’t get married…because only heterosexual folks can do that.  It’s just the way it’s always been, and always will be…”

A whole generation and beyond was giving hope…hope for a better world.


Is Race no longer an issue in America?  Of course not…but a “glass ceiling” was shattered and we are all better because of it.

Is Sexual Orientation no longer an issue in America?  Of course not…but a “pink ceiling” was shattered and we are all better because of it.

All because he said “Yes!”

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Published by

ctfuqua

At 42, my life is in transition. I have always been a “glass half full” sort of guy. Now more than ever I see life as full of possibilities and the world full of beautiful people possessing unique and often untapped talents. I’m a learner and connector, seeking ways to leverage the abundance in this world through strong community.

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