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(recorded 9/25/08 @ 6:41:34 PM)
My wonderful partner Teri proposed to me a couple of months ago. We were married in Laguna Beach, California on August 22nd, 2008.
It seems so simple and straightforward to me, and yet it's an eternally complex issue. As always, I thought my parents would behave one way and yet again they surprised me. Maybe someday I will learn to stop anticipating their behavior, but not today and certainly not a month ago.
My parents, off the bat, appeared happy for me and were congratulatory and were planning on attending the ceremony in Laguna Beach. Teri and I had a short engagement, as we are not people who like to draw things out unnecessarily. As our wedding day drew closer, my parents began asking questions about the ceremonies and how everything would be run. The plan was to be married by the county clerk in the recorder's office in Laguna Hills, then to exchange rings and vows on the beach at sunset that evening. At this point in time, I did not know the exact way that everything was going to run and had hoped that our small number of guests would be willing to just go with the flow.
I believe that at this point, my mother became overwrought with the stress of not knowing what we were going to ask of them, since we didn't know the exact sequence of events. She sent me a lengthy email explaining that they did not believe that a marriage could be between two women and while they loved me and wanted to attend the event, they could not support it to the extent of my father giving me away. They wanted to make sure I wasn't going to ask him on the day of and didn't want to refuse in front of Teri's family and our friends. For this, at least, I appreciate their straightforwardness.
I was shell-shocked, although maybe I shouldn't have been so naive to think that they would be 100% supportive of something they don't believe in. I was extremely hurt, not to mention very very upset and angry. There's a lot of emotions spread out here over the next few days and weeks, and I'll spare you the grisly details.
They did not attend our wedding in Laguna Beach. There were a number of extenuating circumstances, including financial strain and my grandmother's quick decline in health which lead to her death on September 5th, 2008. All above issues taken into consideration, I still blame the original email. And its attached beliefs.
My parents as well as my brother and his new fiancee Jen attended our wedding reception held here in Tucson on August 23rd. Upon their arrival I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame from them and I wonder if my grandmother's sudden onset of cancer wasn't coincidental. They seemed to realize that we are never going to agree about gay marriage, not even my own, and that alienating their only daughter might be worse than having a gay daughter. You'd have to ask them to be sure, though. Your family is still your family, no matter what.
I have no idea if they will ever consider my marriage to be on the same level of commitment as theirs. Ultimately, it doesn't really matter to me. It made me wonder if they will consider their grandchild(ren) to be theirs if I'm not the one to bear them. This was a disconcerting notion but will have to be dealt with later, when we are actually having children.
Which all brings me to the ultimate subject: my wife.
Everybody has asked me whether or not I feel different now that I'm married. How could I not feel different? I've changed my life, I sure as hell better feel different. However, I don't feel that my relationship with Teri has changed very much. We are both the same people we were the minute before we were married, we love each other just the same and we still want to be together. But now there's a new level of commitment. We've committed our lives to one another and there's an underlying notion of contentment and love and knowledge that we both want to be together forever, no matter what difficulties or fights we may be having at the time.
I love my wife just as much as I loved my girlfriend but now I wear a ring and call her my wife instead of my girlfriend. And honestly? That's the hardest part about getting married, the part where I call her my wife. I am in no way ashamed of my life or my identity or my relationship with Teri, but when talking to conservative people there was some wiggle room before, whereas now it's pretty obvious what I "am" when I say I have a wife. But hey, if they don't like it then they don't have to keep talking to me. Makes my life easier, in the long run.
I'm a married woman now and I've never been happier.
Next entry: Outside my window
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