Yesterday I did something I've never done before: I attended my first gay wedding. My darling friend John and his partner Stephen were taking the plunge, publicly, to dedicate their lives to one another. Shakespeare came as my guest (because why not have a girl as my date to my first gay wedding?) and may I say, the two of us were among the top five prettiest women in attendance. No lie.
We didn't know what to expect. Who would walk whom down the aisle? Would they be pronounced man and man? What side should we sit on?
It was different, and yet not. It was just two people vowing to support and encourage each other through whatever the future brings. The only difference was that neither one was wearing a dress. And thank God for that!
The ceremony was beautiful. John's sister Jodi sang, and the John and Stephen walked down the aisle together. The minister spoke of their longstanding relationship - they've been a couple for nine years - and what it means to marry when there are no legal benefits. It was an honor to observe these two gentlemen as they declared their intentions for their lives together.
In true stereotypical fashion, both John and Stephen looked dashing. Their tuxes did not match, but they did coordinate, John wearing a bit more color than Stephen ... how fitting. But the shoes ... I'm still amazed by Stephen's shoes. These fellas have style, for sure.
The reception ... my heavens. If you want a great meal and good music for dancing, be sure and have a gay man plan the day. Starters, salad, chicken and steak, cake to die for and a full sweets table with coffee. I'm still full. We danced the afternoon away (shamelessly pulling out steps from Salsa/Funk class) and revelled in our belief in true love.
Wait a second ... really? Do I really still believe? Has the sappy side taken over my cold, black and loveless heart?
I guess I have to say yes, because there are so many great examples of very real love in my life. There's Mike and Rae, who have perhaps the greatest partnership I've ever witnessed, and a true affection for each other that just doesn't quit. There's Cindy and Charlie, who so clearly demonstrate the possibilities life offers if we're wise enough to notice. There's Justin and Di and their house full of little ones, laughing every step of the way. There's Chris and Janie who have enough love to share with the world, Ken and Melis who laugh their way through life ... I can't even begin to remember everyone. There are more, many more, who prove that it does happen.
In my life? I'm not counting on it. But knowing it exists, even if just for those I love, is enough.