And the state California is still a melting pot of america, it’s still attached the continent and the cities are still standing. All those threats we had to endure with PROP 8 are certainly a thing of the past but are a reminder of the amount of hate or lack of love in most religious peoples hearts still present today. While we celebrate the 17th state allow/recognize same-sex marriage, Clem and I are celebrating our 5 wedding anniversary today. We are a same-sex couple, raising 3 kids and dealing with the daily grind that so many of our straight friends deal with on a daily basis. While we deal with our own set of battles because of our sexuality. We look to all that is good in our lives and all the wonderful friends we encounter on our life path each year to keep us focused on the future.
Each year we add a few friends to the melting pot. But having family to be there for us is just as equally important. Clem (Mark) and I have been together since July 2000. Next summer it will have been 14 years since we’ve been together. A few weeks back a cashier at our local grocery store mentioned in conversation that she and her male spouse were celebrating their 7th wedding anniversary. She proceeded to ask me how long Clem and I have been together and I replied that we were coming up to our 5th wedding anniversary. The cashier (who I have been friendly with for at least 5 years) kind of scoffed at me that she had been married longer but her tune changed when I said we have actually been together for over 13 years. And then I pointed out that we got married when it was officially legal in California 5 years ago, but after we got married all of our gay and lesbian friends didn’t have the same right to marry again until earlier this summer. Then I got the, “oh my foot is stuck in my mouth” look from her.
As I walked away from her stand, I turned back to her and said “it’s not really important how long you’ve been with the person, it’s how happy you are with them. I can see the excitement in you about your anniversary and I happy you’re happy with your marriage just like I am. Congratulations!” She smiled back to me and said “Thank You and to you as well”. I am not sure why, but the human nature to compare each other can be funny and hurtful at the same time. I was hurt by her limited scope to look outside of the bubble but I am constantly reminding myself. You have give the person time to really consume all of the information you are throwing them.
Today is the day we choose or booked to get married, that’s the truth. We didn’t get to pick some special date, a number that had significance, or a time of year we both love. We had to schedule our nuptials around the a clerks offices list of openings. We did have the whole WEDDING planned already. In 2009 I was already in the process of planning a destination wedding to Tofino, British Columbia. We made the finally decision after a trip up there in November 2006. we wanted to do the wedding after Paley was born and I was already in the process of getting the wedding invites designed in June of 2008 when the state paved the way for Same-Sex Marriage in California. It was a no brainer to augment our plans to add a clerk office ceremony after the Tofino wedding in 2009. But then in July 2008, PROP 8 was born and the time table was pushed up. The large destination wedding was morphed into a clerk office ceremony and party in the backyard for a reception. I gave up the dream of a big wedding. Maybe one day my kids will give me the gift of doing a big one for them.
I’m one lucky gay Dad! I have a husband who loves me and takes care of his family every day and night! He let’s me be the dramatic obstacle that I am, while loving me regardless. I am thankful every day, not just on Thanksgiving, for everything he has done for me and the lives we live as dad’s. Without him I would not make it through every day! He keeps me in check and I hope I do the same for him. I wish everyone was blessed as I am to have someone like him at least at one point in their lives. Love you Papa Dad!