I was recently lucky enough to attend my first gay wedding. I hate that I even have to type "gay wedding" because that means it's an anomaly. I cannot wait until the day when our society finally gets to the point that when a wedding is referenced, it could be any combination of genders meeting at the altar. But all in due time, I suppose - and in the meantime, maybe it's part of what made the wedding I just attended... so... magical.
I'll admit, while I knew the brides - I didn't know what to expect of their wedding. Had no idea. Like I said, this was my first - but I will say that I've thought long and hard about what life is like for gay couples ever since I was a high schooler. (I could have written my high school thesis paper on anything, and I chose to write it about homophobia.) And after these many years of thought, I really think that one of the few perks of being a non-straight couple-to-be-wed is the fact that you can do ANYthing at your wedding. Tradition can go completely out the window - since well, there IS no set tradition. Same-sex couples who choose to have a wedding are pioneers. I've thought for years about how crazy a gay wedding could get if one so chose: rainbow dresses, magenta suits, mixed gender bridal parties... okay, so maybe my imagination ran a tad rampant... and of course, these illusions of gorgeous outlandishness always included the heart and soul of a serious couple wanting to commit to each other forever - but nonetheless, I always assumed that one day when I grew up and I started to get invitations to gay weddings, that each one would feel like falling down Alice's rabbit hole.
So I think what impressed me the most about the wedding I just attended was the amount of tradition that was present in the day. Tradition was all over the place.
The brides-to-be had a ceremony in a church - an awesome, inclusive, Lutheran church. They both had white wedding dresses - they were both walked down the aisle, and they both had their own set of bridesmaids, in lovely matching dresses. Sure there were plenty of pieces of personalization and individualism - a live, jazz band playing soft tunes as their musical accompaniment... and beneath the lovely dresses, each bridesmaid was rockin a pair of Converse All-Stars. So sure, personal touches - but well, nothing crazy. Their ceremony followed the appropriate mass parts - had readings, had communion, had a minister. As I sat in that church, I felt a range of feelings and had a myriad of thoughts.
I thought, Wow... this feels so much like a normal wedding to me. And as soon as I thought it, I felt pretty foolish. Why on EARTH have I been daydreaming that gay weddings would be ridiculously over the top?? Any couple deserves the traditionalism of the wedding that they've been dreaming of and planning on ever since they were kid. Daydreaming of since maybe even before they realized the type of person they were destined to fall in love with. On that day, it became belatedly clear to me: just because the idea of a gay wedding flies in the face of conventionalism doesn't automatically mean the wedding itself will be conducted unconventionally.
Every moment I spent at this wedding and at its reception - every moment - I became happier than the moment before. I'm talking about the kind of the happiness that is simple and pure... the kind of happiness you feel when you realize - whatever this is, that I'm a part of, this is good. I hope you've had this feeling before. I've been blessed enough to experience it many times in my life. Moments of enjoying pure friendship, moments of helping out a good cause, moments of finding an activity that when you do it your soul connects, and moments of witnessing something pure and good. I felt warmth and happiness throughout this day. More than once I thought, I was supposed to be here today. I was supposed to be a witness to this event of love. And I felt pride - pride at having been a good enough friend to merit an invite. Pride that this couple knew I was someone who would be accepting of their love and would want to celebrate the shit out of it. Proud to see that events like this are happening. It reminds me almost of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. The legislators and the "protectors of traditional marriage" - they CAN'T stop the Whos from singing or Christmas from coming! (If you're rolling your eyes at me right now, I'm not mad at you). But surely you know what I'm saying. Our society is ready for this... or at least, getting there. And loving couples all over the planet are realizing that they deserve to be honored - and want to be honored - and need to be. I feel so special to have been witness to something so right.
If you've read this far, I doubt I need to get into the dark-cloud part-of-things, in that we have so far to go. That legal rights are a must. That so many people are still - not only unaccepting - but blockading the progress. I can only pray that the gay pioneers and their supporters stay strong and do not give up.
And in the meantime, I hope you were able to take in some of the light that I really intended to shine out of these words. Good things are happening. I am witness to the INCREDIBLE speeches that were delivered at this wedding's reception - speeches of love and acceptance and support and progressiveness. Part of my soul was healed that day from the words I heard, the joy I saw in faces throughout the day, and the witnessing of true love.