Musings of a New Husband


“You can’t marry another boy,” they told me.
“Why not?” I asked, confused. “You said I could do anything. You said I could grow up to be President.”
“You can’t marry another boy!”
“But you said I’d grow up, and fall in love, and get married.”
“You can’t fall in love with another boy!”

Excerpt, Unbroken

My father followed me into the kitchen. “I like Stanley,” he said. “He is the kind of person I imagined for you. Do me a favor. Keep this one.”

I was startled for two reasons. One, my father doesn’t talk much, certainly not about anything of a personal nature. At least not to me. Second, he’d always hated all my boyfriends. Until that moment, until that conversation, I’d always assumed that he’d hated my boyfriends for their sex. Now I understood he’d hated them because he thought they weren’t good enough for me, that I deserved better. In all honestly, I had dated quite a collection of losers and lunatics.

“I will, Space,” I promised. “I will.”

Yesterday, more than 18 years after that conversation with my father, 25 years after we first met, on our 17th anniversary, on the 45th anniversary of Stonewall, and 38 days after Judge John Jones III’s historic decision, I kept that promise; I married Stanley, the best man I know, the one man my father approved of.

I’ve written on this blog about being the sissy triumphant (December 2013) about turning “nos” into “yeses” , (May 2014) but yesterday I said the biggest yes of all: “Yes, I do.”

It was a small, intimate affair—just us and six of our closest friends. But it was everything I dreamed
my wedding would be. Stacey Thomas of The Philadelphia Wedding Chapel not only got us married on the date we wanted, she made the service personal. We felt protected, cared for.

As we walked the short distance to the front where Stacey waited for us, a distance which, short as it was, had taken 45 years to get to, I thought of those long ago drag queens, mostly black and Hispanic, who tired, had started a riot that changed the course of history. As I walked forward tightly gripping Stanley’s hand. I knew I could never stand in their high heels but I could walk in their footsteps.

In one surprisingly hilarious moment, Stacey asked our friends if they would support us and stand with us. They answered in unison, “We will.” Their words settled on my skin. I realized that these six friends had our backs and always would. We, as individuals, as a people, and as a nation, have come so far. I know we have so far to go but I wanted to stop in that moment to rest, to live in that moment for just a moment longer.

Earlier in the day, my friend Shirley, who has never married, questioned the importance of marriage, saying it was just a piece of paper. She said, “After, you won’t be any different, or look any different.” I joked that I would look different, I would glow. She informed me one only glows when pregnant.

Now, officially married, Stanley’s kiss still lingering on my lips, I felt different. Maybe because we were now protected—no one could ever deny me access to his bedside; if anything happened to me, the taxes on my estate wouldn’t force him to sell our home. Maybe because, by getting married, we’d told each other: “I know you and I love you anyway.” And maybe this was just what equality felt like.

Comments

  1. That's so wonderful, Larry! I'm so happy for you and your Stanley! You deserve to have your happily ever after. I wish you both all the best in the world! You have it in each other!

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    1. thank you so much Julie. Yesterday as we were getting dressed Stanley had trouble tying his bow tie, though he had no trouble tying mine. Frustrated and angry he wasn't at his most loveable, shall we say, but watching him I realized that he's not perfect but I love him so...and I suppose that is what a marriage is about--seeing and loving the person beneath even when they're not at their best.

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    2. Who wants a perfect person, Larry? You want the one who's perfect for you. A life lived with love and imperfections is the best life of all. Especially knowing that, and knowing you can deal with anything, as long as you're together. Knowing that together you are your best.

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous, you will notice I deleted your comment. I have no room in my world for hate.

      Let me point out, I am man enough to sign my name to everything I write. Perhapss someday you will find the balls to do the same.

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  3. I just found this beautiful story & Great event! Just wanted to add my "I will always stand with you both" as do my daughters & granddaughters! You have a whole community of us that fight for you & with you! Congratulations again on the biggest event in your lives!

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    Replies
    1. Ann

      thank you so much for your comment. It means so much to learn we have allies who stand with us--that message is especially important for our young people who often struggle with sexuality and trying to imagine a bright, wonderful future full of love and acceptance.

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