I’m going to be brutally honest, because that’s how I roll. Ok, maybe my partner would argue that, but this isn’t about him...well actually it might be. Since DOMA and Prop 8 made headline news, the only question we get asked is, “So when are you two getting married?” Crickets! That’s what those who ask us hear! Before you jump to judgment, we do love each other. For crying out loud, we’ve been together for 12 years, which in gay years is like 36, so back off! Yet now, the whole conversation and dynamic is beginning to change.
Given the monumental changes that SCOTUS handed down, gay and lesbians have a whole lot more at stake in the dating game then they’ve ever had before. No longer is the fantasy of “gay marriage” a Cinderella story. Ok, it is in the other 35 states they’ve yet to pull their heads out of the sand, but those sands are shifting, and this discussion will soon be a thing of the past. Yet, with the shift comes the inevitable question, “Am I the marrying type?” Hallelujah! We’re one step closer to being like the heterosexuals! I realize that gay and lesbian couples in same-sex marriage states have been playing with a whole new set of rules for awhile, yet the Federal rights just tipped everything on it’s head. Having the same rights as the rest of you miserable heterosexuals is like introducing the concept of an amuse-bouche on the buffet at line at Hometown Buffet – you taste it now you have to decide you want to put a ring on it!
Before we get distracted by the happy, happy, joy, joy of the SCOTUS rulings, let’s get real and back to basics – “Why do we as humans desire to be in relationship and potentially choose to go down the road of matrimony?” The most obvious reason is we desire acceptance, connection, commitment, and the warm embrace of love. Got it. So does a marriage certificate really validate that? Depends on your perspective. There in lies the caution for my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, “What is it you, not your partner, really desire from being married, and why?”
Whether I’m coaching someone who’s trying to find their passion and purpose in life, struggling with coming out, or trying to find love in a man-meet-man world, the bottom line is always, “What is it you want and why?” Same applies to getting married as a same-sex couple. And, shame on you if you’re going to sit there in judgment of your gay brothers and sisters who choose not to walk down the aisle. Yes, it’s a big, celebratory win for equal rights, however, that doesn’t give any of us any right to now say, “You have to get married or your not truly gay or lesbian.” Well, revoke my gay card and color me black and white as the original Wizard of OZ. It’s my decision, and yours, when where and how you decide to tie the knot. What’s most interesting to me about this turn of national events is now there’s a more level playing field for all of us to play equally.
No longer is it acceptable to say “you can’t be gay and married.” Yet, in the face of what’s legal, these new strides for gay rights literally, put more delectable options on the buffet line of gay and lesbian relationships. So for crying out loud, let everyone come, or run from the marriage proposal table – it’s now their right with more benefits and concerns to consider.
As for my partner and I, discussions pursue and when appropriate, Your Tango readers will be updated, just don’t expect that invitations for all will follow. We may be gay and pre-disposed to higher levels of incomes, but that’s just a stereotype. Remember, we have two teens, one entering college this fall, so we’re cash strapped, in love, and happily gay. Gosh how stereotypical heterosexual does that sound?
Rick Clemons, The Coming Out Coach
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