The Freedom To Marry Brings New Brand New Pressures To LGBT Couples

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Has marriage legalization changed the entire nature of LGBT relationships?

By Jessica Bennett

In 2011, Honey Davenport was in character, performing his usual set at a Manhattan drag bar. Clad in a rainbow leotard and platform heels, he took a swig of his drink and ripped off his wig — sweaty and exhausted from the hour-long performance.

Suddenly cheers erupted: New York’s state legislature had legalized same-sex marriage, and on the eve of gay-pride weekend. Davenport’s boyfriend made his way to the stage and got down on one knee.

“Will you marry me?” he asked.

It was the moment every girl dreams of. In tears, Davenport said yes. But then something strange happened. He started feeling dizzy. He stumbled off the stage and tried to make it to the bathroom, but couldn’t.

He began vomiting uncontrollably.

Was it the joy? The pressure? A case of premature cold feet?

Davenport — real name James Clark — says it may have been a bit of each. “It was a lot to think about,” the 25-year-old New Yorker laughs. “I’d just performed, I was exhausted, and my brain was just like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is a big deal.’”

The story has a happy ending — Clark and his fiancé are now blissfully engaged. But for many New York gays and lesbians elated by 2011's marriage ruling, victory has brought with it a new (and very old) brand of pressure — the kind gay couples have never had to face.

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This article was originally published at The Daily Beast. Reprinted with permission from the author.