I shouldn’t have to do this, you know. I shouldn’t have to explain why I’m marrying the person I started to fall in love with in seventh grade. It should be enough to know that we met in English class and kind of hated each other until a Greek Mythology unit made us realize we’d each finally met someone as smart as ourselves. People should be happy to know that I’m going to spend my life with someone I’ve got 20 years of history with, who has moved heaven and earth to be there for me, and who has stood by me through thick and thin and even a diagnosis of an un-curable chronic illness.
But because she’s a girl, and I’m a girl, well…
Let me make something clear though: we’re not lesbians. We both lean more towards the hetero side of the spectrum, to be honest (although I prefer the term “queer”, if you absolutely need to label me). Not that it’s really anybody’s business but ours, of course, but people seem to be infatuated with who we’re sleeping with. We’ve had a number of people respond with “wait…are you two sleeping together?” and things along those lines. Which does amuse me – I’ve never seen another couple have their sexual orientation questioned so thoroughly upon announcing their engagement – but it makes me angry, too. Nobody asks straight couples if they’re heterosexual, or monogamous. Nobody questions why straight couples want to get married.
The truth is we’re not sleeping with each other. There are a number of reasons why this is, most of which are incredibly personal, but among them is a mutual understanding and respect that we each have reservations about the way sex alters a relationship. For this reason primarily, we’ve decided to “save ourselves” for when, and if, we’re ready. We want it to mean something and to enhance our relationship, not complicate it. Right now, sex would complicate our relationship, so we don’t do that with each other. Our relationship is open, but there are rules and guidelines, just as there should be with every loving, respectful, and honest relationship. Among these rules is that we keep sex out of it between us, because to do otherwise would hurt us both. When and if that changes, we’ll address it – but not until then.
And here’s where people have trouble. If we’re not sleeping together, then why are we getting married? More importantly, why are we being so public about our unconventional marriage-to-be? Because we want to make you think about one very important thing: what makes a marriage?
This is what we think:
Marriage is about more than sex. A lot more! First, to state the obvious, it’s about legal rights. Marriage is a legal institution, sanctioned by The State. It allows the two people to be viewed as a single unit in the eyes of the law for the purposes of things like estates and medical benefits. It is essentially incorporating, only instead of starting a business you’re beginning a life together. So there’s that, and while it is true that we could accomplish just about everything that marriage does with a stack of legal documents as high as I am tall, that seems a little ridiculous in light of the fact that there’s this thing called “marriage” that does it all at once.
But you shouldn’t get married just for the legal aspects, right? I mean, that really would sort of cheapen it for the people who are deeply in love and want to build a life together. So there’s another piece of it. This is the piece we want people to think about. This is The Important Part.
Marriage is about finding that ONE person in the world that you want to spend the rest of your life with, no matter what happens. Regardless of sex. Regardless of what they look like. Regardless of the setting, or circumstances. They are, hands down, without a doubt, your Number One. It’s the first person you want there in an emergency. If you had to be stranded on a desert island for the rest of eternity with only ONE other person, it’s the one you’d want there with you. It’s the person who would wipe your ass for you if you suddenly fell and broke both your arms, AND they’d do it with a smile and make you laugh in the process. Marriage is about building a life together – the life you’ve always wanted. It’s about finding someone who gets you completely, and who loves you even when you’re at your ugliest and worst. Through thick and thin, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.
So I’m marrying my best friend. Because I love her deeply, with all my heart! We have 20 years of history together. All our hopes and dreams are tangled up in one another. She understands my little quirks. She gets me better than anybody else, and she respects why I am the way I am. She doesn’t want to change me, and I don’t want to change her. We’re perfect just the way we are, and part of that perfection is each other. My life is better for having her in it, and it would be forever lacking without her.
I’m sure a lot of people aren’t going to “get it”. Sadly, I’m sure some of them will even be the people we’re hoping to help by speaking out and being public about our marriage. But I hope that it makes people think. If the only objection people have to our marriage is that we’re both women, and homosexuality is an abomination, well rest assured that we’re not sleeping together. Neither of us wants to have children of our own, so nobody needs to worry that we’ll be raising children in our Den of Sin. All we want is to be able to stand before our friends and family and say “I love this person more than all the other people in the world, and I want to be with them until I DIE!” That’s all.
That’s all any couple looking to get married wants, really. To be with the one they love. And we think everybody should have that right. So we’re taking a stand and making a little noise about it in the hopes that it makes people think.
Marriage is about love. Love should be a Right, not a privilege.