The Adventure of My Gay Marriage

September 29, 2015 — 37 Comments

Dear Journal,

As of September 25, 2015, I have been married twice. The first to my wife in 1996. The second, my husband.  During the planning phase of both ceremonies, I felt as stressed as a homophobe receiving a mandatory prostate exam from a curious orangutan. However, preparation for the most recent ceremony caused an unexpected and unjust element of anxiety.

You see, media coverage (both social and news) of business owners and government officials denying service to same-sex couples has existed in the background of our almost-decade-long relationship. There’s the photographer in New Mexico, the bakers in Colorado, the bridal shop owner in Pennsylvania, the farm owners in New York, and the clerk in Kentucky that are among the growing army of demented moralists humiliating fiances in the name of a profitable crowdfunding website, a book deal, and/or the Most Christianist Award (voted on by their like-minded peers and allegedly hosted annually at the Biblical Times Dinner Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee). The risk of a similar encounter was high considering our position within the Bible belt, just a couple of notches over from the buckle.

Stomach churning nervousness preluded almost every solicitation. My intention was not to test the morality of business owners; I just wanted to marry my favorite person on this planet. And this was how each business reacted:

Photographer: With the exception of selfies and dick pics, John Moore Photography is where I go for all of my photography needs. He already knows I’m swishy, so he didn’t hesitate about this job. As a matter of fact, he’s responsible for many of the pictures you’ve seen on this site such as:

jmoore

Not only is his work great, but John’s also candy for the eyes.

Wedding Bands: I learned two things from purchasing a wedding band:

  1. My phalangeal joints are so large, it’s like having five short strings of anal beads hanging from my palms.
  2. I will make all future jewelry purchases from Erin at Mednikow. She not only treated us like any other couple, she mailed a sweet, hand-written card on store letterhead congratulating us.

Cakes: I’m not certain what angel cum tastes like, but I’d bet Mr. Tiddles’ life that it’s similar to the heavenly icing atop a Muddy’s cupcake. This is why Steven and I didn’t hesitate ordering our wedding cakes from Kat and her team at Muddy’s Bake Shop. When Kat learned that her cakes were being consumed by homosexuals and gay allies at a same-sex wedding reception, did she snub us? No. As a matter of fact, her and her staff literally applauded and cheered.

cake

My hands were too full to snap a shot of them cheering, so here’s a picture from their website of one of their [expletive adjective] delicious cakes we ordered.


 
Catering: Alyssa, owner of Redheaded Chef, has been a friend of mine for well over a decade and makes the best fucking pimento cheese spread in this country. Unfortunately, we didn’t inform Alyssa that she was catering our wedding. As a matter of fact, almost every invited guest was unaware that they were attending a wedding ceremony. Invitations were mailed under the guise of a simple party at our house. At 8:15 pm, we gathered our guests and announced that:

  • Steven and I are breaking up, and we wanted all of our friend together for a last hurrah.
  • Just kidding. We aren’t breaking up, but we want to thank you for attending our engagement party.
  • Now the engagement party is over, and the wedding will begin in five minutes.

Attire:

  • My cat vest was custom-made (pictured below on right) by Ashley, owner of Four-Eyed Girl. Ashley is also the talent behind the half-naked-men vest I wore at this year’s Ostrander Awards ceremony at the Orpheum Theatre (pictured below on left) because I have no shame and seek attention.

vests

Pictured on the right: a tragic waste of Muddy’s Bake Shop icing.


 

  • While shopping for tuxedos, Steven and I met Courtenay, owner of Doggone Bow Ties. After we reluctantly shared with her that our tuxedos were for our wedding, she gifted us with one of her cool, hand-made wine bags. We visit her frequently not only because of her kind gesture, but because she has the coolest and quirkiest stock of hand-made bow ties I’ve seen in Memphis.

courtenay

Courtenay of Doggone Bow Ties posing with our hand-made wine bag.


 
Wedding License: This was the scariest. Entering the County Clerk’s downtown office, I felt more nervous than a bareback whore getting an AIDS test. I could feel my heart beating in my throat as Steven and I sat down to request a marriage license. I tried to remind myself that I shouldn’t be nervous, that I had a right to receive a license to marry. I wasn’t this apprehensive when I requested my first marriage license, why should I this time? Also, we weren’t the first gay couple to ask for a marriage license in Memphis. If the clerk’s office or their staff refused, we would have heard news of it by then, right? But what if we were treated differently, disrespectfully, or crudely?

All of these worrisome questions were forgotten the moment we were greeted by the wide smile of the staff member that eventually issued our license. I will always appreciate how welcome she made us feel.

I could complain about how it’s not fair that I had to encounter these unnecessary anxieties that straight couples never have to experience. Sure, everything turned out better than expected, but “what if” always lingered because “what if” had happened before. Instead, I hope to share with every gay man and woman in love that their corner of the world in which they live may not be as cruel as the media coverage portrays. Yes, more work is required for universal acceptance and tolerance, but sometimes it’s healthy to stop and enjoy the world within your reach. If you allow the news to govern your mood, you’ll end up no happier than a social conservative.

I am grateful for the kindness of all parties involved for making September 25, 2015 special. Because of it, my husband and I are able to remember it as one of the best days of our lives together.

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37 responses to The Adventure of My Gay Marriage

  1. 

    So happy for you both Cary! Thank you for sharing, I feel like I was invited to your wedding, but as usual, showed up late…. Congrats! You are an amazing individual and it warms my soul to see how happy you both are!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 

    What an amazing and wonderful blog post, Cary. I loved your vows, I loved the way you wrote, I cried, as usually when I see something wonderful as this is (and at weddings). 😉
    I do wish you and Steven all the best for your future! Much love, happiness and wonderful family, friends and people around you. Congratulations! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 

    Can I say I’m positively elated I made it (kind of) into one of The Reluctant Cat Owner’s blog posts!! Yes, I’m easily excited!! Lol!! Could hear myself trying to keep from crying, and Amy’s “awww” several times, and how about Shannon’s hair in so many frames because she was half sitting in my lap!! Such a wonderfully happy memory and I’m honored to share it with so many awesome people!!! Congrats again!!! And you stay high on that cloud nine…they say the “honeymoon” phase isn’t over for the first year….so stretch it out as long as y’all can!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 

    That was beautiful..congratulations to you both and all the cats!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 

      Thank you, Sheri. The cats are still processing this. Mr. Tiddles shared some propaganda material he found on the internet saying that kids (and he thinks he’s a kid) cannot develop normally in a same-sex household. We’re working on deprogramming him now. Wish us luck.

      Like

  5. 

    Saw your comment on The Bloggess and had to come over here and read your story. Congratulations! Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 

      New readers, to me, is better than a hot, mustard-slathered, foot-long corn dog.I appreciate you not only stopping by but commenting as well. It means a lot. You are more than welcome to stop by again anytime. And thanks for the well wishes.

      Like

  6. 

    I am so very happy for you and Steven. It was meant to be. And now, Mr. Tiddles and gang will no longer feel the embarrassment of living with two people who are merely shacking up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 

      I appreciate that. The most annoying aspect of the wedding was the number of guests came to see the cats rather than us. Of course, I really can’t blame them. I attend parties only to meet the host’s cats, too.

      Like

  7. 

    Congratulations! What a handsome couple. May you have a lifetime of hilarious happiness!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 

    Awww, you guys made me cry. Congratulations! I wish you joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 

    I’m sooooooo happy for you guys and glad that everyone involved was kind and pleased for you—it gives me hope that people will be kind to my son also —-

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 

    I couldn’t watch the video at work but just had the chance to see it right now and I’m in tears. Congrats to you both and best wishes for a long and happy married life!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. 

    So, did you agree ahead of time who would be the trophy husband or do you just take turns?

    Just kidding. Huzzah!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 

    Followed this over from FB…love your writing style Cary! Subscribed, indeed.

    I think you had the same prewedding jitters we all have, for the most part. Love you guys, and so glad you took that step 🙂

    Like

  13. 

    Congratulations!! I thought maybe Courtenay would be a little disappointed that you guys only have cats. DOGgone Bow Ties? Hahaha! Sorry for the bad joke. Have a wonderful marriage, Cary! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 

    Hurray! Fabulous- every bit of it! Fortunately I can relate. Mike and I were treated with nothing but kindness and generosity of spirit when we condemned- I mean married each other a few months ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 

      Is it just me, or are you still high from the experience? Steven and I have been together for almost ten years, yet the marriage made it feel so complete. I’m still on cloud nine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 

        It’s just you 🙂
        We’ve been together for almost 15 years and only really did it because our lawyer told us that if anything happened to either one of us and we weren’t legally married, the surviving partner would be left in a monumental mess.
        In the case of an unmarried couple where one dies (in France), the survivor has to pay gift tax on the assets bequeathed to them at the rate of 40%.
        As our assets are owned 50/50 that would basically mean the surviving partner would have to sell everything we own to pay the tax bill. As we built our life together, that just didn’t seem right or fair. Can you imagine a situation more cruel than someone losing their partner and on top being forced to sell their home?

        Liked by 1 person

  15. 

    Congratulations! Glad you had a positive experience, kind of bummed I missed the party. (Nice vest, btw.)

    Like

    • 

      Thank you so much! Ashley shared another material she found that would be perfect for Christmas, so I may have her make another vest for me. I can’t wait to share it but need to figure out the appropriate place to premier it.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. 

    Congratulations. Apparently, there is hope, even in the bible belt. Whoo-hoo!

    Like

    • 

      From my own personal experience, it really isn’t as bad in my world as the news makes it out to be. I mean, I’ve had some bad experiences in my life, but it isn’t an every day (or every month, or every year) thing. Sometimes bad things just happen (but really, bad things just happen to all of us).

      Like

      • 

        I do find it odd though not only that some people will refuse to provide service, but that others will DEMAND service from assholes. There are always better places to take my money. And in these situations, the assholes become heroes to a whole ‘nuther group of assholes, rather than going out of business like they deserve. But then, I don’t have to deal with bigotry much in life (white, hetero, woman), so who am I to say…

        Liked by 1 person

        • 

          Yeah. Life sure was a Hell of a lot easier when I was just a white, hetero male. Then I had to go and fuck it all up by choosing to be gay. What was I thinking?!

          Liked by 1 person

        • 

          You know, my eldest sister had psychiatric problems — severe depression — from the moment she got engaged to her husband at 19, until the day she left him, realizing she was gay.

          She died, but the last 10 years of her life were really quite happy.

          Liked by 1 person

        • 

          God damn. That’s a sad story.

          Like

        • 

          Well, it is and it isn’t. She figured it out, but that was harder to do for a woman in the 1960s (she married in 1967).

          One of the things that kind of cracked me up though, is her long-term partner was exactly like her husband with different body parts!

          Liked by 1 person

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