Our wedding

Taken at a friend’s wedding in 2008, we’re wearing our wedding outfits.

I’ve been thinking a lot about our wedding recently, not only because it was our anniversary on Monday but because I see so many images of same sex couples in bridal magazines and now I can buy a same sex couple a greeting card at Chapters if I need one. 13 years ago, when Meg and I got married, that definitely wasn’t a thing. When we got married, it felt a radical, political act because it was one. Same sex marriage had only been legal for a year. One year. 52 weeks. 365 days. We were the first of our group of friends to get married and it even though we were both 29, it felt like we were charting unknown territory.

LGBTQ2S people have been in relationships for hundreds of years, it has just mostly been in the shadows. Emily Dickinson famously loved her sister-in-law, something I just learned about from the Molly Shannon movie. In the last 13 years, I have gone from seeing no one like me getting married, to a whole bunch of people like me get married, then get divorced, then get remarried. I see two brides in Brides magazine get married in wedding gowns, something I still don’t get because a white wedding gown was supposed to be a sign of a bride’s virginity. But hey, you do you.

Meg and I wore beautiful pant suits which is a little cliche for lesbians but we both looked amazing. I was so nervous that day that I had a total meltdown at the hair salon about my updo, it was way too poofy and I freaked out. I was so disconnected from my feelings and my experience of my anxiety that I honestly thought I was freaking out about my hair. Now anyone who knows me knows my hair is very important to me. But a little too much hair spray sent me into an emotional tailspin. Pre-wedding jitters one might say, or just rampant, unchecked, unbridled anxiety. Take your pick.

That day was honestly the best day of my life up until that point. I have never felt so special and probably never will again which I’m just fine with. I got to marry my most important person. It was a really special day with our friends and family there, we were so proud of ourselves, we felt so grown up. I look back on that now and think how little we understood about what marriage really means, what it takes, what makes it work. Neither of us had a clue frankly, but we did it anyway. Lots of people don’t get married and that’s great too, whatever works for you is the right thing. We have far too many conventions about what one ought to do when becoming an adult, the timelines, the expectations. It’s all bullshit.

That day I felt like by doing something so conventional like get married, I was radicalizing my life. I was standing up for my rights, I was marrying the woman I love in a ceremony in front of people who love and care about us. I was making a public declaration of my love and commitment. I was telling the world that I didn’t care about their conventions and edicts, about how I should marry a man instead. I think it was the first time in my adult life that I could honestly say that I wasn’t doing what people expected of me and it felt amazing. Still does. xo Janet

Published by Janet Gwilliam-Wright

Feminist and queer. Professional teller of truths. Slayer of personal demons.

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