My father is flying in from Detroit, Michigan to witness me marry a man.
If we’d had a history of progressive thought and shared action based in liberation and freedom of thought this may not be so shocking.
We have not.
As a young child and into adulthood, I performed a great deal of hiding and deflecting behaviors to make sure that my parents, and in particular my dad, never found out that I was gay and “secretly” desired men.
Many times over the years, I have either introduced who I was currently seeing as a new “friend” or post coming out as a new partner.
With each introduction, delusion and denial became a well honed, highly favored and mutually agreed upon way of dealing with the very real and highly uncomfortable truth that my dad’s only son, the heir to his throne, was gay.
Growing up in a homophobic home didn’t leave much room for discussions of difference and its acceptance and negotiation.
Very early, the message was clear : gay means wrong.
As a result of this disturbed thinking, I learned to survive by not dreaming of a wonderful mate nor committing to him via a ceremony surrounded by friends and family.
When my very articulate and wise husband offered two very wonderful reasons (laden with sound logical examples) for our marriage, I had to rethink every assumption and muddled viewpoint that I’d created and nurtured for thirty years. Part of the rethinking involved “coming out” again to my parents.
There will be many of my gay and lesbian allies who have to reemerge from the closet now that laws and social structures are changing at such a break neck speed.
Many folk have to be “reminded” of our gayness when we make a step to solidify or deepen an existing relationship.
The rational is based on the assumption that if you are not a part of a “legitimate” state-sanctioned union then you are not an adult and the only connection you are able to create is temporary sexual one.
My marriage says to my family: I am an adult who is in a serious relationship.
Some of the folks I know are unable to handle this declaration and are finding themselves with an uninvite to the ceremony.
My straight dad is coming to my Wedding and it will be a beautiful thing.
It means I held on to myself.
I’ve won a major battle.