When Melissa and I announced our engagement last year, I was shocked by the love and support that was thrown our way by our family and friends. You always hope that people will support you, but with same-sex marriage being such a polarizing issue in so many lives, I wasn’t sure where we would stand. It turns out that some of the people who I didn’t think were even going to approve of (or understand) my orientation have been some of our most amazing supporters, including my best friends from high school (who are throwing us a shower next month.)
Other people in our lives have been a lovely surprise as well… For instance, my grandmother - she’s 88 years old, old school Jew, grew up in NYC and has lived in New Jersey for most of her life. For years, I went back and forth on my decision to come out to my grandparents. My grandmother would always ask me if I was dating, and my token line was “I’m just hanging out.” She even asked me one time if anything was wrong with me, as I couldn’t just “hang out” all the time with boys. I sometimes feel sad that I didn’t get to “come out” to my grandfather before he passed two years ago, but I wasn’t ready yet. It took finding my other half (and appearing in Newsweek together,) for me to finally tell the one person in my immediate family who I was really dating. Needless to say, my grandmother has been wonderful and loves Melissa.
During our conversation today, she asked me if I heard about Oprah being gay. I started laughing and thought that she must have been catching up on old tabloids. Then she said that she just heard that this “cute boy” who used to be on one of her soap operas just came out.
“Ricky Martin, Nana?”
“Yes, yes. That’s who that is. He’s such a good looking young man. You are so lucky Stacy. It’s so fashionable to be gay now!”
Another funny exchange came from my own mother. She sent me a text (yes, my mother has joined the world of texting…oy), and mentioned that my fiance sent her a lovely email and how excited she is to be Melissa’s mother-in-law. The “Email” was a note on her facebook wall.
Finally, when I arrived home from work today, Melissa gave me the invitation to the bridal shower that my soon-to-be mother-in-law is throwing us in Western IL. The note that she placed in the invitation was absolutely priceless:
Dear Friends and Family: We all know what it is to want to find another person to spend life with. We know it can be a long search. Melissa and Stacy have found each other in a world that has given them difficult odds. They invite us to celebrate with them. They do not want to make you uncomfortable, change your opinion or recruit you to the lesbian team. Please do not feel pressured to attend. But in case you want to have a good time, join us!
Yes, my friends, we are truly blessed and lucky to have such amazing people in our lives. I am truly excited for the upcoming festivities.
About the Authors/Queerlywed.com
Melissa is the co-founder of Queerly Wed, a new website dedicated to helping LGBTQ couples plan their big day. She is an activist within the LGBTQ Community and has volunteered her services at many grassroots organizations over the years. Melissa is also an avid cyclist and won two silver medals at Gay Games VII, which was held in Chicago in 2006. She is also a lifelong student and enjoys studying Latin-American culture, photography and languages.
Stacy Jill Jacobs
Stacy is the co-founder of Queerly Wed, a new website dedicated to helping LGBTQ couples plan their big day. Stacy is a writer, marketing nerd, and web geek grrl all wrapped up into one package. Stacy has worked in the interactive field for many years including roles at eToys (US & UK) and Ticketmaster. Stacy became a professional queer when in 2005, she served as the Ticketing Manager for Gay Games VII. You can catch Stacy on her website at www.stacyjilljacobs.com or on Twitter at @StacyJill