When I started this blog, the intention was to capture my thoughts and feelings, critiques and celebrations as I went through the wedding process as a lesbian living in North Carolina.
I am thankful I set a cut off date because I never wanted this blog to drag on forever with occasional posts that never mean much to anyone. Nor did I want it to be purely political. It was about all the different parts of my journey up through last Saturday. So I guess this is it, this will probably be my last post. At least until the wedding pictures come in and I can add a slideshow for folks to see.
I learned a lot on this journey, mostly how to be thankful for the folks who never treated my wedding weekend differently than anyone else’s simply because I was marry a woman: Pastor Kelly and my Green Street family, the folks at all three David’s Bridal stores, the caterers, the jewelers, my family and friends. I learned that sometimes the world is awful to gay folks, but many times it’s not. I found that for me, the actual process of saying my vows and having other community members bear witness to my permanent relationship with Marianne means more than any piece of legal paperwork ever could.
I love you all, I mean it. I’ll still be around in some form or fashion, but for now this is it. There’s an ending here, but it’s also a beginning for me. I quoted bell hooks on the “About” page of this blog She’s also applicable here:
I still think it’s important for people to have a sharp, ongoing critique of marriage in patriarchal society — because once you marry within a society that remains patriarchal, no matter how alternative you want to be within your unit, there is still a culture outside you that will impose many, many values on you whether you want them to or not.
I’m grateful for all this blog’s readers who stuck with me for the past 11 months, encouraged me both in person and through the blogosphere and gave me a reason to continue each week. I sincerely hope that you all gained as much as I did throughout this process.
I might have just stolen this from Elis’ Facebook page 😀
So, here we are, 24 days before out vow and ring exchange ceremony…and we have to find a new person to facilitate it!! OMG What?!?!?
Long story short, the minister we thought we had all worked out to officiate our ring exchange and vow ceremony Friday night isn’t going to work out.
After freaking out and wondering what we’re going to do, M and I decided to do what we had been thinking about since the beginning…we asked our friend Elis. And Elis agreed.
Elis is amazing.
Elis is also an ordained minister.
From Elis’ Facebook page:
I make terrariums and propagate plants. I drink a lot of coffee and eat a lot of trash. I believe in the intertwined nature of the universe and the power of human spirit. I embrace androgyny and ambiguity. I love trees, cats, wind power, and interpersonal learning. I want to know you.
Why wouldn’t you want Elis to marry you?!?!?
Go Green Street
I’ve always known that Green Street is one heck of an amazing place, but now it’s official – Green Street was named “Best LGBT-Affirming Faith Institution in the Triad” for 2012 by Q Notes, a Charlotte, N.C.-based gay and lesbian newspaper.
During the Amendment 1 campaign, Green Street sort of became the go-to place to hold meetings, have events and get support from. Along with other houses of worship in Winston-Salem, we showed the so-called Christians who were actively voting against my rights as a lesbian that not all religious-based institutions feel the same way.
And Green Street did it all without ever catering specifically to the gay community, but by sticking to our 2009 Reconciling Statement which calls us to love everyone:
Green Street United Methodist Church is called to the ministry of the sacred worth of all people. We embrace as a gift the diversity of our neighborhood and the world. We celebrate our human family’s diversity of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, age, faith history, economic status, marital status, physical and mental ability education, and any other difference, real or perceived. We affirm that all people are created in the image of God and as beloved children of God, all are worthy of God’s love and grace. We welcome the full inclusion of all people in the life and ministries of Green Street United Methodist Church as we journey toward reconciliation through Christ. We recognize that there are differences among us, but believe that we can love alike even though we may not think alike. We proclaim this statement of welcome to all who have known the pain of exclusion and discrimination in the church or in society and know that everyone’s participation in our ministries enriches us. We invite all people to join us in our faith journey toward greater love, understanding, and mutual respect.
I am so proud to be a member here and seriously, if you’re looking for a church in Winston no matter who you are, check us out. If you’re curious about some of the work we’re a part of, check my blog here and here.
Seriously…go Green Street!
I’ve written before about how the entire Wedding Industrial Complex (WIC) is geared toward straight folks, bu when I went shopping for a wedding dress and finally, after much searching, ended up at David’s Bridal, I was kind of confused that they were so accommodating to me as a lesbian.
I’ve also written before about how much wedding spam I receive, but even in their emails to me, David’s Bridal has been mostly neutral on the straight/gay marriage descriptors.
Well, not anymore.
I received an email today with the subject “KATIE: Change Your Name the Easy Way” with a link to DB’s partner, a Web site called MissNowMrs.com.
When I opened the email, I kind of wanted to reach through the screen and choke whoever was on the other end of it.
After months and months of (trying to) ignore the fact that the WIC doesn’t really want to involve me, I get his in the face with it all over again.
And, for the record MissNowMrs.com, changing your name in a lesbian relationship in a state where your marriage won’t be recognized is NOT an easy thing at all. Bite me.
I’ve never met a houseplant I didn’t like. This post in particular is about a plant named Fred.
I acquired Fred while I was still living in North Dakota in the Air Force (sometime in 2004 or so) and he was tiny. He was of the random plants you find at a grocery store and buy because you like the pot and figure the plant will die anyway but hey, at least you’ll have the pot.
Well, Fred didn’t die. He grew. He’s got a large round bulb at the bottom and his main base grows straight up with lots and lots (and lots) of long thin green leaves growing from each section of the base.
He grew out of the pot he was in about two years ago but between moving to North Carolina, going to graduate school and just generally living life I was busy. I finally repotted him tonight.
After using my little trowel to loosen Fred from the side of the pot, I still had to stand above him and pull and I ended up pulling all of the dirt out of the pot with him. His roots had grown around, over, underneath and through each other that it took a good 10 minutes of gently coaxing the dirt from around his bottom enough that I could set him in his new home.
Now he’s happy.
But Fred got me thinking about human nature and the nature of relationships. I figured out three things tonight:
- First, people (and plants) can grow almost anywhere so long as they’ve got access to the basics;
- Second, it sometimes takes friends to help us realize that we’ve outgrown the space we’re in and that it might be time to move on to bigger things;
- Third, moving on is scary and although taking everything with you may seem like a good idea, it’s better to start again in new soil keeping only what’s necessary.
Equality for All!
Just a quick note in between M getting home at 9:30 pm and her heading out for ice cream at 11 pm…
We started our wedding registry at target online the other day and after about 15 items we kinda of sort of maybe needed…we ran out of ideas. The problem is that we’re grown adults who already have everything we need to furnish our home (and M said I couldn’t ask for anything for the cat. She thinks it’s tacky but Dear Abby begs to differ. Hmmph!) so asking for a better version of what we already had seemed like a waste to me.
We thought about what to do and finally came up with a solution.
We’re asking people to make a donation to either Equality North Carolina or the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, two fantastic organizations that work for causes both M and I are passionate.
So…there you have it. Simple. Easy. And no purchase of a $350 toaster necessary.
These were the flowers M gave me for last year’s anniversary – a year to the day we’re getting married.
Our wedding invites and RSVP cards came this weekend.
Once again, we got to highlight the fact that we can’t call what we’re doing a wedding. Because Green Street is a Methodist Church and the UMC doesn’t recognize gay marriage.
When we first ordered our invites, we had to carefully dance around what exactly our ceremony on Saturday is (again). And we finally settled on a Celebration of Blessings for our Committed Relationship
Originally, we sent out our save-the-dates and called it an Act of Civil Disobedience which it was going to be when we were first going to do our ring exchange in front of the church right before the ceremony as a way of highlighting the fact that we’re not equal on so many levels – the church, the state…
But then there was a discussion on how much of the street technically belonged to the church and if having a parking lot vow ceremony technically constituted “using” the church to have a ceremony and would Green Street be in heaps of trouble if someone wanted to pursue it and we didn’t want that and really wasn’t it supposed to be our special day and on and on and on and on and finally M and I made the command decision to say:
Ya know what? Let’s just save everyone trouble and have the ring exchange ceremony the night before at Wake Forest Baptist Church with a small group of people.
Side note: I am thankful that Pastor Kelly and Rev. Angela Yarber are helping us facilitate this double event wedding weekend extravaganza!
So the Act of Civil Disobedience didn’t really apply anymore. That and I think I’m a bit jaded after the loss of Amendment One that I still don’t really want to be an activist right now. Not just because we lost but because Equality N.C. created all these elaborate discussions about how A1 would hurt straight people and we still lost. I wish we had just said that it was about gay marriage – we would have at least lost honestly.
So there it is – A Celebration of Blessings for Our Committed Relationship. With the ring ceremony the night before. It works and it’ll be fine. I just really wish sometimes that the world was different from what it is.