A long time ago, in my early 20s, I came out to myself. It was a watershed moment (literally, in terms of tears!) in which a lot of things I understood to be “weird” about myself suddenly made sense, and it was a time that I grieved for the “lost” years. The efforts in my past relationships that were always, inexplicably, lacking. It was also a time when I came to terms with how I would measure up to expectations: my family’s expectations of me, and the general culture and society’s expectations of me, and how I would adjust my expectations of myself, so that I could live a happy life.
I know my mother had difficulty adjusting to the idea of me being gay, a different future than what she’d visualized for me. I think that Mom just needed some time to adjust, and some parents need that time.
You know who fixed it with my mom? Kathryn. Kat was the first girlfriend I ever brought to meet my parents. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that meeting shifted my mother’s whole idea of what my life as a gay person could be like. She really liked Kat. She told me so. And then she said, “I think I understand now, why you’re gay.”
Maybe it was just that my Mom needed Kat to complete the picture that was partially erased when I came out to her. It was a huge relief for me. Not only did Mom like Kat, but she was able to visualize her daughter’s life in a new way, in a way that could be happy.
I am the first girl that Kat brought home too. She introduced me to her family nine years ago, after we’d been dating for a year.
That’s right folks, on June 23, Kat and I will have been together for 10 years!
In that time, we’ve been through quite a lot. We moved across country to Vancouver Island. We supported each other through new adventures and tough times, and we’d both lost a parent. We’ve been through a lot together.
We’re also getting dangerously close to 40 (stop laughing.) If these next ten years go as quickly as the last ten years, we’ll be 50 before we know it! I realized that if we are very lucky, if Kat and I get to be old ladies together, I want us to have a wedding to look back on. I want us to have photos – not just selfies taken at arms-length, but professional photos of a beautiful day where we’re wearing gorgeous dresses and holding flowers and telling each other how much we love each other. I want that memory for the future lucky old ladies to be.
So I asked Kat to marry me. I didn’t do an elaborate proposal or anything – I just decided to tip-toe into the conversation. I said, “I think I’d like to be married. What do you think?” She said, “Yes, I think that would be nice.”
That started a conversation which we would pick up time and again over a few months, and eventually, I talked to one of my hospital coworkers who is also a marriage commissioner – and I reserved the date of our 11th anniversary with her, which just happens to fall on a Saturday.
That night I went home and said to Sweetie, “Okay, so I can change this if you want, but I saw Judy and asked her to hold June 23, 2018 for our wedding date.”
Kat didn’t want me to change it.
Just like that, in little baby steps, we’ve tip-toed into the idea of what our wedding will be. It will be very small, on the beach, a few family members, a couple of friends. Kat and I both have our mother’s wedding rings, which are deeply sentimental for us, and the rings carry the commitment of our parents’ life-long marriages.
We get to spend our 10th year together as “fiancées” too, which is fun!
Until then, we’d love it if you could join us in happiness! 10 years and counting!