The Guilt of Getting Straight Married

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This is a post I have written several times in my head but haven’t had the guts to post, or perhaps didn’t feel like it was important enough.  But in light of last week’s history making declaration, the first time a sitting president has come out in support of same-sex marriage, well, if he can be brave, then maybe I can, too.

For the people who know me in real life, it’s no surprise I am a major advocate for equality.  I used to sing with a gay and lesbian chorus (I really miss it), I volunteered at the gay pride parade and celebration in West Hollywood every year, I am a major supporter of The Trevor Project, and have a tough time keeping my fingers off the keyboards when the topic of gay marriage comes up on social media.  I have been holding my breath waiting for a same-sex Disneyland wedding to drop into my inbox (hello, is anyone out there?!??!!)  My reasons for my guttural reaction to lack of equality are personal, and I’m not quite ready to discuss it in a private forum, yet.

After I met Mr. BFT, we quickly reached a point where we spent most of our free time together.  Then shortly after that I made the decision to go to college and get my degree.  And then shortly after that, I found myself with very little spare time.  I had to quit the chorus, I stopped volunteering, and in general stopped being the advocate for equality that I once was.

And then, we got engaged.  And among the feelings of excitement and trepidation and butterflies in my stomach, I felt guilt.  Guilt because I was able to get straight married without giving it a second thought.  And so many people I know, and are friends with, can’t get married.  (And no, civil unions aren’t the same thing.  Separate but equal, much?)

To offset my feelings of guilt, I wanted to include something in the ceremony to show my support for gay marriage.  My first thought was to have our officiant say a little something about Prop 8, the California ballot measure that banned gay marriage in 2008.  At the time we became engaged, Prop 8 had just been deemed unconstitutional and was moving to the appeals court, so it was a hopeful time.  But, upon giving this more thought, I felt that our ceremony may not be the appropriate soapbox for all my feelings about Prop 8.

My next idea was the White Knot campaign.  The white knot has become the universal symbol in support of gay marriage.  The idea was to have a basket of white knots attached to pins available on our welcome table that people could take if they wanted to.

White Knots at a wedding, from the White Knot Facebook page

I broached the subject with Mr. BFT and he didn’t care for it, at all.  Not because he’s opposed to gay marriage but because he didn’t want our wedding to feel like a political rally.  “But!” I countered, “this isn’t political! And I’m not shoving my views down anyone’s throat.  People can take them if they want to and not take them if they don’t want to.”  But to Mr. BFT, gay marriage = politics.  He doesn’t have the same history with gay rights advocacy that I do, and the bottom line was he felt this was a bit “too much.”  And since Mr. BFT asks for so little out of this wedding (honestly), I conceded.

I felt a little disparaged and didn’t think about the subject for a few months.  But the guilt and the overwhelming need to do something never went away.  As I was writing the ceremony, I searched around the internet for something less “political” we could include.  Ironically I came across a popular passage from the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health which was the first state in the U.S. to allow same-sex marriages in 2004 (it doesn’t get much more political than that).  But I found that a passage from the majority opinion ruling in this case has become a popular reading during wedding ceremonies of late, not only for gay couples but straight couples as well.  I attempted to weave this passage into our ceremony but try as I might, it stood out like a sore thumb alongside the lovey-dovey mushiness that comprised the rest of our ceremony.  Mr. BFT didn’t like the sound of it, either.  So, it was cut.  Sad trombone.

A couple weeks later, I was putting our ceremony programs together and had a chunk of empty space I was trying to fill.  And then, it hit me.  Mr. BFT approved.

Now and then I still feel the guilt of getting straight married, but at least I am at peace with it and I’ve made my stance known.  I will never stop fighting for marriage equality and basic rights for all people.

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About Mindy

Mindy Marzec is a life-long Disney fan who grew up in Los Angeles. She started This Fairy Tale Life to share Disneyland travel tips for adults. When not at Disneyland, you can find Mindy at home snuggling with her cats and re-watching Thor: Ragnarok for the billionth time.