Last year had a lot of milestones in my life. I haven't posted in awhile because so many things have been happening. I haven't felt that I've been able to write about some events, but now I feel that I can.
One of the biggest events of the year, and my entire life, was a celebration of our wedding. As some of you know, Kent and I got married, yes, officially married in the State of Connecticut on October 15, 2010. It was a quiet wedding - just the two of us, our two cats, and the Justice of the Peace. It took place in our home. It was a bittersweet affair for me. I was overjoyed that we finally had the opportunity to have a marriage license. I was also sad that I really wasn't able to share this amazing experience with my family and friends in Idaho. Idaho, being the very conservative state that it is, really killed that opportunity. I think we would both have preferred to have our families present for the wedding.
A few weeks after the wedding, as I thought about it more, it occurred to me that I now know why some people want to keep marriage out of the reach of gay couples. POWER. It is a not-so-subtle way of telling us to sit in the back of the bus, drink from the "gays only" water fountain, and use the "gays only" restrooms. History repeats itself. And there are many who will read these analogies and scoff at them, saying "it's not the same thing!" Really? Many black folks will say the same thing and be insulted that I would even dare to compare the two. But from where I'm sitting, it's exactly the same thing. When this realization set in, I became quite angry because it's not so much about "saving marriage", but rather, keeping marriage, with all its legal responsibilities, out of our reach. So today, we have the over 800 legal rights afforded to us by the State of Connecticut. We do not have the 1,138 legal rights afforded us at the national level (the big ticket items). It's hard to look at the hypocrisy of politicians today who want a national constitutional amendment voiding our marriage, when many of them have been married 4-5 times in the past. If they really wanted to "save marriage", perhaps they should start by looking in the mirror.
Negative thoughts aside, I'll take what we have and cherish it. And on the more positive side, we were able to have a wedding reception on June 11, 2011 at my cousin Kim's home in Caldwell, Idaho. Yes, IDAHO! She really did give us a wedding reception, cake and all. I love her so much for just being her, and having such a big heart. I was a nervous wreck. I didn't know how it would be received. And it's not as if it were concealed to be something else. She sent out invitations to the entire family and our friends, and at the top of the invitation, it read, "We Have Wed". It listed our names and location of the celebration. At the reception, I kept wondering if the police would show up to arrest us for an illegal act or something by celebrating this (Idaho has a state constitutional amendment against it). That's just my insecurities showing through I suppose. Not surprising, not all familly members could bring themselves to come to the event, I assume for religious reasons. At least I suppose I now know who supports us in our journey through life together, and who doesn't. My Uncle Bill came. He's 90 years old, very conservative, and very red neck. I told him of all people, I was surprised he came. He said, "You are my nephew and I love you. And, it's what Irene (my mother) would have wanted." Sometimes, support comes in the most unlikely places.
Another big event of my life this past year is work related. I'm still in the same job, but my job has changed a lot. The company that I've worked for over the last 24 years, was acquired by another company in 2010. The change has been tremendous, and I report to different people now. I can't say it's good or bad, just much different. It's difficult for many people to accept change. I try to roll with it and be as accommodating as I can be. I can't say it's all been easy, but I have on my side experience and wisdom. Ten years ago, I think this would have been much more difficult for me.
Will I have a home at this new company we are forming? I believe I will, but I've been through enough things in my life to simply not worry about it. As I tell others, "Worry about what you can effect. Everything else is a waste of time and energy." I tend to live my life that way now. Trust me, there are worse things in life than worrying about job security. I've lived through most of them.
Finally, we had a very nice Christmas with our folks in Yuma, Arizona. I thought it would be warmer. I think I've become more sensitive to cold. It was 65-70 degrees there during the day, but it felt like the 50's to me. It was nice to see the folks again, along with Kent's brother and sister-in-law. We seem to only connect in person every Christmas.
I'm looking forward to the New Year with great optimism, and I'm thankful for all that we have. I hope you all have a great New Year!