I was recently asked if I am a married man. I have to admit that I always find this question surprising, because I think that as a gay man I stick out like a huge neon light in the darkness wherever I go. I have a certain flair and I always assume that it gives away my sexual orientation. But apparently I’m not as obvious as people have told me that I am over the years, so I guess on the other hand it’s kind of cool to be asked that question, because people aren’t making assumptions based on any sort of flair I might display.
What was the question again?
Oh yes, am I married. I smiled and gave my standard answer, “Actually I have a partner, he and I have been together for over 15 years.” After I gave this boilerplate response I suddenly went wide-eyed and exclaimed, “Wait a minute, in fact, I am legally married! Earl and I have been together for over 15 years but in October we were legally married.”
It’s funny that I forgot that little bit of information. I guess after giving the same stock answer for so long that an old habit is hard to break. I was kind of delighted again with being able to say that we are married and being able to say that gave me an inner smile that brightened up my day considerably.
That sort of inner smile is a really good feeling.
What a sad state of affairs it is when some of the presidential candidates want to take away my ability to say that I am a legally married, and the associated joy I experience when I state this fact, simply because they dismiss the undying love I have for my partner as “not real” or “just a perverted friendship.” While I am overjoyed that I married my best friend (as I believe most people should do when they get married, straight or gay), I have had some friends with benefits in my time and I can tell you that while quite enjoyable, it’s not the same thing as being married to one’s true love. Perhaps those that would like to abolish the growing trend of same sex marriages should try having a friend with benefits. That way they can occupy their mind with something other than my personal business and they can see that marriage isn’t about sex and that sex isn’t necessarily about love but that marriage is about love. An everlasting love. An everlasting connection.
And that’s part of why I felt such joy when I was able to answer that in fact I am a married man, and I am quite proud of it.
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