Seven years ago, in September of 2006, Chuck and I had a civil union in Stowe, Vermont.
As Chuck eloquently put it (think Ben in Openly Straight), the civil union meant we were nearly married, any time we happened to be in Vermont.
This was us seven years ago at the ceremony.
Seven years later, because we can, Chuck and I are making our union official in the eyes of the government. On Saturday, Nov. 16, we are getting married!
It’s a small ceremony. Including us and the person marrying us (Famous Author Rob Byrnes), there will be six of us in Central Park. We felt it didn’t make sense to have another huge event, since the one we had seven years ago is so firmly entrenched in our memory as our “marriage,” even if the IRS didn’t see it that way.
That said, in recent days I’ve been overwhelmed with a feeling that I find it hard to describe. Pride? Gratitude? Jitters?
There’s simply something about the word marriage that changes everything. In a good way. For me, I mean. This is an institution that millions upon millions of humans have embraced, throughout history. By getting married, I re-commit to Chuck. But I also join the rest of the world, in a way.
I told you this wouldn’t make sense. I am struggling with the words. I wish I were a writer…
I will be married. Not partnered. Partner is convenient, because it allows listeners to decide the gender of my partner. They can also decide that I mean business partner. Not so in marriage. Marriage is not a business relationship. It is rooted in love. And when I switch, in four days, from partner to husband, it will feel odd to me at first. But it’s also good. Because as much as I am like Rafe from Openly Straight, and sometimes I get the gay fatigue and don’t want to come out to every person I meet, it helps me be authentically me to announce that I have a husband. I do. Or I will.
And having a husband makes me no less of a man than if I had a wife. In fact, to my way of thinking, it hits my personal definition of man in several ways: I am accountable to another for my actions. I am connected to another and to the universe. I share my gifts with a spouse. I stand up and get counted, telling people who I am even when it would be easier not to.
So yeah. Bill Konigsberg gets married. I like the ring of it. I am humbled by it. It makes me want to be a better person.