As the Republicans debate what island to ship the gays to, my girlfriend and I are debating what tablecloths to use at our wedding. My gonna-be-wife Shauna is a stylist and is looking for something earthy-meets-lacey; I'm a child of immigrants, and I'm looking for something inexpensive-meets-cheap.
Just to clarify for those of you who mistook my headshot for that of a Pakistani Jonas Brother: I'm a girl. My Beyoncé* is a girl. We're getting gay married (or "g'married," if you will).
Since announcing our engagement a month ago, we've had a slew of hilariously awkward reactions. My favorite is, "Oh, yeah. That's legal now." As if Shauna and I have spent the past three years glued to C-SPAN, just waiting for that same-sex marriage bill to pass: "Babe, I wanna spend the rest of my life with you... as soon as the governor of Poughkeepsie says it's cool."
Not to downplay the importance of marriage equality. It's very (if not hella) important. The reality is, we live in a time when a big chunk of society looks at homosexuality like it's a really hard Sudoku puzzle.
While we wait for Texas to do the math, I've got some good news: planning a gay wedding in these semi-controversial times has some huge advantages.
Cut the Fat
I'm not calling my distant Muslim relatives fat (well, not all of them), but I do appreciate the cash I'm saving with a tight guest list. It's not that I don't like Muneeb Uncle, it's just that I'd rather not spend $120 for him to stare at the sea of asymmetrical haircuts at our reception and wonder how he's gonna explain this one to Allah. Luckily, contrary to straight-wedding etiquette, parents-of-the-gay-bride aren't reaching into estranged corners of their family tree for lists of must-invite members that you must-not-remember meeting.
Surely, some attendees at your wedding will inevitably be of the "what's a gay?" persuasion. My Beyoncé's dad, for instance, is a good, Catholic, military man who's made it clear that he doesn't "believe" in gay marriage. To show our understanding, we're sending him a personalized invite that reads: "You're invited to our wedding... in the Bermuda Triangle. Watch us exchange vows in a crop circle. Stick around for a duet by Biggie and Tupac." I picture him at our wedding, watching us exchange rings, saying, "Gay marriage? Naw... gay mirage!"
While your straight siblings are forced to enter a bidding war for the family country club, produce an exact replica of your grandma's 80-pound, white-velvet train, and chant the family hymn, you, my gay friend, are trailblazing. Have your wedding in the woods, under water, on a Greek island** -- it's up to you. Don't like the idea of walking down the aisle? Have your wedding at the end of a moving sidewalk. Wanna be certain you and your partner are the most beautiful people at the ceremony? Make the dress code ill-fitting clothes from the 90s with a strict "no makeup" policy.
Hopefully, one day, our heterocoupled cohorts will enjoy the same freedoms we bask in. Until then, when your straight friend comes over, near tears, to tell you that her mother-in-law went ahead and resized her hideous wedding dress, ordered 5,000 fuchsia table cloths, and invited every generation of her sorority, just smile reassuringly and let her know, "It gets better."
*I hate using the word "fiancé." It makes me feel like a sommelier describing a wine: "Care for a glass of fiancé?" No thanks. As an alternative, I've been introducing Shauna as my "Beyoncé."
**I have copyrighted the gay Greek island wedding (GGIW) idea. As a result, I require an invitation to all GGIWs that take place.