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How Do You Say, 'Will You Marry Me?'

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Tom Bartolomei
Tom Bartolomei

How do you propose to a drag queen after spending 10 and a half years with her? Plus, now that DOMA has been struck down, do we wait for the state of Ohio to recognize marriage equality, or do we get married in New York, a state that's currently on the right side of history? These are the questions that I've been asking myself since June 26, 2013.

After sharing my life with Jeff for so long, the proposal should be something special. It needs to express everything that these years have meant to me. I want my proposal to say, "When you found me I was broken and scared, and you fixed me. You gave me the courage to face life. You showed me what true love is. In you I have not only a lover but a best friend, a soul mate. Thank you for loving me. I want to spend the rest of my life with you."

Saying the words "will you marry me?" without some thought behind how and where I say them can't express everything I feel. My proposal needs to be as big as our relationship is, and trust me: Our relationship is big. It has been 10 and a half years of ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and Vivian. However, through it all, we always seem to come out stronger and closer.

For me, the proposal is even more important than the wedding. I see the wedding as the celebration of the proposal, and I don't want to be celebrating something that I didn't make perfect. It's figuring out what is perfect for us that I'm having a problem with.

The proposal can't be cliché or run-of-the-mill, because those are two things that Jeff is not. It can't be done publicly just to be public, because that's not in either of our characters. At the same time, neither of us is 100-percent private, so a completely private proposal just doesn't seem right either. It has to walk the line between private and public and be 100-percent original to correctly represent our relationship.

So Jeff, until I figure out the perfect proposal, know that I love you and always will, and that I can't wait for the day that I make you my legally wedded husband.

To follow my journey to the proposal, read Diary of a Drag Queen's Husband.