Jen and I celebrate our 25th anniversary today. We made a promise to spend a lifetime together in a dorm room on the U of Arizona campus. In 1993, we couldn’t have an officiant or formal ceremony, so it was just the two of us and a couple of inexpensive rings from a mall jewelry store.
Thinking back on that day, our journey to this point amazes and humbles me. Here are some thoughts on it.
What Has Changed:
• We are now legally married in every state in the union. And several countries would recognize our union. That wasn’t even a glimmer on our horizon in 1993.
• My family has accepted Jen. I’m still not sure they wholly approve, but notes from my grand-nieces and grand-nephews refer to Jen as “Aunt Jen.” Never thought I’d see that happen, given that my family and I were nearly estranged when I came out.
• Jen’s parents and brother embrace me. While they were uncomfortable at the beginning, they all refer to me as their “daughter-in-law” or “sister-in-law” to friends and on social media.
• Because of Jen’s love, I’ve learned to be more honest about my feelings. I’ve learned that I deserve to be loved. I’ve learned to take risks, reach for my dreams, and to trust that tomorrow can and will be a better day.
What Hasn’t Changed:
• In too many states, we could still be fired for coming out on the job.
• In too many countries, we could be imprisoned or killed for being openly gay.
• Homophobes are still trying to strip our marriage rights and rights to adoption.
• I still think I’m not good enough for Jen. But, I’ve come to realize that no one on this planet is good enough for her. Since I’m the person she wants to spend her life with, I just need to work as hard as I can to make her happy.
Looking forward, I can’t wait to see what the next 25 years brings to our marriage. And the 25 after that.