Soooo on Thursday night, one of my best friends got engaged. (Congrats J & R!) She’s the 3rd person I love dearly to get engaged or hitched in the past year, and I was beyond excited for her…. and beyond freaked out. By ways of reasoning, I was the only person left in my close-knit circle of friends in a serious relationship. I actually breathed a sigh of relief that I was gay and didn’t have the right to marry yet, which meant that even if I did get engaged, I would be able to take it slowly and not have to deal with being an adult right away.
Yesterday it was announced that gay marriage will be legal in NJ starting October 21st.
It’s not that I don’t want to spend the rest of my life loving the woman of my dreams. I’m just waiting for my wonderful governor to veto this decision.
When I was a baby dyke, around 19, marriage equality was a big issue in New Jersey. My then girlfriend asked me to go to Garden State Equality meetings with her, and I did, but I was ambivalent about the whole thing. Maybe it was because I knew in my heart she wouldn’t be the one I would be “gay marrying,” or maybe it was because I was just a kid trying to get through her sophomore year of college and declare a major, but when the NJ Senate rejected the legalization of gay marriage in January 2010, I was sort of relieved. I wasn’t out to my family yet. I didn’t see marriage in my immediate future. Heck, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to get married one day. For a while, I was a closeted gay supporter of the lack of marriage equality.
A year and a half later, in June of 2011, same-sex marriage became legal in New York. I was excited that I could potentially get married one day “only one state over.” However, once again, I was ambivalent. I had just gotten out of a bad relationship. Marriage wasn’t in my immediate future. I started day dreaming of meeting my dream girl one day, but I didn’t want to envision a marriage. It just didn’t seem possible to me.
Another year passed, and I volunteered with the NOH8 campaign. I was about to graduate from college, and the whole marriage thing seemed a little more important. I suddenly saw my peers getting engaged, and it frustrated me that, even if I wasn’t in a relationship at the time, I couldn’t get married, even if I wanted to.
Now, in 2013, I can legally get married in my home state.
I’m going to let that sentence sink in for a minute because it’s a sentence most of America doesn’t have to worrying about saying with awe and disbelief.
I don’t believe this is real. I’m waiting for someone, especially Chris Christie, to tell me that this isn’t real. I’m waiting for the idea of getting married to be ripped out from under me and thrown away. I’m waiting to be told that my life is unconstitutional, and that I don’t deserve to declare my love to one person for the rest of my life.
I’m not ready to be allowed to get married because I’m in denial that I have a Masters degree, that I have a full-time teaching job with benefits, and that I am in a committed relationship filled with love, respect, and happiness. I’m in denial that I’m adult because, if I let myself believe that I can get married in New Jersey, I’m going to act like a child and throw a temper tantrum when that right is taken away from me.