GingerSass

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What…?!

Initially, I started writing a post on how today being the first day for gay marriages in New Jersey to be legal was bologna, and how I wasn’t holding my breath. I intended to politely continue writing about how Chris Christie views me as someone absolutely not worthy of his time, and to list all the different ways Chris Christie has dehumanized me over the past few years, as well as how I imagined he would continue to dehumanize and bully me over the next few months.

All of my plans and thoughts came to a sudden halt when one of the most unexpected things in the world happened today:

Gov. Chris Christie has announced that he will drop his legal challenge to same-sex marriage.

A spokesperson for the governor issued a note, saying,

“Although the governor strongly disagrees with the court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law. The governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.”

I’m still in a state of shock right now. I’ve had tears in my eyes all afternoon since I heard the news on my lunch break. I’ve been struggling with coming up with a metaphor to describe the shock I’m feeling, but I cannot put into words the mixture of emotions. I’m relieved. I feel like a rug has been pulled out of my feet. I’m shaking. I feel like an actual member of society. I feel dehumanized for having to feel this way to begin with. I feel happy. I feel sad. I feel slightly (okay, more than slightly) freaked out that I’m in a committed relationship that could actually end up in an actual marriage, not a commitment ceremony, domestic partnership, civil union, or “roommates” on census papers.

I never thought I’d say the following words in a context outside of Hurricane Sandy, but I have so much respect for Gov. Chris Christie right now. (Notice how I’m even writing about him with his official title– that hasn’t happened in ages!)

As a human being, he is doing the right thing.

He may not like me as a teacher/gay/registered Democrat/middle class worker, but I think I have the right to be treated with the respect and politeness I was raised to treat others, like himself, with.

He has the right to disagree with gay marriage, just like I have the right to disagree with his stance on public education and unions.

We’re allowed to disagree, but, as my rule in my classroom states, we should do so respectfully.

I appreciate that Gov. Christie is stepping aside to let the people of New Jersey do the talking, even if he doesn’t agree with what they’re saying.

So, Gov. Christie, I thank you. I thank you for keeping my homestate a state I can love, and for showing that, even if you don’t love the idea of same-sex marriage, you love the people of your state enough to listen to them. I thank you for making me feel like a human being, not a freak of nature. I thank you for opening conversations, and I thank you for getting individuals, like yourself, who I’d never envision listening to a different opinion to listen to what others have to say.

I thank you for having a love for New Jersey because your love of the Garden State is allowing me to love my love in a place we both love.

Thank you, Gov. Christie, for making a tough decision and going against your own beliefs for “the right thing.” I appreciate it.

Love is love.

Love is love.

I’m freaked out that I can get married.

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.

Shit.

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.

heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy-no-gay-marriage-for-you

 

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.

NOH8

 

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.

A month into dating V, I knew she made my eyes sparkle.

A month into dating V, I knew she made my eyes sparkle.