Friday, March 30, 2012

Telling the family and friends.

Simple right? Even exciting, perhaps? A joyous occasion to yodel from the rooftops about?

"Woo hooo! My partner and I of almost four years are getting married!! Hey- yooo!!"

In theory.  Wondering how on earth or why on earth this could possibly be be anything but the most wonderful thing on earth to share? Then you are a wonderful person. As such, this beautiful article might help you understand why it isn't all puppies and rainbows: A Father's Reaction to His Very Young Gay Son.

People can be ignorant, close-minded, and resistant to "change" (I put that in quotes because sometime people blame there inability to freely acknowledge equality and love by blaming it on "adjusting to change").        
                      Luckily (Ha! how sad is that that I have to consider myself "lucky" to be afforded anything beyond tolerance? America! America.), nobody has been anything even close to as ignorant (and in my opinion - sorry! - but as dumb) as some of the people who wrote comments on the blog of that little boy's momma. However, I wouldn't say the world has been "jumping for joy" as I might have hoped and wished for. There are exceptions - and "lucky" for us, we have had a lot of exceptions. We are surrounded with AMAZING friends who know us well and know that this could not be a better marriage of two people. The worst reaction has been no reaction. Sadly, there are gay couples out there who would feel privileged to have that be the reaction they got. So naturally, I do feel some sense of happiness that that has been the worst of it (so far!). However, I am not one to lay down my fight and settle - and I DO NOT think that is right or fair. These were people that, had we been a man and woman would have been throwing up their arms and dancing on the spot... but instead there was no recognition of it, no excitement,  barely a "congratulations."

"But hey, at least they weren't angry, right? At least they didn't cry?"   

... yes, that is the world in which we live. A world where those last two questions are what a significant chunk of our society would think could/should be the extent of my grievance around the reaction these people displayed (or lack thereof). These people weren't strangers!


Moral of the story? 
Some people are going to be REALLY excited about your wedding when you tell them. Enjoy those people. Have drinks with those people. Cherish those moments because they feel amazing. Just don't count on everyone reacting the way you wish they would - and that is OK (I swear, trust me on this - you're going to have to). It's your wedding, your life. Unless you have something to hide or some piece of shame/guilt/unease around the announcement, take any and all less-than-enthusiastic reactions with a grain of salt.  If you are nervous about telling someone just do it - the people I was most nervous about telling have turned out to be the happiest and most supportive. It was the people I didn't think I needed to worry about because I knew (know) how much they loved my partner and I that had the reaction above. So don't worry over things you can't control! Storms pass. People digest. If anything - feel bad for them! They are going to have to live with how they reacted to your incredible news for the rest of their lives. That's a tough and very heavy chain to bear. All you can do is not be bothered by it, continue to love them, continue to be the happiest bride or groom-to-be, and hope the guilt is not too much too bear later on for them.

Easy enough, right?

A first on the list - in the moment - announcement (one of very few).
Also, see, I texted! Its our day, our way.
Do what you want and how you want - as long as it makes you HAPPY!
Oh, one other thing. Don't get caught up in telling everyone right away. Tell the important people right away, the ones you want to hear their squeals of excitement (or texts of excitement!) first and as soon as you can - they add to the joy (unless they react less-than-enthusiastically in which case they can marinate on the fact that you wanted them to be one of the first to know and they let you down for eternity). Everyone else will find out in good time. Enjoy the moment(s). If you ever get tired of telling the story, just don't tell it. No one will hate you. In fact, people get it. They really do. And if they don't... well, you likely know how I feel.


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