Brave Marriages


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

It’s so heartening to hear all of you talking about marriage and being a wife (or a husband) and what it means to you, and what it can mean for each of us, and about the ways in which we are *choosing* the life we want to lead. And the amazing emails just keep coming. After the discussion after the Crying In The Car post, the lovely lady behind Sapphic Housewife sent me this email that made me, well, cry. She articulated what I’ve been trying to talk about so beautifully, and in a way I never could. And, after the heartbreak in Maine this week, she reminds me of what we are fighting for. Because in the end, marriage equality is about all of our marriages. It’s about who we are, and who we want to become. So, without further ado, the Sapphic Housewife:

I know how I feel about marriage. I want children. I want to be a stay-at-home mother if possible. I want a picket fence (I was thinking yellow or green instead of white though). I’ve felt this way for years. Meeting and dating and falling in love with a woman may have changed a lot in my life, but it never changed any of that.

But the thing is, my traditional view of marriage tends to make me more instead of less adamant about people not getting forced into cookie-cutters after they get married. Nobody should get to tell somebody what she’s supposed to become. Nobody should tell a woman in a heterosexual relationship that “it’s time” to get married or have kids or take up [insert name of craft]. And I don’t feel like anyone should tell LGBT couples that “it’s not time” because “the country’s not ready” for same-sex marriage and adoption rights. I’m ready. I’m ready to be a wife and mother. I’m ready to not have to file state taxes as “married” and federal as “single”, dammit. And millions like me are ready to be loving spouses and parents.

I feel lucky that my partner and I live in a time that few people bat an eye at the fact that we’re two different races. But sometimes I wish people would ask when my partner and I are going to start having children, about as much as I wish people would stop asking my heterosexual married friends who feel pressured by the question because they don’t know yet. Because the same thing that makes my marriage invisible has the potential to make everyone’s marriage invisible. We’re told that marriage is being a woman who does x and a man who does y who both stay on timeline z. There’s no room in that for who the couple is and who each of the individuals in it are.

But maybe if people expand their opinion of what marriage can be, they’ll also broaden their view of who it can include. So here’s to brave marriages!

(And for today, I’ll let that be our rallying cry.)

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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  • Anonymous

    beautifully said!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16294864366284434807 Rosalie

    Just brilliant!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12058332763242199818 Heather

    Bravo!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08460758105522841803 Naurnie

    so, lovely sapphic housewife, when do you plan on having children? :)

  • http://accordionsandlace.wordpress.com/ accordionsandlace

    Yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes

    Exactly.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07022984321072372587 caroline

    Raising my glass. To brave marriages, and to the relationships and communities that nurture them.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09945813943336222370 Luis

    That was wonderfully written, Dan Savage had a great post this week about a 14 year old gay boy, who's mother helped make his Lady Gaga costume, and whose father drove him to West Hollywood to partake in the celebrating, and this boy came out to his parents when he was 12 years old. And he makes the claim that this is why we're winning, and he's right. Because those parents love their son and they don't care if he's gay. And someday you'll have kids Meg, and you won't give a flying fuck if they're gay. And so many of our friends are having kids, and they don't care if they're gay. And all those people who voted against gay marriage are going to look back at this moment in time and feel stupid, and their kids are going to think that they were so stupid, the way we think that people who supported segregation are stupid.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12997875522614810785 Mouse

    huzzah!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10323993039912422459 Kristie B

    I read an article on msn the other day about mail-order-brides. I thought to myself "if that can exist, why are we so up in arms over same-sex marriage?" At least my queer friends want to get married based on love and not…well…I don't know.

    Love is love. I honestly can't wait to be talking about all of this homophobia nonsense like how we talk about racism. It doesn't have a place in modern society. Love is love. Marriage is marriage. Parents are parents.

    I can't wait for all of my friends to get hitched, have babies that I can fawn over and live the lives they deserve to have.

    *heart* Here is to being brave, fearless and in love.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12477666037374075147 Ms. Grrrl

    Thank you for that wonderful post. It couldn't have come at a more perfect time. Here in Seattle I'm trying not to count my chickens before they hatch, but it is really starting to look like referendum 71 is about to become the first pro-gay ballot measure passed by a the people at the state level. Even after all the heatbreak that LGBTQ folks have suffered at the hands of the American people over the past five years, there is still reason to hope. Here's to you Washington.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18182268757502634911 sera

    I'm still holding my breath for WA state. Thank you for this post. I just wish we could all accept ourselves and one another for who we really are – as wives and as women.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    @Luis
    My love for Dan Savage is relativly enormous. I always think about how to bring him up on the blog, just because I can, but haven't figured it out yet ;)

    Anyway, it reminds me of when we marched in a Gay Pride parade with our shul in Brooklyn. A mom had brought her ~10 year old son, and halfway through we realized, "Oh…. this kid is probably going to grow up to be gay." And then we realized, "Oh sh*t. This mom brought her 10 year old to a Gay Pride parade, because *she* knows he's probably going to grow up to be gay, and she wants him to always feel proud of who he is." And that was pretty amazing. Here is to much more of that, and much less of the hell talk with KIDS for Gods sakes (I saw a lot of that growing up).

    Meg

  • Anonymous

    Kristie,

    F.Y.I. a lot of "mail-order" brides detest that label. It's a big wide world and a lot of legitimately loving marriages have happened that way.

    Been plenty of documentaries on it and the very good reasons why some of these women are looking outside their countries for marriage prospects. I know in one country the ratio of men to women was dismal, so they must look for alternatives if they ever want to have a family.

    Lets not trade one prejudice for another. ;-)

  • Tree

    I. Just. Got. CHILLS. That was so beautifully written!

  • Cate Subrosa

    Perfect. That's it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18213748225955505371 The Sapphic Housewife

    thanks everyone, for being supportive of diversity in marriage and for being just plain awesome.

    as for children, probably once my partner’s out of grad school. the women in my family have a pretty high rate of having multiples, so I figure we better be ready. =)

  • Anonymous

    If you think about it, there is something VERY wrong in voting on the rights of other human beings in the first place.

    We should not have to rely on the good graces of other voters just to have our rights. Such a thing as gay rights should not even need to be put to a vote.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08630952870183488792 Rachael Eisner

    Here Friggin Here!!!

  • http://claimid.com/danielle_latman Danielle

    Hi Meg and readers, I thought you might be interested in this article called "F**k Maine":
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-petrow/fk-maine-a-call-for-civil_b_348637.html
    The idea is that it's our democratic right to protest when we disagree with the laws.

  • Alexandra

    Beautiful. Best Wishes to all people with brave marriages, particularly those outside the heteronormative sphere!