APW Pride Week!

Photo: Patrick Pike

Today marks the beginning of the first ever APW LGBTQ Pride Week, right after a heady weekend of New York legalizing gay marriage (yeahhhhhhhhh!), San Francisco Pride. I’m more than a little excited about it all of it. I might also still be a little tipsy from all of it (couldn’t say).

There is always a whole ton of debate (inside my head, at the very least) as to whether or not it’s appropriate to ever single out the LGBTQ community here in wedding land. The truth is, there is a lot of power in normalization. We run LGBTQ weddings just like mixed-gender weddings, every month here on APW. We don’t single them out as special or different. We use gender inclusive language all the time, not just when we’re talking about gay and queer couples. I wrote my book with gender neutral language throughout, and with gay couples featured the same way as straight couples, but without any section on gay marriage. Why? Well, I think that slow cultural infiltration may have more power when reaching a mainstream audience, than hitting them over the head with your views. You have a huge gay wedding section? They might not buy the book. You quietly trot out quotes by happily married gay women, and only use gender neutral language? Well, you have a chance of winning hearts and minds. Because, why yes, these women are just like you.

And yet. We have an LGBTQ weddings tab on the APW toolbar, and we’re doing APW Pride week. Why is that? Well, it’s because we’re not there yet. When we started pondering APW Pride, after Cindy brought it up to me, we started digging around in our submissions, and the simple facts are these: we had one LGBTQ Wedding Graduate (Cindy), zero LGBTQ wedding planning posts, zero LGBTQ Reclaiming Wife posts, zero posts on LGBTQ families, and zero advice questions from LGBTQ readers. For those of you doing the math at home, that means that out of hundreds of submissions, we had exactly one from an LGBTQ perspective. And that is in no way reflective of the makeup of our community.

We’re not there yet.

So we reached out to readers we knew, we reached out via Twitter, we chatted with a lot of people, and now we’re proudly (ha!) bringing you a full week of content from the LGBTQ perspective. It’s content that made me think about my own relationship, that made me grin, that called me to action (I marched in San Francisco’s Pride Parade yesterday, because of this project), and content that was just plain pretty. And as Lauren told me, every single post made her think really hard about her own, mixed-gender relationship. The LGBTQ perspective is so important for making all of our relationships stronger… even if we sometimes have to beat the bushes to get it submitted!

So why are we doing APW Pride Week? Because we need to. Because we’re not there yet. Because the content is just plain great. Because we still need to talk about this issue in a concerted, focused way (sometimes, at least). And because, I, for one, am proud, honored, and humbled to be part of a community that is vested in the civil disobedience that is gay marriage in the United States. Because f*ck legal. Legal can go ahead and catch up with us. As the officiant said at Cindy’s wedding (coming up tomorrow):

To those who might oppose why we’re here today, I have one thing to say: you’ve already lost. Our generation doesn’t care. Despite all the sham and drudgery in this world, we realize that love, where it can be found, should be revered, protected, and consecrated. Period.

So, although the state and federal governments will not recognize it for a few more years, we pronounce you married now. Today, we are the legislators who will issue the marriage license, by the power vested in our Commonwealth, and we are the enforcers of the law who will hold Cindy and Julia to their vows in the years to come.

By the power unlawfully seized by me, in defiance of the State of Illinois’ laws prohibiting marriage equality, it is my great pleasure to declare you MARRIED!

So this week, for Pride, we’re making the personal political. Wisely, beautifully, hilariously, gorgeously political. I’m so proud to be part of this community. Let’s do this thing.

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