I am not a bride. I am a cisgender queer man. My partner is not a bride. He is a cisgender gay man. There is a difference between “queer” and “gay” here, but that's not my focus.
I am not a bride. I don't want to know what dress whatever website or magazine will think is “hot” on me or whatever the “hottest” trend in whatever fashion for brides is because I am not a bride.
I've found the person I want to be with forever… and it's almost as if we don't exist.
When we bought our house, the registries were for a bride and a groom. But I am not a bride. He is not a bride. We are neither brides. I loathe the idea of registering again because I don't want to have to tell people to “play around in the search” to find one of us in the wrong category. Macy's and Pier One and Crate and Barrel and Target don't understand that their registries are available in places where gay people get married.
I don't want to have to come out over and over and over again to gift registry associates in stores, to suffer through confused and judging looks simply because I'm not in some glorious mold of who should be married. Because I may decorate, but I'm also a black belt. Because he's a cook, but also handles the power tools. Because we're both neither the femme nor the butch. Because we're us and delightfully both and neither of these things. Because I don't want to have to answer to who's the Bride and who's the Groom. Because I don't want this world that I've entered into to be a square hole to my round peg.
I don't want the softs and pastels and the feminine. That is neither of us. I don't want to be typecast as the Bride because I want to do the decorating and have a vision of what I want.
I don't want to have to go through extra effort to find a photographer who will be able to deal with not having a bride to pose as she's picked up by her husband, or a dress to photograph, or a “trash the dress” session because there is no dress.
And I simply don't understand why it's still stuck like this.
Because it's been eight years, EIGHT, since gay marriage became legal in my state of Massachusetts. Because, since then, five more states and DC have joined us. Because other states will be joining us in the next year. Because it's time for it to change. This whole complex, this whole industry, this whole idea of who gets married, who does the planning and who should care about it, needs to change. Because I'm just one couple in a long line of couples who don't fit the mold, even if they are heterosexual.
And I don't understand why, in a field which is stereotypically dominated by gay men in business (fashion, design, food, planning), that there is no inkling that inclusiveness should be something sought for and done quickly instead of dragged out and done hesitantly. Why there isn't a push to change everything to reflect how it is now.
I look at these wedding photographers, which is where I am now in the process, and I'm trying to suss out if they're LGBT-friendly through the pictures they take. Does their emphasis on the bride mean the photographers find the men to be unimportant? Does the lack of LGBT couples even in the background mean that they are avoiding those couples to “beautify” the shot? Does a lack of inclusiveness in the statement on the website mean that they would rather not work with LGBT couples?
And then I have moments where I say to myself, if they don't support LGBT couples, they're not worth it. They'll find they'll lose business. I'll find a business which does support me and what I'm doing. Not on the philosophical “everyone should be married to whomever they wish” level, but on the “I would be honored and love to shoot your wedding! You're such a gorgeous and happy couple!” level.
But I read about these businesses that refuse LGBT business based on their religious leanings. I hear about these horror stories of typical couples finding the right vendor.
And I freak out.
I become overwhelmed with fear. I stop looking. I eat some ice cream. I play some MarioKart. I relax my pain away with stupid frivolities until I have to open it all up again later, only to have the same thoughts, anxieties, and pressures.
Rejecting all the Bride-related propaganda is easy because it's not my propaganda. You see, I'm not a bride.
I'm not a bride, and that seems to be my problem all along.