The Face of Marriage Inequality
Hold up…this isn't right?
I am the face of marriage inequality. I am she. The one who fell in love with another girl just like me. And like every other girl, I cried when I was proposed to. Unlike many other girls, I had to contain my excitement. I had to quickly calculate who I could share my news with, concerned that some may not approve. Approve; interesting concept that certainly doesn’t often cross the minds of the millions of heterosexual girls who are surprised every day by a bend of the knee. At least not the kind of approval endorsed by an entire society. Why should I care about who approves? … Because the last thing that a girl floating on a love cloud wants to experience is negativity, shooting darts at her fluffy ride causing her to tumble back down to a harsh reality. In this case, that reality is simply that love, as defined by our culture, is just not equal!
Wedding planning soon began. Two separate ceremonies I would have to arrange; one to share with friends and loved ones and, the “legal” one; somewhere far from home. Planning a wedding ceremony usually means fun stuff like browsing through bridal magazines and enjoying the occasional cake tasting. Mine was more like preparing a research paper. Instead of magazines I poured over endless tedious resources studying the laws of each state. Four state lines we had to cross to get to the nearest one that would allow (there goes that word again) two crazy girls in love to marry.
In my home state it is legal to marry at the age of 16. That is also the case in my country of origin (Puerto Rico). Too young to join the service, too young to drink alcohol, not even old enough to smoke a cigarette but by golly, you crazy kids, go’ on get married. Pack your Clearasil and don’t forget your retainer. On the other hand, two adult women with a higher education, fruitful careers, who are tax-paying productive members of the community, NOT SO FAST.
“They” who cozy up to their TV’s, popcorn in hand, to watch the latest bachelor/rette smooch and schmooze countless people in the hopes of finding The One. The same ones who will undoubtedly tune in to watch “Marriage at First Sight.” The latest example of just how the “sanctity” of marriage is truly and so vehemently protected in this country.
Well, they say love will always find a way, and so it did. We had our day. Drove for hours and enjoyed every second of our journey. Our desire to marry was not a romanticized notion that came to us on a whim. It was a well thought out commitment to each other. A desire to live the dream that every other young couple in love also shares. We are no different, just two crazy girls in love. Neither the laws of the south or the culture of the Caribbean will keep us from that. And so, with enough love to fill up this universe and respect to match, we embark on our lives together. Happily ever after and in spite of!
Short Bio below:
Liz Diaz Yabuku is a wife and mother of two teenage kids. She is originally from Ponce, Puerto Rico (Where Ponce es Ponce…) She is a counselor, advocate, teacher, and mentor in the Metro Atlanta area working in the areas of substance abuse, parenting, anger management, self-harm, and LGBTQ issues. Liz has spent over 14 years working with children and families in the community. She dedicates her life to helping others find their voice when they need it most. Liz hopes that her writing will inspire some and help others. Find her at firstname.lastname@example.org