Thursday, March 12, 2009

When do you take a stand? When do you sit and watch?

This weekend we are traveling to a small(er) town in North Texas for a wedding. I couldn't be happier for this couple. Seeing them together just makes me smile and they share the same ideals, the same goals in life-- this guy and gal have been through thick and thin already and I know that this wedding will be a true celebration of love, devotion, happiness, quirkiness.... etc. Happiness all around.

But did I mention it is in a small town near the Oklahoma border? Conservative City. My fiancee and I, personally, know the groom. The bride and I would be what I call "step-friends". As in, in a group we are chums, but I would never just call her and ask her out for coffee without her significant other.

So, this week D and I are getting ready for the wedding and she turns and asks "Are we going as a couple? Or are we going as roommates?"

It is sad. But I thought "Oh, shit. I better check with the groom first."

Some of you may say-- "NO! You are who you are and people can just suck it!". Or "How dare you deny your love?" Or something along those lines.

And I agree.

But, (here's the big ol' but). It isn't our wedding. This isn't even one of our best friends weddings. This is a wedding of a good friend, and it is not my job to take a stand at their wedding and make their family or less open friends uncomfortable. That. is. not. my. job. My job, as a guest, is to celebrate with them and for them.

But I asked the groom anyway.

His response?

"Of course you are a couple. I invited you as a couple, not as roommates. And I'm in theatre-- so my family better understand that I have gay friends. And they better be okay with it. This is my wedding."

And I smiled, thanked him-- double checked a few times-- and then called D to tell her. So, with his blessing, we will be dancing together at the wedding. Slow dancing even! Not just the chicken dance.

But what if he said no? Could I really blame him?

I don't know if I could.

Gay wedding etiquette. It just seems more complicated than it should be.


Amelia said...

I don't know...we're a straight couple planning a wedding and I could NEVER tell my gay friends to hide their relationships at an occasion to celebrate our committment to each other. I think I'd feel like an asshat bigot for the rest of my life.

If my fiance's family doesn't like it (my family is mostly pro equal rights), too bad. It's not their wedding.

But then, I don't live on the Texas-Oklahoma border, either.

futuremrsj said...

love your blog. you are too nice!
then again, i don't know anything about uber-conservative places, living in nyc.

Tenille said...

While I'm sorry you have to ask that (really sad that's still the case in some places), I completely love how thoughtful you are of your friends. I hope you both have a wonderful time.

ami @ elizabeth anne designs said...

(here from meg's blog! HI and welcome to the blog world!)

i think that the groom is a true friend, and so are you. it was so thoughtful of you to ask (even though you should never have to), and so RIGHT of him to support you!

Anonymous said...

I hope you really enjoy your evening and I can't wait until 20 years down the line when this is a non-issue for everyone everywhere. for you two as a couple, for your freinds' family, for texas, for oklahoma, and the world!

Jill Equestrienne said...

I'm also living in Texas (a bit farther south, but still an area closed minded bigots), so while I can't completely identify with you, I do know some of what you mean about people in the area reacting... badly?... to gay or lesbian couples. Your friend sounds like a good guy, and as previous comments have mentioned, I'm looking forward to when such an issue will be either a non-issue or less of an issue.

Your blog is awesome, btw. Thanks for sharing:)

gena said...

Hi there! I am planning my a gay ole Texas wedding the first weekend of April. I found your blog all too late, but enjoyed taking a peek!

Anonymous said...

I went to a wedding recently and I have to say the ettiquette is a little stressful. This was a wedding with a seating chart and I have to say it was mighty uncomfortable sitting at a table of people we didn't know and having to interact and "go there" when there were many other people at the wedding we were related to, who know us, and who we could have sat with and had no "hello we're the gay couple" anxiety. But the rest of the wedding was great, and we got to dance together. I have to say, though, that it would have been nice if the seating arrangements had not caused us to feel like a sore thumb...oh well...

ColorCoated said...

That's an interesting thing to have to question. You'd think that as a couple, it wouldn't matter, but I guess you're right about it not being your wedding. It's fantastic that your friend totally accepts you guys as you are, but what if it had been different?

It's unfortunate that you'd even have to worry about something like that :(.

Anonymous said...

(I've arrived via Meg's Blog)
I've been in this situation before. My (at the time) girlfriend and I were invited to an old friend's wedding. She is incredibly religious, and I didn't know her husband from Adam. I was super nervous as for how to play the game. In the end I introduced my gf as just that, my gf, but only to the bride and her mother, both who have known me from birth. To everyone else at the wedding she was just a friend. It was a super Baptist wedding so dancing wasn't a concern.
It really sucked but you're right- this was her (in your case, his) party. I think you made a good call.
As for my wedding, it's going to be very queer friendly. Yes, I'm marrying a cisgendered male (who is on the queer spectrum, but not out to his family) and I'm queer (female bodied). Our wedding is actually a fund raiser for a local GLBTQ charity (we're both on the board) and we're taking out all engendered pronouns from the ceremony. It's going to be "weird" for a lot of the people there, but they can deal, ha!
Good luck with the rest of your wedding planning!
Amanda in NH

Maria's yoga said...

I think worrying about etiquette is too complicated, in pretty much all aspects of a wedding. I think it was uber respectful of you to ask the groom though. Very thoughtful, although it would be nice to not even have to ask.
Congrats on your upcoming wedding as well:)

Anonymous said...

Hey there. I think I'm coming to this post (and this awesome blog!) pretty late, but honestly, it almost made me cry. Wedding planning has made me dramatic, for sure. While I appreciate you sensitive you were to be willing to put yourself aside for a friend's comfort, this kind of stuff kills me. It kills me! I feel like every day I am reminded of tiny ways in which LGBTQ people have to navigate what is a simple world to everyone else, and it eats me up to read about stuff like this! I'm happy you have good friends who wouldn't put that on you though.