Congratulatory Marriage Note in Newsletter

I am a member of several organizations and clubs in the community where I live. All of these organizations are related to activities that I enjoy — civic work, motorcycling, rehabbing old houses, and my ol’ college fraternity alumni association. All of these organizations are composed of straight people/couples. At least I am not aware of any gay members of any of these organizations. I’m sure there must be other members who are gay, but I haven’t asked and they haven’t told.

I do not belong to any clubs that are related to gay issues. No “MC” or LGBT groups.

So it was a pleasant surprise to me when the July issue of a newsletter for one of these organizations had the following shout-out to me and my spouse:

“We’d like to congratulate our past President [BHD] on his marriage to [BikerBeef] this past April. [BHD] has been together with [BB] for more than 20 years. May their marriage be warm, wonderful, and happy for many more years to come!” — signed, [current President].

Wow… that was nice. He even got the fact that we had a marriage ceremony and not a wedding.

When I attended a meeting of the group the other day, lots of people came up to me and congratulated us. There were a few people who seemed to be a bit more distant, though. In fact, one of them came up to me in the parking lot after the meeting and said, “I didn’t know you were gay. It took me a while to adjust to that. I don’t support gay marriage, but if you’re happy, that’s good.”

I did not want to get into an argument or long discussion with this gentleman. I have known him for a long time, and he has a reputation of standing firm in expressing his opinion without supporting facts, and repeating himself a lot. It was just better that I smiled and said, “Yes, I am happy. Just remember, I’m the same guy I have always been. Nothing has changed. Your marriage to your wife is not threatened by the mere fact that I can now have the same legal standing as you when it comes to how the state recognizes my relationship with [BB]. It’s really about love — I love [BB] very much and always will.”

This gentleman shrugged and mumbled something about “redefining marriage,” but I didn’t want to go there, so I pretended that I didn’t hear him as I placed my motorcycle helmet on my head and prepared to mount my iron horse for the ride home.

I am happy that, for the most part, straight groups that I belong to are taking it in stride that they have members who are in same-sex marriages.

Life is short: be who you are.

1 thought on “Congratulatory Marriage Note in Newsletter

  1. You continue to show us, BHD, that viewpoints are changing in our everyday lives. Your president shows true leadership as he provides a solid example of the type of behavior one should exhibit towards a current member, and past president, of your organization. Regardless of his personal beliefs about marriage equality, he recognized a that this was an important event in the life of a member of the organization. One may not be Muslim, but wishing a friend happy Ramadan tells him that he’s valued and the things that matter to him in his life are to be respected. It’s that type of behavior that changes hearts and minds. Perhaps the gentleman in the parking lot may be at that same place several years from now if others in his life continue to demonstrate such strong leadership.

    –Kevin

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