• Same-Sex Engagements, Weddings & Marriages: Old Rules, New Traditions

    Posted on June 17, 2013 in Wedding Tradition


    By Y. Salermo


    S-S-MOver the last few years, I have been bombarded by the same question repeatedly asked by friends at social gatherings, “When do you plan on getting married?”. Instantly my hands begin to perspire, my eyes dart across the room to avoid all eye contact, and I change the topic as quick as humanely possible to something much less intimidating like the weather. I have experienced what most, but certainly not all, men go through when asked about marriage and commitment… And it’s a wonderful feeling.

    It may seem odd that I would correlate those anxious feelings to something good. But it’s a universal experience that many men and women must go through when deciding to “pop” the big question. What’s wonderful is that it is not longer defined by sexual orientation. It means that the experience of “cold feet” is not unique to heterosexual men or women. It means we, as a community, are recognized as equaling contributing members of society.

    The advent of gay marriage brings with it possibilities: experiences that we once thought to be fleeting dreams.

    lesbian-ssm_As a child, I never dreamed of the day I would get married and have children. I didn’t dream of the color palette of the wedding flowers or the fabulous Vera Wang dress which would make the day so special: it simply wasn’t plausible. Yes, there were gay committed relationships back then, but the idea of being able to participate, acknowledged and protected under the law was unprecedented. No gay man or woman languished in the dreams of the extravagance or the legal benefits of marriage: now, we can and we do just that.

    Because of these recent changes, we are only now beginning to question ourselves, much like our heterosexual counterparts had to do early on, about whether or not we want to get married when we find that special someone. We can now ask ourselves the simple straightforward question “do I want to get married”. Many of us don’t know the answer because we never thought of it a possibility.

    With gay marriage comes flamboyantly colored doors, many of them, that can be opened for the first time in history. We can now share and complain about our spouses at work and how they refuse to clean, commiserate with the straight married couple next door about the woes of the “old ball and chain”. And yes, even share wedding pictures to our uninterested friends because they’ve seen it for the hundredth time. We can participate in social events and present our wife or husband. We can reap the good, bad, and ugly parts of marriage –and this is wonderful because it is an unrecognizable thread in the fabric of society as a whole. Gay marriage brings with it something everyone else has always taken for granted: unbridled possibilities for the future.

    Whether you want to get married or not is irrelevant? Before, the choice was made for you: no choice, no marriage, and no dream. But now we have an option to say “yes” or “no”, which in itself symbolizes our coming out to society as equals, a functional and vital part of humanity. With marriage comes the ability to worry less and love more. We have the option to choose the proverbial white-picked fence, with 2 kids, a dog, and yes a loving spouse. We now can be afflicted with the daily arguments of married life and the precious moments of reminiscing on how we met and committed ourselves to each other: we have options and dreams deferred can come to fruition.

    And just as importantly, we have endless possibilities on how to choose beautiful and stylish wedding rings and on how to put together a fabulous wedding party –I hear we’re pretty good at that too!


    Y. Salermo lives in New York City with his loving yet sensible partner of 5 years. When not leading a global company, he enjoys spending time with friends, and writing on the absurdities and ironies of the human experience in a metropolitan city.

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