When Leon and I married on October 25th, ( And here) we had our immediate families and closest friends at the ceremony and for dinner at Pagliacci's Restaurant. And while we knew our families were supportive, we couldn't be so sure about extended family members and others.
We decided that we would let family and friends know that we are now legally married. And that our status in the community had changed.
We sent formal announcements to many extended family members, straight friends and old neighbors. Others learned of our nuptials from those attending.
Although we haven't heard from all of them, we did receive cards and even a few gifts from many. When the cards and hand written notes started arriving, some of them blew our socks off!
Really, I don't think we've often given people credit for how genuinely they have embraced Leon and I and our relationship over the years.
I'd like to share a few here:
From a former neighbor lady and her son, when we lived in New Britain 15 years ago.
She used to make pierogis once a month for fundraising at a very conservative Polish Catholic parish and always brought us the "factory seconds". She is now in her nineties:
From my old boss, a straight guy in his 70's:
From two Catholic nuns who live with my sister:
From my cousin and her husband along with a gift saying that Leon has always been a part of the family:
From my brother's mother-in-law, a very Irish Catholic woman:
From a 68 year old woman who was an HIV client of mine back 8 years and more ago:
From my Ex who I wrote about in my memoir and who now lives in Florida (can you hear his Acadian-French accent?):
From Leon's cousin in San Jose:
From my ninety year old Sicilian Aunt and my cousin:
Many of our gay friends were not as excited and congratulatory as many of our straight friends and relatives, including some very "Catholic" ones.
Perhaps they are the real "silent majority" and despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth on the part of the Fundies and TeaBaggers and Hate Groups, maybe these loving people do represent a growing new majority - at least here in the Northeast where same sex marriage has been legal for years without a major breakdown of straight marriages or signs of Armageddon.
Perhaps is is that our (in the collective sense) "coming out" makes more and more people realize that some of their friends, family members, co-workers are LGBT; that they really do know, love and respect someone who is gay.
From my sister: