Love Equally...

Now that same sex marriage is legal in New York, I actually get very excited when someone is coming into the salon preparing for their wedding. When I first started as a hairdresser, I have to admit that I really didn't want to be a part of a client's services if it was for a wedding. I would wonder if the couple realized that I didn't have the same legal right to be married.

Bitter, well sure. In reality, the couple probably did understand that I didn't have the same rights, but were just caught up in the happiness and chaos that goes along with getting married. My husband and I have been together for 12 years and we have been politicly active for years advocating for our own rights. We lobbied in Washington State to get Domestic Partnership benefits passed while we were living in Seattle. Of course, we sent off for our domestic partnership license as soon as it became law.  We even got a handy I.D. card to carry in our wallets! This never quite seemed the same as being married, and in fact it is a few thousand rights short of marriage. When same sex marriages became legal in California, prior to Prop 8, we flew to San Francisco and made it legal! Sure it meant nothing back in WA, but we were anticipating a move back to the east coast to either NYC or DC. DC we knew was in the process of offering marriage equality, and NY State would at least recognize our marriage, though not when it came to filing our taxes.

We moved to NYC about three years ago and were very disappointed when marriage was up and failed to pass in front of the NY Senate two years ago. We were okay, as our license was still valid, but none of our friends could share in our marital bliss. I could be on my husband's insurance, have a right to hospital visits, etc. All of that still didn't seem enough though.

This past June, I sat in anticipation in front of the TV, on the night of the marriage vote as if I was waiting for my numbers to be called for Mega Millions.In moments, we could all be celebrating or be left feeling an emptiness and and want to either hit the bottle or eat a tub of ice cream. After 33 “yes” votes in the NY State Senate, I sat crying. We had won in NY! Things could indeed change in this country!

So yeah, it's not on Federal marriage equality, YET. But we're New Yorkers. We do everything big. As long as we are visible and vocal one day, hopefully soon, salons in every state will be scheduling two brides for up-dos or two grooms for a trim in preparation for their big day! So now I no longer turn my nose up at the wedding parties because I too can share in their happiness! -Justin


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