“Well holy moly, me oh my
You’re the apple of my eye
Girl I’ve never loved one like you
Man o man you’re my best friend
I scream it to the nothingness
There ain’t nothing that I need
Home, let me come home
Home is wherever I’m with you.”
(“Home” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros)
Home. We both return to this word often as we try to
communicate the feeling of being with one another. While we only met a few
short years ago, finding one another has been like returning to the most warm,
familiar, and accepting place we have ever known.
Our journey together has been an incredible labyrinth like
path – winding in and through our mountain top experiences of falling in love
as well as those unexpected turns that force us to face our deepest selves. We’ve
travelled a long way in just two years.
Some of our windiest of paths have come from our experiences
of being a queer couple. We’ve felt a celebration of our love like we could
have never dreamed and we’ve felt a violation of our privacy by strangers. We’ve
experienced incredible support and we’ve felt the genuine disgust or disregard
of others. Like so many queer couples, our journey has been one of extreme
highs and lows. But it is all worth it, because at the end of the day, we can
still return home to one another. Home is not subject to opinion.
In March of this past year we decided to exchange rings and
make vows to one another. We didn’t have access to an equality state that would
recognize our marriage. We didn’t have any funds for a celebration. Our
denominations would not formally recognize our marriage. But we were ready to
“close” on our home, so to speak. So, though we believe marriage to be communal
and spiritual, we had our own private ceremony first. As a queer couple, we
needed a space of our own, where disagreement of our “lifestyle” was not
welcome. It was perfect. And still we knew a day would come – one day – when we
could live into our spiritual and communal beliefs about marriage – though we
didn’t expect it to be so soon.
We both originally signed up for RMN ChurchQuake as an
extension of work and personal interests and only once that plan was set did we
realize this would award us with the opportunity to stop by the courthouse
where we could make our marriage legal – a complicated though intentional
decision. We thought we’d be alone when we went to the courthouse. We thought
it’d be a very legalistic experience. We thought there wasn’t any other option.
And then our RMN friends stepped in.
Thanks to RMN offering a space of hospitality during
ChurchQuake, we now get to celebrate our marriage in the communal and spiritual
sense we’ve been longing for since March. We get to be among folks that
unconditionally support us. Both of our denominations are being represented in
our marriage ceremony. We don’t have to be alone – we will be in community and
among folks who recognize our desire to perform a marriage ritual which points
to God as our guide as a couple. We are being given a space where we can
celebrate “home” among loved ones, in a spiritual setting and in a state that acknowledges
our relationship. What a gift.
In the meantime, we have been given wedding showers from
Mary Ann’s church staff and a group of United Methodist Women. We are
celebrating among friends at Annanda’s seminary. We are grateful for the joy
and support we are feeling, even amongst the naysayers, because we know so many
other queer couples cannot imagine their churches doing the same.
We long for the day our denominations will acknowledge our
relationship, and all other queer relationships, but until then, we give thanks
for the local communities and the RMN community that act as church for us. Home
is hard to find as an interracial lesbian couple – outside of our selves. We
know that spaces of genuine safety, acceptance, advocacy, celebration, an
acknowledgment of queer faith and love, are rare. But as we prepare for our
upcoming ceremony in Maryland, we think we just might be getting glimpses of
home in new spaces.
“Laugh until we think we’ll die
Barefoot on a summer night
Never could be sweeter than with you
And in the streets you run a free,
Like it’s only you and me,
Geeze, you’re something to see.
Home. Let me come home.
Home is wherever I’m with you.”
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