Last evening Mark and I discussed if there was anything different now than a month ago. We must have spent a good two hours lying side by side just talking about whether there was any fundamental difference. Well, interlaced with plans and dreams for what we want to do in Cape Town.
In culture, being married is this huge thing. Equal marriage has defined the entire LGBT struggle for the past decade, and equal marriage looms over everything. While equal marriage is only a symbolic victory, it feels as if the fight is over simply because of equal marriage’s enactment.
That is, of course, patently untrue because the laws did not cause endemic homophobia; the endemic homophobia caused the laws. Politicians benefited from holding vile views, and have profited at the polls by expressing those views. Without popular support, the views and the laws could never work.
Whilst Mark and I only have the slightly lesser and very clumsily named Civil Partnership, until we can transmute it into a proper marriage next year, the big thing happened on the 16th when we held the ceremony. It was then that we publicly, and before the law, committed ourselves to each other.
It was then that we were willing to stand up before our relatives, before the registrar and the witnesses, before the world itself and proclaim ourselves to belong to each other. The funny thing is, however, that neither Mark or I place much value in the institution itself. No, it is not so contradictory as it sounds.
I take, and I believe Mark takes, the commitment very seriously. Deadly seriously. Because it is not something we made to our parents, or to the registrar, but to ourselves. Mark is the man I want, and since he said ‘I do’ I must believe that I am the man he wants.
The consequences of saying ‘I do’ to the registrar are large and looming, so it was not something we said lightly. We mean it. That is the important thing. That promise I made to Mark, and that promise he made to me, is the key.
The institution? Not so much. It is just a piece of paper with some legal obligations that can be mutually dissolved if we want to. The institution doesn’t really matter.
The promises we made, publicly, are the same ones we’ve already made privately, to each other as we lay here in our own house; expressed through our shared life together and our willingness to work out the kinks and quirks that come in our way.
That commitment was already made, because at least to me, I just can’t imagine a life without him. My conviction about our togetherness was as strong, and as absolute, a month ago. The difference between now and a month ago is mere symbolism, not visceral.
So, no. Beyond the pride of walking down the street hand in hand with a person that is my husband, there’s not much difference between now and a month ago. The legal fiction that is a marriage does not reduce or increase or change that which is stamped on our hearts, and which has been stamped there since that August day in 2011 when I first laid eyes on him.
Tomorrow we’re doing a bit of sling-shotting by heading into London first, and on Saturday we’re heading back in this direction to go to Heathrow. From there we fly to Africa. Also, when we go into London, we’re going to the cemetery like I promised mum.
This blog will most likely be quite dormant for two weeks. There may be one or two posts, I’m not sure, but I am taking a break from computers and the internet and the world to enter a fairy tale trip with this person that is laying next to me. You’ll have to pardon me for focusing on him on our honey moon.
Ugh. Today we have the Tests at the GUM clinic. Yay…