Today my love of 23 years, husband of 7 and eternal partner in crime Simon, became a U.S. citizen. Immense joy fills my soul. It is indeed well with my soul.
For those of us of a certain age growing up in the U.S. school system, learning the inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty was a rite of passage. Bear with me here as I remember the words of Emma Lazarus:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
This morning, I saw 749 others besides Simon being sworn in. 749 other stories. Who was tempest tost? Who was wretched refuse from their home country’s teeming shores? How brightly does that lamp burn in their eyes and hearts?
In my book, I tell our story. How we made it back to the U.S. after meeting in the U.K. and starting our lives together there. How he couldn’t come back with me based on the nature of our relationship. You had to be married to come as a spouse and we weren’t. Never mind that in 2004 we couldn’t marry. It wasn’t discrimination against the gays mind you. My government was simply applying criteria evenly that we didn’t happen to satisfy (eye roll).
So, he came as a student, studying for his Master’s Degree at SMU. Unless a miracle occurred at the end of his studies, he was going to be shipped back to England.
I’ll cut to the end: a miracle did occur. Several in fact, thanks to too many beautiful souls to name here. Finally, we were able to marry, and here we are today.
This post isn’t a rant about the past. It’s not a commentary on our present. It’s an expression of gratitude that Simon and I, together, can finally without fear, breathe free.
We now go forth, and through the golden door.
We’re nearing the end of #holyweek2023, which ends with the most important liturgy of the year in the #christian church: the Great Vigil of Easter....
This is an excerpt from my book that’s coming out on June 6th, “Opening the Corporate Closet.” This is about a friend of mine whose work environment was quite different to my own, yet as an external client server, I understood all too well the choices he was facing as a gay man.
My aspirational life with Joanne was key to my evolving straight persona, out of junior high and on to high school, college and beyond. She embodied the perfection of my future life. Wanting to marry my Joanne felt normal. I wasn’t suppressing anything since I wasn’t gay anyway.