Big Queer Non-Gendered Wedding
May 12, 2010, 5:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

I pledge to love and respect you, to communicate with you in honesty, friendship and understanding, and to remain committed to our union in the face of all hardship.

Our wedding – or perhaps it could more appropriately be termed a commitment ceremony – was a wonderfully chaotic and amazingly cheap DIY party. Friends made our clothes, our desserts, arranged our flowers and took a few photos. Others decorated the space with ribbons and paper lanterns and set up chairs, then helped us move everything after the party was over. Another friend donated tea and punch and helped serve drinks, and yet another DJed our dance floor, mixing old jazz tunes with punk rock anthems.

We held our wedding in two parts – the first half was in the lobby of a community building where both my partner and I volunteer, and consisted of a short, vaguely spiritual ceremony that included our pit bull terriers and a few traditions, such as the bouquet and the garter toss, simply as a point of irony. We did not hand out programs or favors. Our attendants were not termed groomsmen or bridesmaids. The friends who stood at the front of the room with me included a male friend, my sister and three other female friends. My partner’s party was a mix of both male and female.

During the ceremony, we avoided use of any names except our given first names, and rather than promising to cherish and obey until death, we simply read our own short vows. No one introduced as Mr. and Mrs. We walked back down the aisle with the herd of friends who had stood at the front with us to the Eel’s “Beautiful Freak.” We ate vegan red velvet wedding cake and fresh fruit with family and our closest friends, danced for hours, and played with fortune fish – a classic novelty toy that supposedly predicts one’s romantic future.

The second half of the wedding was held at an acquaintance’s coffeehouse and music venue, where on a little stage hung with sparkling lights we performed a pagan laving ceremony and a hand fasting. Dipping our fingers in a saucer of (almond) milk and honey, we touched each other’s eyelids, symbolizing our mutual desire to begin a new outlook, to look past old hurts, to open our eyes to new possibilities. The priestess officiating at the ceremony then wound a cord, handmade the night before by me and two friends from colored skeins of yarn, around our clasped hands. To us, this represented our desire to work as equal partners, and our commitment to help and support each other as trusted friends.  And then, arms around the other’s waist, we hopped over a broom and a sword crossed in an “X.” The crowd of friends that surrounded us broke into a cheer, clapping and screeching, and we hugged and kissed wordlessly. We embarked on a new adventure with that jump, crossing a threshold into a new and baffling world of being considered a “married couple.”

We had proven to our loved ones that we wanted to be partners, but we had also shown that we were two individual people with two separate lives.  The rest of the evening was spent eating pomegranate and rosewater pistachio cupcakes, drinking champagne and sparkling cider and listening to local bands that had agreed to play the coffeehouse for our gathering. Even the bands that played reflected our divergent interests – indie rock to hardcore to nerdy hip-hop and ambient industrial.

There was no reception, no complicated wedding photos, no requisite signing of the license, no toasts. We mingled among friends, sometimes together, sometimes separately, and at the end of the night we were the ones who swept the floor and piled our dishes and leftover cupcakes into a friend’s car. Rather than making the evening solely about us, we made it about the places we held in a larger circle of friends .We took the opportunity to acknowledge that no one stands alone, that a community of shared beliefs was not only important in bringing us together, but in helping us recognize why we wanted to share at least a portion of our lives with each other.

At the end of the night, we walked from the coffeehouse to our hotel room, my partner in a top hat and carrying a walking stick, me in a floor length black gown and carrying an unfurled parasol. We brandished these wedding gifts at each other, pretending to spar. And then we exchanged them for a minute, reversing emblems of gender, finding them equally useful.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Absolutely, beautiful.

Comment by Nakoma Love

Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is
excellent, let alone the content!

Comment by http://plus.google.com/b/101166412513619415047/101166412513619415047/about

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: