Article Title:Wedding Belles: Blindsided
Category:True Stories
Author or Credit:Jacqui Stanford
Published on:17th December 2012 - 11:54 am
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Story ID:12703
Text:This isn't me, but I know how she feels. I’d started writing a lovely update called “everything falls into place” about how swimmingly our civil union plans were going, when I was blindsided by an old school friend declining our invite … basically telling me how being gay isn’t what my dead mother would want for me. Um, what? And how very dare you. Last week Dee and I had a super-powered week of getting things done, with our civil union just over a month away. After months of trying to find shirts in the right colour for the brides’ men – we found them. After worrying about my dress fitting over my ample cleavage – it does. After stressing about the feminine mystiques of hair and make-up, my best friend, the stunning blonde bridesmaid, is sorting it. After reshuffling the seating plan 99 times and wishing I did maths past School C, it’s beginning to make sense. We’ve paid things off, we’ve stocked up on booze, we’ve hired porta-loos … … and my darling dad, as conservatively religious as he may be, loves me enough to be happy and proud to walk me down the aisle – because he knows how much it means to me, you see. In the same vein my big sister will sing our song as Dee and I walk down the aisle. With all the planning going into the logistics of tables, chairs, food, drink and such, we hadn’t really actually thought about the most important part: the ceremony. Luckily we have a celebrant who has made it the easiest part of all the planning. I’m so impressed with the stress level reducing skills of Dee’s colleague Adele White, police officer by day and celebrant by night/weekend, that I am happily name dropping her here – for anyone who needs a brilliant celebrant! In fact we are lucky to have her – she has had a pile of inquiries about the day we are having our civil union. With her experienced help the ceremony is sorted. Basically we just need to turn up, look pretty and repeat after her, and try not to cry so much we can’t be understood (I doubt we’ll be successful in that). Of course there are vows to write … but those can wait for another blog. We were feeling chuffed, sorted, excited about the people we love most in New Zealand and the whole wide world coming to our little slice of rural heaven in Kumeu for our big day. Then last night I got a reply from someone I had been hesitant to invite, but who had made noises about wanting attend. She’s one of my closest friends from school and one of the only people from my former religion, outside of my family, that I actually still have any contact with. She said that basically after much deliberation, she felt she couldn’t come because of her beliefs. That’s cool – I don’t want anyone there who doesn’t want to be there, or who thinks what Dee and I have is anything less than a straight couple. Cause it’s not. What really upset and angered me is that she brought my dead mother into it, trying to make out she wouldn’t want Dee for me, or some such nonsense. I actually felt physically sick, and frustration I haven’t felt since I was first coming out and trying to make it clear to people of religion that being gay wasn’t some kind of choice, or lifestyle, and that it’s something that I once despised so much it nearly destroyed me when I tried to come to terms with it. I don’t have the energy to go through all that again. Once is enough. And some people will never understand - they are too blinded by the fodder they have been spoon fed from birth. And when it comes to my mother, who died when I was still in nappies, I made my personal peace with her about my sexuality years ago. While not at all religious, I am spiritual enough, and I know for sure that she wants me to be happy – as any loving mother does for their child. Would she rather I suppressed what flows through my very veins and have a self-hating half-life, if I made it past a week at all, or to love myself and be loved and raise a family and just be happy? So onwards and upwards, that non-RSVP can go on the old scrap heap with the rest of what I have moved on from in my life … and I will go back to being a proud and excited bride-to-be. Bring on the 19th of January, and the big day, where as my amazing mother-in-law-to-be puts it: “you know nothing will go according to plan … and it will still be the best day of your life”. Jacqui Stanford - 17th December 2012
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