Sitting on the carpet at a friend’s house, my husband and I were engaged in our typical banter. Part playful ribbing and part deliberate performance, we often end up this way to the amusement of our friends.
Our host laughed, and made an offhanded jab that would stick with my husband and I:
“In a state where gay marriage is illegal, I sure am glad you two found each other.”
My husband and I are both bisexual. He’s not my first love, I’m not his. The first person I ever really thought I’d spend my life with was a woman. It didn’t work out. Whether or not this is because it was my first relationship, or my first same sex relationship, I’ll never know.
It just so happened that the person I chose to really spend my life with was male. So I married him. Legally, in the eyes of whatever gods we’d felt like inviting that day, with no chiding from our relatives and no fear in our hearts of what it would mean, or what they would think.
I know we’re not the first opposite sex couple to be grateful for who we are and who we’ve married. I’ve heard dozens of straight couples express similar sentiment – phew, they sure dodged a bullet, not being born gay. We’ve always felt a little like the bullet grazed us, though. What if I’d been the exact same self, but different cells had met, different temperatures, foods, or days of the month had developed me differently – chromosomally, physically? Would we be our same selves in love – blanket forts, musicals, comics and all – but unrecognized? Would I be more aware of danger, lest I be unable to visit him if he were sick or injured? If he were my wife, would I be afraid to display his photo on my desk at my traditional, conservative office?
We’re lucky souls in an unfortunate world; the dice were tossed so that things are easy for us. Should we be grateful we can ‘pass’ or disappointed we’ll never get the chance to fight? Should we just be silent?’
Tini Howard is a freelance writer who lives and works in Wilmington, NC. When she’s not covering events around town, she’s writing her graphic novels, The Impenetrable Suffragette and GLASS.