My long time partner and I were legally married in California on July 12, 2013. How weird it is to be in Utah now. How weird the trip home felt.
In California, we went shopping for wedding rings for the ceremony we are planning in January. Such a joy it was. Yes, the matching rings are for us. Smiles all around mostly, although one jeweler made no comment. Maybe that is the way it is supposed to be. Just another couple getting married. Normal, everyday, commonplace, so why comment? Still, I think we made him a bit uncomfortable. No matter, plenty of others wanted our business. We went out to dinner with friends who announce our new status to other friends they see. We tell almost everyone we meet. It feels good. It feels real.
Then we crossed the border into Oregon, “Oh, are we still married here?” Well no, not yet at least, but they are at least working on it. Federal recognition only in that state. We “honeymooned” in Oregon but it wasn’t as easy as California had been. We did not share our news with any strangers there.
Then the honeymoon and our vacation was over and we entered Idaho. It felt downright creepy being there knowing that most people there would not welcome us as we are. We have been to Idaho many times, but this time felt different. Married we were finally, but it felt like we were strangers visiting a foreign land.
Utah felt a little better. It has been our home for six years. There are people we love here, that are happy for us. I serve a fabulous Unitarian Universalist church here. My congregants were excited to learn we had gotten married. Federal laws should still apply here, despite our legislature’s crazy impulses to secede from all the one’s they don’t like. But it does feel odd to be married here and also not. When asked if I am married I will say yes now, to doctors, dentists, anyone. I will say yes because it is true, even if Utah says it is not. But it does feel strange. I have not been in the closet here at all. But somehow, being told that “domestic partner” is not a relationship category here, wasn’t quite so offensive, and at least I was used to it. Now I will be out as a married woman. I changed my middle name when we signed the marriage license and now I will need to change all of my federal records. I’ll try the Social Security office first, and hope they have gotten the word, even here in Utah. We will see how that goes. I will let you know.