19 years ago – we took that big step that many other committed couples do – pledging to stay together – yet ours will involve a few more step. Though we had been in love for over a year and only on 6/8/89 we agreed to put a name to it – we were engaged – we had the most difficult times ahead of us. We agreed to tell our own families (commonly known as ‘coming out’) We each have our tales to tell but it nothing more or worse than other GLBT young adults go through. So by – I’d say 8 months after coming out – those that needed to know did. Now in spring 1991 we began planning our Holy Union. Lisa wanted a fall one close to her Birthday because all the birthday celebrations of her mother, father, brother and sister are all in May and June. She had also felt like the odd ball with a birthday in october. So planning our happy occasion we would have my bday in september, her’s in Oct and then our holy union on the 12th. We entered into pastoral counseling in July before our holy union with Don MacGill from the Tacoma MCC. We want only a small ceremony. Lisa unsure of her family’s support waited to the last minute to invite them and as I think back I even did what Lisa said not to – I called her parents 3000 miles away letting them know it would mean a lot to lisa if they could come. They didn’t, neither did my parents but my oldest sister Marilyn was there – she was my mother figure and sang “If” by bread for us. Kelly Z stood up for me as my best man and Cyndi Sams a close friend of Lisa stood up for her. Cathy Hall and her husband Matt Milstead came with their daughter jessica. Cathy was Lisa and my psychology profession over many semester who completed support us.
Though neither of us had a father to walk us down the isle – I don’t know if I want what heterosexuals call marriage. On the otherhand I would want our unions to be called how our community dedides to call it – what is CRITICAL is that we immediately beginning receiving all those rights that are not afforded to us because I choose and so did lisa – love another woman.
My small list: spousal benefits in LIFE and in DEATH – that the surviving partner be treated as Widow and the death certificate on the that has passed – not single – but “partner”. That extra legal documents for health proxy be no longer needed. Living wills should be a must whether in a straight relationship or a same sex one. So it can go and on.
So, my dear lisa happy anniversary – your spirt lives on in me, our children and those that received your organs.