We met in 2002 in a chat room, back when people actually used them for chatting. I was in and out of relationships and Chris was there for me for cyberspace comfort. She lived in Indiana and I was living in Alabama at the time. We found that we had loads of stuff in common so as we felt comfortable more, phone numbers were exchanged. For a year we chatted and called each other, until a chance came in the fall of ’03 where I had time off from work…we made plans for me to drive up to Indiana for a visit, about a 9 hour drive. We met in August that year, hit it off, fell in love and I did what any lesbian would do, I packed my stuff into my car and moved to Indiana. (If I had known better I would have asked her to move south, I can’t stand the cold, and I was originally from New York, so I was done with the snow and cold, but the heart and brain don’t think that way when it comes to love).
Indiana was not a place I could live in forever, but I managed because she was there, we stayed there till 2006, when it was decided to move to New York…we loaded up the pets we accumulated over the years (a lab, a pug mix, 2 cats) and headed out on the highway East. Ending up in small town, where I was born and raised, called Argyle, NY and lived in my parents home (my father was deceased and my mother was in a relationship). New York at that time didn’t allow same sex marriage and we got involved with a LGBT group and countless other activism groups that sought out to end this discrimination…took until July 2011, for the State to allow gay marriages, and later that year in October, in front of family and friends in a Halloween themed wedding we married. The hardest thing about getting married is what name you choose, it took a while for us to decide on hyphening our names together. We do not recall any harm done to others relationships, harm that many think would happen if 2 people of the same sex married…no body was struck down from the heavens and hell didn’t open up and take us.
A year later, we find ourselves in Orlando, FL where our marriage to each other isn’t recognized and I was leery about signing the Domestic Partnership registry to me, it was degrading as an insult. We never signed it but instead chose to stand up with countless others to fight for our American rights as two human being who love each other the right to marry…we earned that right in NY, but the paper that made us a married couple was blank here in Florida. As we settled into living in this wonderful state of ours, we have noticed that people don’t care whether we are lesbians or not, as in when we got our Florida drivers licenses, the lady at the counter didn’t bat an eye that we were legally married and we were treated as such. The only issue we had was because our full names are so long, the wife has our legal married name and I just have the last name I have had for 48 yrs. It’s no big deal, and again nobody was affected by the fact that we were two women who were being treated as a the married couple that we are. The woman didn’t lose her job because she allowed for us to state we were married (we had to show marriage certificate) and again there was no harm done at all. The wife works at Disney World in Security, and I have yet to find a niche in the job world but together we face the same issues straight couples face, with bills and money, there is nothing different in our world as a same sex couple than to a straight couple, well maybe only the fact that we are two women. But we love just the same as everyone else and maybe more stronger than others, because we seem to have to prove a point to the rest of the world that we are the same.
Living here in Orlando, we see people of all different backgrounds, of different shapes and sizes, colors, and it is a very diverse place to live…and I don’t see what the big deal is. The people who seem to have an issue with the fact that we are two lesbians in a relationship are not the people whom we have as coworkers or neighbors but the people who are in offices of authority, such as mayors, congress, and people who call themselves Christians, those are the people who have the problem with us being different and are a harm to the public. Their choices do not deter ours, their feelings do not suppress ours, and their ignorance only makes us that much smarter.
In August, the wife and I will be together for 11 yrs and in October we will be married for three, and I hope that Florida will do the right thing soon so that we can spend many more years together.