by Henry Amador Batten
It was 5 days before our wedding.
Soon guests would be arriving, planes would need to be met, hotels checked into, and hosting would begin.
My (then) Fiancé and I had decided on a destination wedding, but first we had to get our marriage license in Boston.
We still can’t legally marry in our home state of Florida.
So there we were, heading to Boston City Hall to apply for our Marriage License. That thought, that concept – going to apply for a Marriage License – had my stomach in more of a knot than our upcoming nuptials.
Growing up as a a gay man, I have often prepared myself to soften the sting of discrimination by playing it all out in my head first.
How would it go?
What might they say?
How would I react?
What words would I choose?
Outside City Hall
So as we entered that great old building I prepared myself first with the security guard as we asked which way the Marriage License office was:
“Down the escalator to the left,” he said without even looking up.
Hmmm I thought, first crisis averted.
Down we went, left we went, and there it was, a simple window with a simple sign.
But for me it was so much more – stepping up to that window with my future husband was nothing short of a miracle.
A right so long fought for by my Gay and Lesbian Brothers and Sisters before me.
A right that we would now request and receive.
Outside the Marriage License Office
But how would that go?
Would the clerks treat us differently?
Would it be difficult?
What if they held up our license with just days to go before our wedding day?
As Joel and I approached the line, we quickly noticed that there were four couples ahead of us.
Two heterosexual, one middle aged, holding hands.
The other, oh so young, and in love.
Behind them a Gay Couple,
behind them a Lesbian Couple,
and then, us!
When we finally reached the window and asked to apply, we were greeted with nothing special. The clerk was as friendly as any city clerk can be, or is expected to be. She handed us the application, told us where to have a seat to complete the forms and what window to proceed to in order to pay, credit card or money orders only.
Filling out the paperwork
When we returned in the three designated days to pick up our license we were met with the same nothingness, the same ordinary treatment we had received originally.
We gave them our number and they gave us our license. Nothing more, nothing less. We were no more special nor different than anyone else.
And that was amazing!
My husband still says it was the most ordinary he had ever felt in his anything-but-ordinary gay life.
To some that read this it may seem silly. What’s his point? What’s with all this ordinary stuff?
But to others that have never been able to imagine a life where they were just treated normally, equally, with the same dispassionate non-batting of an eye given to others, this is a loving, yet firm reminder that what you seek is alive and well and hopefully just around your corner.
My sis and godson witnessing our marriage license
So here’s to being ordinary, in the most spectacular of ways!
Henry Amador is the author of the DADsquared blog, where he writes about his experiences as a Gay Dad. Along with his husband, Joel, he also runs the DADsquared Facebook page, where they are devoted to building a community of loving fathers: gay, straight, black, white, and everything in between.