10 August 2011

LGBT Wedding Expo

I went to the LGBT Wedding Expo at Gotham Hall on Saturday. I’ve never done anything like that before, never even looked at a bridal magazine. But New York is legal now, and I had to check out the scene.

First of all,the venue was totally gorgeous. Gotham Hall (which also hosts weddings, hint hint), sports an arched ceiling, stone pillars, and marble floor, but on top of that, they lit the place beautifully, and decorated it with flowers. It was breathtaking.

The pervading sense was one of being at complete ease. Everyone there was either gay or gay-friendly, so there was no coming out each time we met someone: no misunderstandings that Mia and I were straight BFFs, no stares, no embarrassment when comprehension finally dawns. It made everything so unexpectedly and pleasantly easy. One caterer assured us that they only send gay wait staff to gay weddings, to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Also, everyone was all smiles; “Congratulations!” and “When’s the big day?” were ringing out all over the room. Many vendors were themselves couples, so we heard some nice stories.

Best of all was a conversation I had with an interfaith minister. Probably in his sixties, he said he’d been officiating same-sex commitment ceremonies for years, and was himself gay. In conversation with him, Mia said that we had always known we would get married, and that if it weren’t legalized in New York, we would have gone somewhere else. The minister seized on this comment, and said that was the difference between his generation and ours: he was never able to dream about getting married, while we had never questioned it.

He saw this generational difference as proof that marriage, for the LGBT community, has now become just another experience in the spectrum of normal human experiences. Just another beautiful, normal, human experience, one that anyone can have if they choose to.

-Maura McGurk

Maura makes artwork about issues related to the LGBT/queer/gay experience, especially gay bullying. Take a stand against gay bullying by checking out her work, liking it on Facebook, or commenting on her blog.

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