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Bride Spurns Veil, Redefines Nuptials

Saturday, April 7, 2012

In the anthology, "Here Come the Brides! Reflections on Lesbian Love And Marriage," co-editors Audrey Bilger and Michele Kort offer an array of intimate insights. In this excerpt, performer Holly Hughes finds it's easier to get married on Facebook.




(WOMENSENEWS)--We've talked about doing it. Getting married. Or whatever you want to call it. More than once during the past 16 years we've said, "Let's do it." But we quickly get tripped up by a tangle of competing desires, deeply rooted fears. We can't get past what to wear. That's always the first question that comes up, before what kind of ceremony we'll have, where we'll do it, who will be there. Before we think what the whole thing means there's the question of what to wear. Which does not take the form of a question; it takes the form of a statement by Esther: "I'm not wearing a suit."

She says she's butch, she's not a man, an announcement that feels well rehearsed, like she's said it a thousand times before, and perhaps she has, but not to me. She is drawing a bright line dividing the category butch from that of man, and I am wondering, who in the hell is this person? What happened to the person I met 16 years ago, the one whose every gesture seemed designed to blur the roles of man and woman, to write her own story called butch on top of, around, over, and beyond the old myths? Why is she going back and redrawing the lines in black ink? Where is the person who ended the first date by telling me, "I have a truck. Next time, maybe you'd like a ride"?

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She'd dress up a little, but basically she wants to be comfortable. I think that part of the point is being a bit uncomfortable. Making a public commitment after all this time isn't as risky as it might have been earlier on, but it's still a leap of some sort. It shouldn't look like every other day of your life. It shouldn't look like it happened on the way to the Agway; you shouldn't wear brown corduroy. I don't know what I will wear, but you can bet two things: It won't be white and it won't go with brown corduroy.

I joke that we could have separate but adjacent weddings. I guess it's a joke.

I marry Esther quickly, secretly, when she isn't looking. When she is sitting in her office, in her comfortable clothes. Facebook makes it easy: There are only two choices that come close to fitting: "married" or "it's complicated." I flirt with the latter when I create my account. But then I decide it isn't, not really. It's not that complicated. Not today. We're married.

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