Suburban Butch Dad Report: a groom to be?

If you’re tracking queer related news in the US, you probably noticed that Washington State took a big step toward legalizing queer marriages the other day.  Elder Spawn and I went to the capitol to be on hand for part of the deliberations that night, and came home in time to watch the final vote with Mrs. Kyle (Little Bit continued to play, loudly, as if nothing of importance was happening).

The Washington State Senate passed the bill, known as the Marriage Equality bill, that night, 28-21,a bigger margin than we’d been told to expect.  We were all feeling emotional and triumphant.  It was wonderful to share this with Elder Spawn, who is old enough to understand what’s going on, both the process and the politics.  There are two more challenges to face, the House vote and the Referendum this fall.  The House is expected to pass it by an even larger margin and Governor Chris has already promised to sign it into law.  Then we’ll face a referendum challenge and all the nastiness that comes along with people collecting signatures to take away our rights.  Been there, done that, not sure how it’s going to turn out this time.  Even after all the queer rights roller coaster rides I’ve been on in my life, I’m cautiously optimistic.

So why was I also feeling blue?  What party crashing thoughts were running through my head, making it hard to fully celebrate this amazing milestone?  Being able to marry my partner of 18 years would be a dream come true, and yet, that night, I was sitting on my couch feeling less than ecstatic.

The truth is, I do want more than the standard issue rights to marriage.  No, I don’t want to marry a toaster, or a pet.  But I’m in love with two women, I have two loves of my life and I will only be able to marry one of them.  Some of you are gonna shake your heads and think I’m just a selfish, hard-to-please bastard.  Maybe you’re right, but that’s beside the point.  I love them both and I wish I could formally and legally declare to the world that I am bound to each of them.

It makes every kind of logical sense to grab any chance I can to formalize the partnership I have with my partner of 18 years.  We have a house, we have children, this is the rational thing to do.  And, make no mistake, I’ll do it both because it’s the right thing to do and because I love her and it’s what I want to do.  But I still felt like I’d gotten kicked in the gut when it all came to me that night.  See, this idea, wish, dream of marriage being legalized in Washington has always seemed like a long shot.  I really didn’t believe it would happen in my lifetime.  Maybe that’s why I didn’t sit down with myself and consider how it would feel, considering my poly loves and the impact this could have on my relationship with Roxy.

I wasn’t the only one having a difficult time with it.  Roxy was also feeling a sense of loss, of grief.   And so it was that we opened up our webcam connection and cried together.  She’s written beautifully about her feelings and how hard and beautiful it is to work through this together and still be together afterward.  There were things we grieved and cried about that aren’t directly related to my upcoming potential wedding.  There’s the ongoing challenge of keeping our relationship current and vital while at the same time she’s brought someone new into her life and her home.  She and Theo need time to be a couple, too.  I recognize that, and at the same time, it hurts my heart because I want to be there, making a life with her.  What is my role in her life if someone else is living with her, someone she loves and who loves her in return?  And where does she fit in when I’m already planning a wedding day with my other love?

The sun came up the next day, and Roxy and I still loved each other.  The sun came up, and life continued, and the challenges are still here, and we still love each other.  These questions of where do I fit, where does she fit? — we’re not through with them, or maybe they’re not through with us — not by a long shot.  But ask me do I still love her?  Do I want to continue this relationship, even with all the mysteries and uncertainties and trials?

I do.

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