“Do you, Justin, take this man as your lawfully wedded husband….”
My coming out experience was just that, a REAL experience. Some good, mostly bad, but at least it happened. (As a matter of fact, I actually came out 10 years ago this September. You KNOW I’m throwing a party, duh. More on this later)
Being a gay teenager in a small town in Western New York State, I was lucky to be surrounded by an environment that was mostly accepting, one that really valued the arts, and one that wasn’t far from a larger city that was even more accepting. I was able to really just focus on me, focus on my first relationship, and focus on growing up.
I never thought about marriage.
Honestly, I don’t know why. I never thought I would be married, or have a family. It wasn’t until my sister had her daughter that I realized how much I love kids. I am OBSESSED with my niece (well… mostly because she and I are the same person. We like the same TV shows. We like the same food. We like to play the same games. She’s 6, I’m 24…). But when I am with her, I go into this “cool parent” mode, where I am protective and make sure she is safe, but also having fun. I know I would be a good Dad.
But I had never thought about finding someone and actually marrying them. I think because it was also illegal, I had just accepted that it wasn’t going to happen in my life. When people would ask “Hey Jake? Who you dating? Think you’ll get married?!?!?!”, it was easy for me to respond “Nope, It’s illegal, oh well, thanks for the reminder that I’m single”.
But now, I have no excuse. When someone asks that question now, all I can do is bow my head and silently cry.
Yes, I am single. No, I don’t know if I will get married.
…Yes, I would like to be married in the future.
One of my best friends growing up, Justin, has just recently got engaged to his boyfriend of a couple years. He and I had similar coming out experiences – both around the same time. Our lives went in different directions after High School, but I had never expected him to be one to get married. When I saw his instagram picture of him and his boyfriend and their engagement rings, I had an audible gasp.
Even my gay friends are getting married now.
I’m at a crossroads, folks. I’m in my mid 20’s. It’s that time of your life where all you see on Facebook are your friends getting married, having babies, and running 5k’s. Why is life moving SO fast?! If you had asked me 10 years ago what I thought I would be doing when I was 25, I would’ve said “Hopefully living in New York City and working on Broadway”. No joke. And look at me! I live in New York City and uh… working TOWARD being on Broadway. So at least I’m almost consistent. I would’ve never expected the majority of my friends to be settling down with someone and starting families.
I don’t think I ever took the time to just sit down and notice the life around me. I get so caught up in my own life that I forget that everyone else is also living theirs. For some, getting married at 21 is what is right for them. And that is awesome.
In a couple hours, I am heading up to Fort Tyron Park in Washington Heights for a classmates wedding. I just hope that I am able to hold my liquor and not become a bitter old gay man stuck in a 24 year old’s body.
In all honestly, I’m extremely happy for all my friends, especially Justin. I think I needed that reality check from everyone to make me realize how fast life is really passing me by.
When I actually think about it, I’m not in any rush to get married yet.
But knowing that now it’s actually legally for me to be married in this state… I shall be keeping my eye out for Mr. Right.
Or at least Mr. Right Now. I can’t afford to be picky right now.