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Letter: What to expect from gay marriage

When I was eight years old, I didn’t know what sex was. I certainly did not know what a homosexual was, yet I knew the words “queer,” “homo,” and “faggot” could be used to denigrate my schoolmates, because those words (although they stood for something unknown) stood for something foul and despicable. When I became a teenager, I came to realize the unknown thing that was so foul and despicable … was me.

You’re supposed to get a fairy-tale ending in the mail along with your wedding invitation: boy meets girl; they fall in love; they live happily-ever-after. But I never believed. I was certain, because I was so different, the fairy-tale ending could never apply to me. Halfway through college I openly declared to friends and family I would never marry, never sustain a long-term relationship, never fall in love.

I defied my own expectations a few years later by meeting a young man like myself. There was never any announcement or engagement. No wedding. No ceremony. No gathering of friends to witness or affirm our partnership. No one to hope for us that we would live together in sickness and in health, for better or for worse. No kiss in front of everyone. Or anyone. Still we are together, after 27 years.

Bill and I grew accustomed to life outside of marriage decades ago. So I have watched with a degree of detachment as the whole marriage debate has unfolded, knowing the outcome was not about me or for me and would never really apply to me. But no matter how remote the idea of gay marriage may seem to you, the reality has value and we will all see it going forward.

Never again will generations of young gay people come of age believing they are automatically and arbitrarily disqualified from pursuing the most important kind of voluntary relationship existing in adult life. Some will strive only to fail. Some will succeed by accident. But all will see in themselves the possibility.

Jonathan Harrison and

Bill Case, Sebeka