In my family, I was the first gay marriage. It was a thrilling experience, but not one without some fears and trepidation. My family is quite large, and I never “officially” came out to many of my extended family… yet here we were, inviting them to our wedding. We also had a few relatives who were fairly religious, and didn’t actually approve of gay marriage.
Fortunately, my parents talked to them, and the overall support I got was tremendous. It is true a few relatives did not attend as a conscious decision, but even so, they were respectful about it, and didn’t become verbal or belligerent. Our wedding went forward, and was talked about for some time to come as a fantastic event (which is largely thanks to the work of my husband).
Now here it is, many years later, and I’m thrilled to report that another relative of mine has married… and it is the first lesbian wedding in our extended family. She later confessed to me that she and her partner had gotten engaged just 2 weeks before our own wedding (and yes, they had attended ours!).
Back in the 1990s, my sister was the first to get married in my immediate family. While I was obviously happy for her, I was simultaneously depressed about myself. At the time, gay marriage was not legal, and I thought that I would never live to see a similar event for myself in my lifetime. It’s incredible to me now that not only have I been married, but we’ve had two gay weddings within our family. How times change!