Family Portrait

Gay marriage is illegal in most states. Yet, for those not aware, my people (the gays) throw one lavish shindig. Decadent cakes, fashionable bridesmaid dresses and of course, a DJ spinning every possible Madonna song.

I’ll admit to having a more cynical view on getting married. However, the fantasy of marrying a guy has not been a foreign concept. I imagine our wedding on a spectacular rooftop in the Village. He has curly hair, glasses and puts an artsy twist to his suit. While, most couples opt for more traditional attire. Everyone in my wedding would wear cardigans.

Afterwards, the hubby and I would settle into a beautiful Park Slope, Brooklyn brownstone. We would throw lavish dinner parties and grab gelato while walking along the neighborhood’s main drag Fifth Avenue.

We would then adopt culturally diverse set of children. They would all wear Lacoste sweaters and enjoy the same cultural activities that my hubby and I adore. Then it hit me. Oh, I remember when I was a kid.

Then the trauma emerges boogers, poop, and unspecified germs from the sandbox, private school tuition, crying, running around, stuffed animals thrown everywhere and countless hours of cheesy cartoon theme songs. Maybe, I will stay single for a long time?

Luckily, if I wanted both the ideal and not so ideal family life, gay marriage is legal in New York. I didn’t grow up in a gay home. In fact, I had a very traditional American upbringing. I do have a bevy of gay relatives making the case for genetics.

I didn’t have exposure to gay nuclear families, till I was in high school. My friend Grace had two moms and attended a Catholic school. We bonded right away. One day, she invited me over to help with organizing her room. She goes “we can play with my easy bake oven afterwards.” I tried holding back my excitement and agreed.

Up to that point, religion said gay families were bad. However, I had already come out of the closet and wanted to experience what gay families were really like. At that time, we lived in Riverside, CA. The suburb has a lovely neighborhood called the “Wood Streets.” It’s a historic district, where styles from Spanish to Craftsman merge in a beautiful architectural marriage.

My mom dropped me off. I didn’t tell her about Grace’s two moms, but certain she had an idea. They lived in an old house. I entered to one of her moms greeting me warmly at the door then showing me Grace’s room.

As expected, Grace’s room made mine (already messy room) look like an organized/OCD person’s wet dream. We shifted through toys, books and clothes. Afterwards, we both looked incredibly fatigued. We then spent time with her mom’s.

Unlike most religious fanatics who claim a gay family’s household is evil and has fire-breathing dragons living in the basement, Grace’s household was the complete opposite. Her moms were warm and friendly. We watched TV together, talked and found that we both had a common fascination with all things British.

They also had a huge book collection. I loved it. They had travel, literary classics and art books. It was a simply peaceful environment. I heard a car horn and it was mom. After saying my goodbyes, I headed toward the car. My mom who was very conservative looked at me and said “I get a really good vibe from Grace’s house.”  “You’re right,” I said with a smile.

My mom came to accept my gayness more as I grew older. She even attended my aunts’ mostly lesbian dominated Christmas party and had a great time. Growing up gay is never easy, but knowing that I have the right to live my life freely is absolutely priceless.

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