HOORAY // MARRIAGE FOR ALL!

06/26/15

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I’ve written a lot about marriage over the past few years on this blog. And today Love Conquered All with the United States Supreme Court’s Decision to support marriage equality in the entire nation. I never thought I would see this day, and I am so thrilled. You can get my LOVE CONQUERS ALL print (pictured above) here in my shop.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

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On Love

06/02/15

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Yesterday, in celebration of the 2nd anniversary of my marriage to my wife Clay, I posted the image above from our wedding day & the following caption on Instagram:

“Two years ago on June 1, 2013 I married @clay_walsh // this was the best day of my life! // three weeks later gay marriage became legal in the state of California and we made it official // I spent much of my 20’s & 30’s feeling very dubious (and somewhat bitter) about whether I’d ever meet someone as amazing as Clay (and she is a truly stellar human) or ever have a loving & legal partnership with someone // my 40’s have been the happiest, most affirming time of my life // here’s to love, marriage & marriage equality! //  (photo by the ever talented @bonnietsang)”

At the time of this blog post, the image has 2879 likes and 195 comments. 99% of them are filled with love and support. One commenter, who has since deleted her comment, wrote the following in response (and this is an exact, unedited quote; the grammar errors are hers, not mine), which set off a small firestorm on my feed:

“I am a Christian Artist. I suppose my love for others is key. However one man to one woman is in my heart the purest since of equality if the understanding of is revealed in light of a God who loves us so much. He would lay down His life for us (his friends), so we are set free from the grip of sin and through His amazing love and sacred sacrifice we become adopted as His children. An experience that when happens causes one to evaluate and draw closer to other of the same like mindedness to understand what has happened that the whatever makes me happy is no longer my slogan, but “what can I do in light of your grace and mercy to become and be made more into your likeness and image, Lord.” I am challenged here to speak with love as I do not even know you but your lifestyle and the pit of lies in which you have fallen is a tragedy & will most likely lead others into the destruction of their souls as well. Praying that the eyes of your hearts be opened, and you find the road that really leads to true love and life.”

I get homophobic comments on occasion, but this was the longest and most blatant to date. I decided not to delete it (and sometimes I do remove mean or thoughtless comments). I also chose not to respond. However, as you might imagine, other people (including other Christians) did respond, mostly in defense of love and equality. It was an powerful thing to watch unfold over the course of the day.

I want to be clear that the woman who posted these comments is not an anonymous troll. She is a real person using her actual name (a fellow artist) who has followed my work for some time and has commented positively before on other Instagram photos (my feed is mostly images of my artwork, dog and two cats). So she, while apparently very disapproving of my “lifestyle,” has admired my work enough to keep following, even though I have never, ever hidden my sexuality or relationship online (in fact, I have been very out & open about my gayness since I started my first blog in 2005).

I also want to be clear that this post today is in no way meant to humiliate or shame the commenter. I have no doubt that she truly believes what she said, and, as such, felt compelled to express her beliefs (I imagine she’s been waiting for the right moment for some time). I also believe that no matter how misguided her own opinions about homosexuals are, she is a human being who deserves to be treated with love. As Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Interestingly, to her credit, as hateful as the language in her comment was, she acted quite humanely in the end. Initially she also posted her beliefs about me/my marriage on her Facebook fan page. However, after the barrage of responses, she not only removed her comment, but removed the post on her fan page, and attempted apologetic amends for offending other followers (and a mild apology directed at me, not for her beliefs, but for making people angry). While I am quite certain her beliefs have not changed, she seems to have learned a thing or two about making blatant homophobic comments with deeply sanctimonious religious overtones on the Instagram feed of a lesbian artist with 54,000 followers.

I have decided to respond to her words here — again, not to shame her, but rather to be clear — both to her and to others who might wonder — about where I stand on what she had to say, about my sexuality, and about love.

1) I was born this way. There is no religion that can “heal” me (or anyone) from homosexuality. To those of us who are gay, the idea that we could ever be different or change by altering our religious beliefs (or anything else) is preposterous. This is how I am wired. This is how millions of other humans on this planet are wired, just like millions of other humans are wired to be heterosexual. That is a fact.

2) I wouldn’t trade my life or my sexuality for anything. I can’t imagine being any other way. It’s not a pit of lies. It’s who I am at my core. It’s my own beautiful truth, just like who you are is your own beautiful truth.

3) There is absolutely nothing wrong with being gay (or bisexual or transgender). Let me repeat: THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING GAY OR BISEXUAL OR TRANSGENDER. Period.

4) I’ll tell you what is wrong: hatred, intolerance, judgment, proclamations of superiority and closed-mindedness about what it takes to be loved, “saved,” real or worthy.

5) I’ll tell you what is right: love between humans, including but not limited to — embracing the beautiful differences in others, kindness, compassion, empathy, hugs, kisses, laughter, true mercy & grace, humility & tenderness.

And so I will say again! To love, marriage, and marriage equality! May we all be who we are, without apology. May we all live with a sense of dignity. And may we all live each day in the spirit of loving kindness.

Thank you to everyone who has showered me and Clay with so much love since yesterday (and to those of you who shower us with love every day of the year). You can read more about how I feel about the gift of marriage in this post I wrote one year ago on our first anniversary.

Have a good Tuesday, friends! <3

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One Year Later

06/26/14

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One year ago today and really exciting thing happened in the lives of thousands upon thousands of people: in a historic pair of 5-4 rulings on the final day of the term for the United States Supreme Court, the justices struck down the sixteen year old Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to gay couples married under state law, and let stand a ruling that found Proposition 8 (a 2008 voter initiative that ended same-sex marriage in California) unconstitutional. What that meant for me was that Clay and I (along with thousands of other couples) could get legally married. Elated, I wrote about the ruling the next day here. And Clay and I did get legally married in July. It was a very exciting time in our lives and a time I will never, ever forget.

To commemorate the anniversary of this historic date and to advocate for the legalization of same sex marriage all over the country, I made a new piece of art, entitled “Love Conquers All” pictured above, which will be for sale as a print in my Etsy Shop starting July 16 (my shop is closed for the time being while I am on vacation). Sign up for my mailing list to be alerted when the print is available in July!

I wanted to also recommend a fantastic documentary, which I saw a week ago at the opening night of the LGBT Film Festival in San Francisco: The Case Against 8, which documents the fight against Proposition 8 in California. It’s a gut wrenchingly fabulous film airing now on HBO that follows the plaintiffs and attorneys in their multi-year struggle which ended this day last year. If you do watch, bring your tissues!!

Have a happy Thursday everyone! To marriage for all!

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On Marriage :: A Year Later

06/02/14

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One year ago, on June 1, 2013 I got married. I wrote about marriage a lot last year — what it felt like to be getting married as a gay person and as a 45 year old, what it felt like the day it happened, what it felt like when the ban on same sex marriage was struck down in my state, and what it felt like when we got legally married in July. And now I am going to write a little bit about what it feels like to be married, a year later.

First, let me provide some context. Last year was — aside from the wedding, our legal marriage and honeymoon, and short periods of time surrounding those events — one of the hardest years of my life. It was rife with challenges. From the beginning of the year, I was working a lot outside my comfort zone artistically (which I advocate for, but ain’t always easy). I wrote a book (which I am now quite proud of, but the process of writing it was grueling). And last fall, I went through a fairly public issue regarding copyright infringement of my work, during which time my own work was scrutinized. And that particular experience was so dark and so painful that I almost did not come out of it. It was, for me, the single worst three months of my life. I almost quit making art. I wanted to move far away and never go on the internet again. I was this close –> <– to giving up.

But I didn’t give up. Not on writing the book and, most notably, not on my work as an artist. And that is because of my wife, Clay.

Some people say that marriage doesn’t actually change your relationship too much, that it’s just a piece of paper. And maybe for some people that is what marriage is — mostly a legal agreement. Countless unmarried couples live committed and beautiful lives together.  I do not think marriage is necessary for intimacy or commitment. My community hasn’t been allowed to marry until recently (at least legally). But for me, the act of getting married, expressing my vows to Clay, in the presence of our closest family and friends, was an act of saying to the world: I will do everything in my power to protect this person from pain, comfort this person in her grief, love this person with every bone of my body, honor this person in every way possible, and to be absolutely truthful to this person.

So I knew marriage would change me. I knew that I would be a better, more thoughtful, more truthful, more loving, more accountable partner because of what I had committed to. But what I hadn’t given too much thought to was how marriage might change Clay. Let’s be clear: I married Clay because she is one of the most thoughtful, grounded, spirited, genuine, easy-to-be-in-the-presence-of humans I’ve ever known. And she’s pretty adorable, to boot. But I had no idea of the bounds of her love and the seriousness with which she took our relationship (er, marriage) until last October.

If you have ever gone through something so horrible that you could not sleep or eat or concentrate and where crying and panic attacks were regular occurrences, you know something of my state between October and December of last year. And you might also know that often when you are in that kind of state, all you want is for someone to tell you, maybe every 10 minutes if necessary, that everything is going to be okay. You don’t want them to necessarily fix it or tell you what you should be doing differently or tell you what might make you feel better. You just want comfort. That’s all.

And that, my friends, is exactly what Clay gave me, every single day for three months straight. She didn’t tell me I had to get over it. She didn’t make me feel worse about what was happening. She stood by me (often taking time off of work), without complaint, and provided me love and comfort and a sense of safety. She also helped to handle many of my legal matters, aspects of my business, and communication with important people in my life. I have never felt so loved or protected by someone, ever.

So I am not sure if the vows Clay made in marrying me are what caused the depths of her commitment to me last year. But I do know that something felt different during that time, and has continued to feel different since that experience faded. Instead of destroying us, the experience bonded us in a way I never thought possible with another person (and I also learned a lot of valuable personal and professional lessons). And that is the thing: often the most beautiful things come out of the most ugly piles of crap-shit.

So, yah, I love being married — and not just because I have a wife who is the bomb-diggity when it comes to being right there for me when things feel scary. I love being married, because I love Clay. I love everything about her, even the stuff that annoys me. Every day I cannot wait for her to come home from work. I never tire of her. She is my joy, my comfort, my world.

Here’s to marriage. May every single couple who wants marriage get to experience its beauty!

Have a good Monday, friends.

(Photo credit: the amazing Bonnie Tsang)

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The Best Day Ever

09/10/13

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As many of you know, I got married to my partner of five years, Clay Lauren Walsh, on June 1, 2013. I’ve written about my engagement and marriage a lot already, so today I am simply going to share some of my favorite photos of the day. These beautiful pictures were taken by the amazing Bonnie Tsang. Clay’s suit was made by Duchess Clothier & my dress by Jigsaw London. I made my braided necklace (my own design) out of neon pink string I purchased at the hardware store. My sister Stephanie did our flowers, including my bouquet and Clay’s boutineer. I designed–and my friends helped me make–all of our decorations. Our wedding took place at the Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club. My cousin Robin officiated (in her rainbow stole, per my request). There were exactly 100 people in attendance, and almost everyone danced (and danced) the night away, including my 75 year old mother. It was the best day of my life.

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May everyone everywhere get to experience the joy of celebrating love in this way. There is nothing like it.

Happy Tuesday.

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Yep, We’re Legal

07/30/13

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I’ve been writing about my journey into marriage a lot over the past year and a half. And the last post I wrote on the topic lauded the Supreme Court decision to strike down the parts of DOMA that made marrying Clay in California illegal. In early June, before the SCOTUS decision, Clay and I got married in a big wedding celebration (more on that when the official photos are in my hands next month). And then on Friday, because of the SCOTUS decision, we got legally married at the County Clerk’s Office of Alameda County.

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We went —  just the two of us — and our dear friend and official witness (and wedding planner for our actual wedding last June), Elizabeth. The first part was much like being at the DMV: paperwork, some time standing at a computer filling out forms, and then, a number. Eventually the number got us a place at a desk with a clerk who verified all of our information, printed out some official looking forms, and sent us to wait for the clerk to come fetch us so we could go upstairs to the ceremony room.

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Here we are waiting for the clerk (who was on her second day on the job as an officiant), to escort us upstairs for the ceremony.  The ceremony itself was a bit bizarre, especially since we’d already written and read long vows to each other at our official wedding in June, but we did it all over again, this time repeating the simple vows the officiant had prepared. But it did feel great, especially since this was the ceremony that made our marriage legal.

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After the ceremony, paperwork in hand, we drove home to our little house in Oakland, and spent most of the rest of the afternoon working, as we normally would on a Friday. It was all a bit surreal, perhaps even more surreal than our actual wedding in early June. I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long — being legally married — and I actually spent most of my life thinking it would never happen. And the simple process that we’d been banned from for so long, was over in an hour. Just like that.

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And now, just like that, we are back to normal life. Except we’re married, officially, for real, like billions of other Americans. And that feels really, really good.

Have a great Tuesday!

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On Being Equal

06/27/13

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“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ~ Nelson Mandela

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You may recall that back in March, I wrote a piece on Why DOMA Matters. I am elated to report (not that you haven’t already heard) that yesterday, in a historic pair of 5-4 rulings on the final day of the term for the United States Supreme Court, the justices struck down the sixteen year old Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to gay couples married under state law, and let stand a ruling that found Proposition 8 (a 2008 voter initiative that ended same-sex marriage in California) unconstitutional. What that means for me: as Californians, Clay (the woman I married June 1) and I can now legally marry, and, after we do, we will have the same rights under federal law as our straight friends and family.

On an evening stroll last night, Clay asked me, If we file our taxes jointly after we get legally married, will we owe less money? I had to break it to her that my accountant mentioned that we might have to pay even more money in taxes by filing together. After a brief sigh, we laughed heartily. Equal rights won’t necessarily mean financial savings. Nevertheless, it feels good. It feels really good.

It feels good, because for so many years, for so many of us, no matter how loving our families of origin (if we were lucky), no matter how normal our lives, no matter how accepting our co-workers, we have lived our lives as outsiders in a system designed (in theory) to support all of its people. As a result of pervasive hatred and ignorance, many of us have lived lives filled with intense shame, discomfort and fear. I think sometimes about the collective pain of LGBT people from generations of this shame — especially LGBT people of my generation and generations before mine — and I am overcome with emotion. This is why we deliberately celebrate Pride — to remind ourselves that we are, in fact, loved, valid, whole human beings, despite (and because of) our differences. We are a family of people united by struggle.

The good news is that the collective pain has been arduously and lovingly channeled into making things better for future generations of LGBT people. Fast forward, from lifetimes of gay shame to 2013: things are changing, and they have been changing rapidly for the past several years. Because of the efforts of so many brave people, something profoundly historic and significant happened yesterday. The government ruled that we should be treated the same under the law, that our relationships are as valid and important as straight relationships, and we deserve the same rights. All those LGBT people you saw sobbing and hugging each other on TV yesterday? That was the collective pain expressing itself as utter relief and joy.

People have asked me over the years if I could wave a magic wand, would I want to be straight. I have always answered no, even back in the 1990’s when my own shame about being gay was at an all time high, when my own pain was most profound. I have never been able to imagine any other life but this, and I cannot imagine being anyone else but who I am. And I am so incredibly proud to be part of a community who has — arduously and lovingly —  fought for its rights, and the rights of future generations. I am so grateful that my niece and nephew (who are now 13 and 11 years old), may become adults in a time when being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered is just as regular or accepted as being straight. I realize we still have a long way to go to get there. There is still so much hate and ignorance, and so many LGBT people live in states where the hope of marriage equality is a pipe dream.

But as I mentioned here, legal gay marriage anywhere (even in a state like New York or California) felt like a pipe dream to me 20 years ago. And yet here we are. And we will keep fighting. Things will keep changing. We will create an environment in this country for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people that is based on acceptance. Love will triumph.

Happy Gay Pride, friends. Happy equality. Happy life.

See you when I get back from my honeymoon July 16.

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Honeymoon & New Magazine

06/25/13

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You may recall that Clay and I are heading to Paris for our honeymoon next week. We’ll be there for two weeks, staying in an apartment in the 6th arrondissement. While I’m away, starting Monday, July 1, I will mostly be taking a break from this blog until I return on Tuesday, July 16. I’ll still be posting The Reconstructionists on Mondays, but that’s it. My Etsy Shop will close tomorrow and reopen on July 17th (that means if you’d like something before the end of July, order now).

I will be posting images from our Paris adventure on Instagram, so if you’d like to follow along, just head over there. And, of course, when I return, I’ll fill you in on all the highlights of our trip.

Speaking of travel, I’ll be back tomorrow with a long overdue new installment in My Nordic Adventure. Stay tuned for that.

Last but not least, I have written an essay for a gorgeous new magazine called Hand and Hand. This issue is specifically about knots, and my essay is aptly about “Tying the Knot.” It’s put out by maker and artist Carrie Strine and designer Tim Lahan, and it’s chock full of good stuff, including many rope knot DIY projects. Get yours here.

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Have a great Tuesday.

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Joy

06/06/13

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{Photo by my dear friend Jon Rendell)

As many of you know, I got married to my partner Clay on Saturday. Not legally (yet…c’mon US Supreme Court!), but with a ceremony and a huge party with 100 friends and family in attendance. The photo above of Clay and me pretty much sums up the day. It’s not the most beautiful or flattering photo, but what it does show is the absolute unbridled joy we both felt that day. For me, the joy was not just in reciting to Clay in front of witnesses how much I love her (and in all the ways that I love her) and hearing her do the same for me. It was also about being surrounded by so many people we love — and having them be so incredibly happy too. With our guests, we hugged, we drank, we ate, we listened to tear-jerking toasts, and we danced the night away.

I have more to say about the whole experience of getting married, especially as someone who spent most of her life thinking she wouldn’t — but I am still processing all of it, and it may be awhile, if ever, before I can write it all down here. Suffice it to say, though, I have never felt so totally whole as I did that afternoon & evening. Sure, I was a little nervous before the ceremony — I felt a little bloated in my dress and was overly worried about my bra straps showing. But all of that disappeared the moment the processional began and the unimaginably beautiful evening unfolded for us.

It will take several weeks to get our official wedding photos back from our photographer (we worked with the inimitable Bonnie Tsang; she is so wonderful). As soon as they are ready, I will share my favorites here with you. In the meantime, you can see a few photos taken by me and some of our friends and family on Instagram — just search for those labeled with the hashtag #clayandlisa2013.

Happy Thursday, friends.

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Finally Here

05/30/13

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As many of you who read this blog know, I’m getting married Saturday to my amazing partner Clay. So I’m going to take a tiny break from this blog till early next week (I’ll be taking a longer break for my honeymoon in July). I wanted to thank all my readers who have sent me congratulatory emails. There have been so many that I cannot respond to all of them individually, but I have read each of them and they are all heartfelt, and I so appreciate your support and enthusiasm for our big day.

Peace and love!

Off I go.

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100 Stones for Love

05/29/13

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a little blog post about all the amazing friends and family who have had a hand in helping to prepare for my wedding. One of those people is Diana Fayt, who is a longtime (and dear) friend and insanely prolific and talented ceramics artist. As Clay and I were beginning to prepare for our wedding many months ago, Diana asked if we would like for her to paint stones as our official wedding favors. I was already a huge fan of Diana’s painted stones (which I wrote about here last November), and so, of course, we took her up on her offer.

Diana has been working away on painting the stones for many months, and she’s been calling them 100 Stones for Love.  Just a couple of days ago, she finished 103 of them for the 103 people who will be sitting down at our celebration on Saturday, including Clay and me. On the back of each is printed: L+C 6-1-13.

It has been the kindness, generosity and palpable excitement of certain people in my life that has made getting ready for this big day a totally wondrous & unforgettable experience. Diana is one of those people.

Have a happy Wednesday, friends!

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On Being an Enthusiastic Bride

05/24/13

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A couple of weeks ago, I gushed something about my upcoming wedding on my personal Facebook page. A friend of mine commented: “You are, without a doubt, the most enthusiastic bride I’ve ever known.” I blushed at this sweet comment, but immediately I also thought, “Aren’t all brides this enthusiastic?”

I spent most of my life thinking I would never get married (even convincing myself for many years in my 20’s and 30’s that marriage was a stupid, overrated social contract). I thought all of these things as a way of protecting myself from the crater of sadness I felt. You see, deep down inside, I have always wanted to get married, since I was a little girl. Not necessarily for the sake of marriage itself, but to share my life intimately with another person. But I really believed it would never happen for me. Until recently, gay people couldn’t get married, legally anyway. When I was in my 20’s in the 90’s I could never have imagined that gay marriage would ever be legal. Most gay couples didn’t even have ceremonies back then like they do now, legality aside. The message: our lives, our relationships and our experiences were just not as important or valid as those in the rest of society. So a hope of marriage? I had none of it. I wrote about that a little bit here when I got engaged.

And then there is how long it took me to find a relationship with someone I’d actually want to marry, or who would want to marry me. I was 40 years old when I met Clay. FORTY. I am 45 now. That is a long time to wait, especially when there is a crater of sadness inside of you.

So, yes, I am enthusiastic about getting married. A wedding is something I never thought I would plan or experience. Sharing a life with someone as stellar as Clay was formerly a pipe dream. And now it’s real, it’s really happening. The pomp, the celebration of our love, the witnesses, the vows. And then, our life together — probably not much different than it is now — but we will be married. And maybe soon (if the Supreme Court does the right thing) our marriage will be legal.

I am extremely joyful, yes I am.

Happy Friday.

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All Hands on Deck Wedding

05/16/13

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My wedding is just 16 days away and the whole thing is becoming very real all of a sudden. Maybe some of you who have gotten married know what I am talking about? Over night, the wedding day goes from being this abstract event far in the future to something that is actually happening very soon. Thankfully, I am feeling more excited than stressed about all of it. One of the amazing things about this day is that so many of our friends have been involved in making it happen. Our friend Elizabeth Clayton is helping us coordinate the entire event. Anna Dorfman designed the invitations and website. Bonnie Tsang is photographing the day. Diana Fayt is painting rocks for the tables. My cousin Robin is helping us to plan the ceremony and will be officiating. My sister is doing the flowers. And last weekend, nine of my friends came over to help make the decorations (which Grace Bonney and Victoria Smith will use to decorate the event space). How lucky are we to have such talented and generous friends?

Yes, very. I pinch myself every day.

We have decided to go with a neon pink, grey and white color theme, but we’ll also be including some pale pinks, silvers, browns and golds in the decor as well.

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{These small “poufs” — as we’ve come to call them — will go on the backs of chairs tied with grey ribbon. We made 102 of them!}

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{My friend Lauren Smith was the master wreath maker. Photo by Lorena Siminovich}

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{Toothpicks and stickers make the best cupcake toppers! Photo by Lisa Solomon}

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{Can you spot Wilfredo? Photo by Rena Tom}

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{Our dining room is currently filled with tissue paper goodies. Photo by Clay Walsh}

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{Our recycle bin looked pretty when we were finished. Photo by Rena Tom}

Happy Thursday.

 

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Anna’s Designs for Our Big Day

04/19/13

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{our wedding invitations, designed by Anna Dorfman}

When Clay and I became engaged last year, we began to think about all the ways we could involve our talented friends in the design of the day. And one thing we knew for sure: we wanted Anna Dorfman’s hand in our invitations and website design. I’ve been friends with Anna, who lives in New York and writes the blog Door Sixteen, for several years. I adore her style and her aesthetic. While we do not live in the same city, Anna and I talk nearly every day on social media, and occasionally email and text. Last year I had the privilege of working with Anna on a book cover for Simon & Schuster where she works.  I also got to spend nearly a week with Anna last May, and visited her dreamy home in Newburgh with our friends Victoria and Jenna. Anna and I share a deep love for chihuahuas, cute animals in general, pops of neon pink, and yummy plant-based food. She’s a delight to work with: generous, kind, thorough, and exceptionally gifted. She is always up to something amazing.

I knew I wanted some bright colored flowers on both the website and paper invitations, and I sent Anna some that I painted, along with some other art direction. It turns out that what I thought I wanted originally was not what I wanted at all — and Anna designed something even better in the end. The process of designing anything can be rife with the back-and-forth haggling over details, but almost none of that needed to happen in this case.  First came the website design back in February. Anna nailed that the first round. I believe I cried when I saw it, and Clay squealed! Anna kept asking “Are you sure there isn’t anything you’d like me to change?” Nope, we said. It’s perfect!

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{screen shot of our wedding website}

The invitations, pictured up top, were the next to come through. We had them printed on textured linen paper. On the back side are all the details of the wedding (which we want to keep private). We could not be happier.

Thank you, Anna, for all of your generous work on this. It was the best wedding gift we could ever imagine! See you in June!

Happy Friday, friends.

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CATEGORIES The 2013 Wedding
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Why DOMA Matters

03/27/13

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I may be preaching to the choir here. But in case I’m not, in case I have any readers out there who are opposed to allowing gay people to marry, or even on the fence about it, I hope you’ll listen.

You all know I’m gay. If you don’t, you haven’t been reading very carefully here. Anyhow, you also know I’m a regular person with regular hopes and fears and dreams for my future. I write about those hopes and dreams and fears a lot on this blog. Some other things about me you may or may not know: I am 45 years old. I get up every day at 6:30 am and I work until 6:00. Some days I go back to work after dinner. I take a break on most days to swim laps at lunch. My partner’s name is Clay. We’ve been together for almost five years. She gets up at 6 am and works till 5. Sometimes she works after dinner too. I come from a family of five. My parents have been married for almost 50 years. I have an older brother and a younger sister. I am an aunt to three beautiful kids. We all love each other a lot. Before I became a full time artist, I worked in education. I taught elementary school for seven years and then worked for two different non profit organizations that served high poverty public schools. I have a dog and two cats. I love animals. I live in a small house with a big backyard. I shouldn’t eat gluten because it makes me feel terrible, but I love bread so I eat it anyway. Clay and I drive a 2006 Scion. I don’t keep up with the latest music. I spend too much time on Facebook. I want to travel the world. Every Sunday Clay and I plan our meals, make a list and go to the grocery store. That is generally my favorite activity of the week.

Being gay is all I’ve known since as long as I can remember, even when I dated guys in high school and college. Being gay is as regular to me as being straight is to other people. It’s not something I chose, but it’s also not something I would change. I wouldn’t change it because I cannot imagine anything else, or loving another gender. It’s not how I’m wired. I have memories of knowing I was gay as early as 13. I came out when I was 23. That 10 year period was tough. But now, most days, I don’t think about being gay. I just am.

In February of 2012, my partner Clay proposed to me. She took me away for the weekend to the wine country and asked me to marry her. She gave me a ring. It was amazing and romantic. I wrote about it here. We will be married June 1.

Sharing my regular life with Clay is the single greatest joy of my life. I want to be with her forever. I use the word “regular” here because I think it’s important. Gay people are just regular people. I know, news flash!!! Some gay people are exceptional or eccentric or weird, just like some straight people are. But mostly we are just regular. We are also, like the rest of humanity, mostly kind-hearted and well-intentioned. We work, take care of our families, and contribute to our communities. We have the same hopes and dreams and food allergies as everyone else.

DOMA matters because it discriminates against regular people. People like you. People like me. Not criminals, just regular people. The religious right will try to tell you we are not regular people. But we are. It’s a fact. If you knew more than 1 or 2 of us, you would know that already.

I am crossing my fingers tightly that the Supreme Court does the right thing. Not just for me, but for couples who have been waiting for 20 years to legally marry, for future gay children, for kids of gay couples, for kids in general, for all hopers and dreamers, for humanity.

On that note, I must go get my laundry out of the dryer.

 

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