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Why I Rejected a Big, Showy Gay Wedding

The Perfect Day

Tyler Curry long thought a flashy wedding was the happiness finish line, but times -- and minds -- change.

It's that moment every self-identified Southern sissy dreams of: the day you marry the man of your dreams. After learning to date as a newly HIV-positive young man and then burning a trail through the dating scene in multiple cities, I finally met my handsome beau at 30 years old. After two dogs, two houses, and a move to another city, I figured it was time to make an honest woman of myself and propose.

Since marriage is a relatively new right for a Texas boy like myself, I didn't know what to expect in the process of planning a wedding. As the first gay person in my family to get married, there were certainly no expectations on me. Thus began the wobbly journey down the path to figure out what marriage means.

Even queer people find it hard not to have wedding expectations. After all, we've been force-fed ideas of weddings in our society, giving false notions of why marriage is such a coveted achievement to be had. So, as my husband and I attempted to assemble our own, it became a somewhat arduous process to discern what we wanted versus what we thought we needed. And because we had no expectations, we would often compare our experience of being engaged with our family and friends to what it would be if we were a straight couple.

Planning a wedding is like preparing for the worst birthday you have ever had. It's the day where you expect to be the center of attention for everyone, yet you never, ever want to ask for it. You get all dressed up and spend the entire day pretending not to be a manic asshole while everyone eats, drinks, and pretends to be thrilled that you did what most people do -- sometimes more than once. You spend gobs of money on making sure everyone is impressed, and waste your time having five-minute conversations with people who are practically strangers until it's time to eat cake and clean up the mess. You don't know why you are doing it, it's just expected, and I learned a long time ago to never rely on the expectation of others to make you happy.

After painfully ruling out option after option, we both realized that neither of us wanted a wedding at all. Furthermore, we both realized it didn't matter what kind of attention we received from others for it, because our marriage was completely and wholeheartedly defined by the two of us and not any other soul on this planet. It shouldn't be that special to anyone else because it is, in fact, not that special to anyone else but us. On a macro level, we were just two humans doing something rather unextraordinary. On a micro level, it was a day that meant something so much greater than an official piece of paper and some golden rings. So, we booked tickets, packed our bags, and got married on a little spot of sand in Hawaii. It might not have been extraordinary or unique, but it was absolutely perfect for us.

In my opinion, the best thing about being part of the LGBT community is that our love exists despite any societal constructs or institutional support.

Our love exists even though our government and popular society have fought to snuff it out. In a way, I feel sorry for those whose love falls in line with what society expects. After all, how can you truly know if your relationship is based purely on love, or if you were influenced by expectations? And if you are truly together for love, you can get married any way you want -- or not at all -- because it doesn't make a difference either way.

That being said, we are still open to the idea of wedding gifts!

TYLER CURRY is a contributing editor for The Advocate. Follow him on Twitter @IAmTylerCurry.

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