Shuli and Betsy: Participants in the WE DO Campaign who recorded their legal Massachusetts marriage license on Tuesday, October 11, 2011.
I remember the night Shuli and I met as if it were yesterday. We were on a break from college and were both attending a coffeehouse gathering. We talked outside, about what I don’t remember. Then she put her head on my shoulder and it was all over.
We have been together through the deaths of grandparents, the births of nieces and nephews, about 1,000 moves, graduate school and much, much more. Regardless of the laws of this state, we will continue to be together through it all.
When our son was born in December of 2010, many things changed for us. There is little sleep any more. The laundry is always going. There are outlets to cover and table corners to put your hand over as he crawls precariously close. There are tears to wipe and giggles to catch. Life is infinitely better with him in our lives.
As we approach our 15th anniversary, something else has changed. We have to stand up for our family. There is no more time to passively sit back, waiting for the tide to change. Participating in the We DO campaign is way out of my comfort zone. I prefer to get lost in a crowd of thousands marching to the same beat, just another voice among many. Intentionally making myself and my family vulnerable sounds about as fun as a root canal. But here we are. This beautiful boy necessitates this action. We will raise our voices as a unit, as a family.
About a year ago, we made the difficult decision to leave Massachusetts, where we have been legally married since May 21, 2004. After our son was born, we realized we had to choose between having legal rights to one another or raising him near his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We knew we couldn’t have both.
This is a choice no one should have to make. We decided that it was more important to be near family right now. We re-relocated back to Asheville after a 7 year absence. We are a 3 ½ hour drive from Shuli’s family and a 3 minute walk from mine. My hope is that within my lifetime, and certainly my son’s, the issue of marriage equality won’t be on the table any longer and we, as a country, can focus on lifting people up rather than trying to keep them down.