Mo Ivory: My Big First Lesbian Wedding
It was a destination wedding in beautiful Costa Rica. Love was in the air. Beautiful flowing dresses and tuxedos were hanging in beachfront room closets.
We met at the breakfast buffet, stuffed our faces, drank ourselves under the poolside umbrellas, danced the night away, made new friends and took photos that got to Facebook in record speed.
The brides were beautiful and glowing.
Yes, brides. As in two.
It was my BIG first lesbian wedding and I want to go to another one!
Everyone has jobs so they spend money like it’s falling from the trees. Tolerance abounds so judging is at a minimum. If you are a little too big for your bikini – no problem. (A woman that understands your insecurity will compliment you and tell you how great you look.) If your tag is sticking out from your dress, someone clips it without asking. If you need lotion, perfume, help with your luggage, someone is right there.
It’s women taking care of women. It’s women having wives and reaping the benefits formally reserved only for men.
I need a wife – but I’m not attracted to women, so I have to stick to my “girl’s night” outings (no pun intended) and keep searching for a man that has extra lotion on hand and compliments me incessantly.
I shared a room with a male college friend of mine. He’s gay and the best roommate I have ever had. We walked around in our underwear without reservation and it was nice to be complimented on my booty from a man who wasn’t trying to touch it. We woke each other up in the morning with the rule of whoever gets up first quietly wakes the other. He was my photographer and I was his, so we got great shots of each other for our social media needs. Every time we walked in a room, we looked like a well-dressed couple. Sort of.
I learn so much when I agree to new things. If you ever find yourself making judgments about people – like, for example, immigrants, or Asians, or African-Americans, white folks, poor people, rich people, gay or transgender, or those interracially married – find one of those people quickly, talk to them, consider their position, drop your judgment and watch your world open up.
We learn when we talk to those we are passing judgments on. It gives you context and a personal attachment.
Get a white or gay friend and see how tolerant you will become when you finally begin to listen.
When my girlfriend told me she and her partner were getting married after being together for more than two decades, and were celebrating in another country, it never even dawned on me to consider my feelings on same sex marriage or what the bible says about homosexuality or would I get turned out by a lesbian at the wedding. (Something a large number of straight men kept asking me before I left).
I simply said, “I will be there, because I love you both.”
During the celebration, I met a white woman from Ohio who was a hugely successful banker on Wall Street. Her husband died in her early ’50s so she moved to Guatemala and built a circle house to retire in so she could find her peace. She is my role model. She looks like peace.
I met a gay black couple that have been committed for more than 40 years (when gay was not stylish) and they look like each other; as couples begin to do when they are together for so long.
I talked to a straight white couple from Charlotte every day because they are my kind of people and I know I will be friends with them for a long time to come. We shared our love for the brides, talked about public education, housing access, kids, finances, plastic surgery, food and rocks shaped like hearts.
I was invited to be the MC at the reception and my brides introduced me as their famous radio host friend from CBS Radio Atlanta. I giggled because only my loving lesbian friends would do that. They are into totally uplifting me, all the time.
When I returned to my show and told my audience about the experience, I got the usual mix of responses from “Why would you support that?” “Are you coming out the closet?” and “Homosexuality is a sin,” to “Thank you, Mo” “That’s beautiful” and “You are brave to discuss it.”
What I want to say is this: I went to my friends’ wedding in Costa Rica. A couple committed to each other, successful in their careers, serving in their community, making the world a better place. On the way, I learned that loving anyone romantically takes hard work, so when you truly find that person who is meant for you…marry them, love them and celebrate.
I received a departure present from them the night before we were leaving, a beautiful watch. It will forever remind me not to waste time judging others, criticizing or worrying about what the world thinks. Instead, I will spend time focused on being authentically myself; a woman with great friends.