Most couples who enlist my services will never know. I do not look “gay” ish. And a combination of a limiting gender language system and laziness when it comes to explaining stuff provoke me to use “husband” or “partner” to refer to Liam. But I am, seriously. Like a power suit, the dress worn to officiate weddings is a costume, and I seldom shave my legs. I’d rather wear yoga pants, and in the winter, I sometimes do underneath the robe!
When I met Liam, he was called a different name (“Wilma”) with a different gender identity. It took Wilma a few weeks to convince me to marry her; the first proposal on the subway was met with lots of resistance. Before that proposal, it took her a few weeks to convince me to repress beliefs that monogamy is unnatural. At the time, I was teaching urban sociology; gender studies, cultural studies, and political economy were my areas of expertise. And, yes, I revel and continue to revel in all the radical edges of those areas. However, since I am a bit of a loner anyway, the personal separated from the political. And I agreed to marry “Wilma” and bracket dreams of a postmodern harem. We married in Toronto in December 2006.
Nine months later, Wilma announced the desire to be transgender — a FTM. Yeah, that was hard. It was also annoying: all my students knew me as queer, and my entire social identity came crashing down. After a few brutal rejections by me, I agreed to marry him again in December 2009 in NYC, as New York has very liberal policies in such matters: no one checks or questions the driver’s license as proof of identification, even when challenges surface in courts.
Anyway, to the point. For a myriad reasons, I have since become a celebrant and registered marriage officiant. I ditched teaching; the life of an adjunct is only fun for a few years. And, with the passing of the Marriage Equality Bill in New York, I am personally elated to be able to share the joys and trials of what it means to legally marry. So, if you are looking for a someone who will officiate to your same-sex / GLBTQ wedding in New York, do feel free to send me an e-mail at NewYorkOfficiant@gmail.com.