Six years today, my coworkers and I were celebrating a wedding.
Now, I’ve been to a lot of weddings, including my own. But this one was especially memorable for me.
And in retrospect, it had very little to do with the fact that this ceremony was between two wonderful women, Shari and Evette.
OK, yes. That was significant, to be sure. I admit, I hadn’t been witness to such a union before. And the ceremony was incredibly moving and beautiful, as these things should be. But what I remember about that time, and that occasion, was the overwhelming joy and excitement that our group of coworkers felt in the months leading up to it and the honor of just being there, six years ago today.
It was that way because we, as coworkers, were like family. We were, by choice, so very involved in the wedding, from the legalities to the food preparation. My coworkers cooked almost everything and as we set up the buffet tables, the food just kept coming in the door. Prior to this, I contributed the calligraphy for the invitations as my wedding gift.
(And as a LGBTQ ally, I didn’t – and still don’t – feel my own heterosexual marriage was threatened by doing so.)
And we danced too. To all the great songs – not the remixed technocrap that you often hear thumping through your skull at some events. The music just kept playing.
It was simply a joyous celebration of two people who loved one another and had chosen to spend the rest of their lives together, wherever that would take them.
* * * *
Recently we celebrated again with this still-together couple – although as coworkers we are now divorced somewhat because time has scattered us to different states and to different jobs. Through Facebook, we welcomed Matthew into their lives. We knew they wanted to be instruments of light in a young person’s life as they have been to so many others,
As they usually do, they did things their way.
Because instead of seeing pictures of a newborn or a toddler on their Facebook page, we saw … a teenager.
You see, Matthew is 18.
As he puts it, living with Shari and Evette has given him the emotional stability he needs.
Which is all that matters.
Not the “label” of being an LGBT family, because, really, they are just like every other family. They are my family. They are your family. Their kid is my kid and they are me and my husband. They work damn hard to do whatever they can to help their kid succeed, to reach his dreams and fulfill his passions.
In Matthew’s case, that’s music – and he’s exceptionally good at it, and he needs some help to continue.
Matt just graduated from the Denver School of the Arts, where he was the principal English Horn player. He is also the Principal Oboist and English Horn player of the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestra. After graduation he intends to continue studying music, and hopes to one day hold a position in a professional orchestra as either an oboist or English Horn Player.
He really needs a new, professional quality English Horn to continue his studies and is working hard for such, but funds are tight. Evette is a Rabbi and Shari is a personal chef. Matt has launched a gofundme campaign to try and raise the $6,500 he needs for a new English horn.
“This past year has been extremely emotionally and financially taxing on me,” he admits. Despite many obstacles, he knows his truth. “Music is my life, and it’s what I want to spend mine doing.As I’m getting ready for college, I really need a new instrument, but there’s no way I’ll be able to afford one. The music world is so competitive, that not having a good instrument is almost a death sentence to aspiring musicians.”
You can help Matt out – and extend anniversary wishes to Shari and Evette – by donating to his campaign for a new English horn here.
So, happy 6th anniversary, Shari and Evette. May the two of you – with Matt – always keep making wonderful music together.