Birthday, death day, ressurection day (When I was new to homophobia)

Zella Ziona was 21 years old when she was killed on October 15th 2015.
For Lisa and me it was a happy day. It was the first time we celebrated her birthday together. We had a wonderful day full of laughter, tenderness and the simple joy of having found each other and being so absolutely in love.
Marc Pourner was 28 years old when he was killed on November 14th 2015.
For Lisa and me it was a busy day. We were more than just a little excited. Just a day before, on the 13th we got our marriage license. In the middle of Texas. Lisa who has lived here all her life could barely believe it. For her it was a miracle. Our wedding was scheduled for November 19th and there was still so much to do. We were in a bubble of delirious happiness.

Now, in March 2016 I have been in this country for six months. In this time at least two people who identified somewhere on the LGBT spectrum were killed in hate crimes in the United States. Dozens more were severely injured, many tortured, beaten bloody, suffering from broken bones or severe burns or even brain damage. Hundreds more were verbally assaulted, intimidated and bullied for being who they are.

Continue reading “Birthday, death day, ressurection day (When I was new to homophobia)”

Ann’s and Gayla’s wedding – “Just a piece of paper.”

They have been together for almost twenty years. Twenty long years side by side through good and bad. A couple so familiar with each other, so belonging to each other that their friends talk about them as if they were one person. There is not just Ann, or just Gayla. It’s always Ann and Gayla.

On January 1st 2016 these two who had been spouses for so long decided that it was time to also legally become one.
Lisa performed the ceremony at Metropolitan Community Church Lubbock. Elvis sang, tears were shed, family and friends were happy and the cake was fantastic.

There was however a moment after Lisa signed the marriage certificate when Ann suddenly stopped and shook her head in what only could be utter disbelief.
“A piece of paper,” she said. “A piece of paper that changes everything.”
Everything? These two have been partners so long, they know each other so intimately. What could marriage really change for them?
Everything. Because now not only their family and friends see them as a couple, now the law does, too. And the law will protect them, just like it protects every other married couple. They are safer now than they were before. Protected by  the constitution of their own country.
What a great feeling that is!


Kami’s & Kelly’s wedding – We are Family

“Every love story is beautiful but ours is my favorite.”

This quote from an unknown author could have easily been said by Kami and Kelly, the couple Lisa married today. And yes, I must admit, their love story is a very good one. Both of the girls have daughters and Kami even has three absolutely gorgeous little grand daughters. And guess what? They were all present today. Flower girls, the ringbearer and maids of honour. All of them present and involved, all of them excited to witness the wedding of their mothers and grandmothers.

photo 2

It was Kelly who touched me in a special way today. After the ceremony they all left the building to the song “We are family”. Kelly insisted on doing “something funny for that song because we are not a normal family”. I smiled at that. There she was, that young woman who had been married to a man before but now realized that her true happiness lay in a relationship with a woman. There she was and said that she had to mock that song at least a little bit because what she had was not normal. Oh Kelly, your family is perfectly normal and beautiful. From the gravity with which little flower girl Zayvire dropped petals, to the pride with which old Jim gave his friend Kelly away – it was the normalcy that made this wedding special and Kami’s and Kelly’s love story a really really good one.

It was an honor to be chosen as their wedding officiant.

photo 6

 by Franziska