Yesterday Billy and Shayla got married in California. And yes, they were already married. They got married in my backyard at your standard wedding eight years ago with all of the relatives and all of the friends and a tent for eating and lots of food and drinks and a DJ and a Best Man and a Maid of Honor and a friend of a cousin named Fancy Nancy who pole-danced wearing short-alls to the bug-eyed astonishment of all.
That wedding was as real as cake but it wasn't legal. Because Billy wasn't yet officially Billy, but still had a name that was uh, feminine, and I remember one of older country relatives, dressed in his Church-going JC Penny's suit saying, "Well now, that was just like a real wedding."
"It was a real wedding," I said. "But it won't help when it's time to get insurance."
And now they can. Get insurance together. Because in California, these two people who have been together for ten years and married for eight and who have a child and a house and a mortgage and two jobs and who are the best people and parents you can imagine and who are beloved and dedicated and in love and committed- well, in California, that sort of thing is recognized no matter what your birth certificate says as to your sex or gender and they will really and truly with Official Documents and everything, let you marry the one you love.
And so it is.
When Billy met Shayla a decade ago, he told a friend of his, "Someday, that woman is going to make someone a good wife." Pause. "And when I say someone, I mean me."
Truer words were never said.
Shayla's a little huffy about having to jump through hoops to have her marriage legally recognized but, as she said, she did just get to have another wedding in San Francisco and she even wore flowers in her hair. Her beautiful red hair. And I think that the picture tells it all. And it makes me cry because they are so damn beautiful. They are who they are and they are married for each other and for good and for their son and mostly, for love.
Legal as cake in thirteen states. Sanctified by love which is real everywhere. Here and beyond.
Husband and wife. Billy and Shayla.