Last month, after I married the love of my life, I wrote an article entitled “My Big Fat Illegal Gay Wedding.” I explained in the article that although my wife and I are both women, we were allowed to marry in a state that forbids same-sex marriages, because my wife is transgender and our state does not recognize her gender identity.
I have never gotten so much hate mail or so many negative comments in my entire life. Within a day, I’d gotten 1,022 comments, and 407 emails. About five of these were positive or congratulatory. The rest were vicious, to say the least. I was called (in no particular order), a dyke, a bitch, a pervert, ugly, sick, fat, disgusting, insane, inhuman, a freak, a coward, and a whore. I was told that I probably have AIDS and herpes. Several people stated that I probably have sex with animals and children. At least two hundred people told me that raising my daughter with a trans-lesbian wife is abusive, and that my daughter needs to be taken away from me and given to the home she deserves.
I told myself I wouldn’t read the comments, but I read every single one of them… and they hurt. Midway through reading an email in which a person threatened to come to kill me and my “phony shemale husband,” I looked up at my wife and asked, “Why are they so afraid of us?”
The answer was blatantly obvious to her: “Because they’ve realized they can’t discriminate against us in two ways at once.”
I guess that’s what all of the hullabaloo boiled down to. People saw that a transwoman had married another woman, and they were angry that they couldn’t discriminate against both our gender identity and orientation. To say we shouldn’t get married would be to acknowledge that my wife is a woman… And few of them would be willing to go so far. The result was a venomous splattering of hatred and malice from almost everyone who read the article.
On the off chance that any of the people who emailed, commented, or attempted to phone me last month, I have a few words to say to you, and (believe it or not) none of them are hateful. I’m sorry that you’re afraid. I’m sorry that society is changing so fast that it’s hard for some people to keep up with what is, and what isn’t, “normal.” I’m sorry that your own traumas have left you believing that having heterosexual parents is more important than having parents who love each other. I’m sorry that my family makes you feel confused and disgusted and afraid. I’m sorry that you’ve been so deprived of love that you feel jealous, or in your own words, “sick,” when you read that someone who is different from you is in a loving marriage.
I’m sorry that you’re so emotionally stunted that you’ve made assumptions about my appearance based on what you think you know about me. (Calling me “fat” and “ugly” would be inappropriate under any circumstances, but they’re especially pitiful when you’re unknowingly aiming them at a 115-pound, 5’6″ tall former model.) Really– for all the fear, discomfort, disgust, and worry that I’ve caused you– I am truly, deeply sorry.
But I’m not sorry for loving my wife or for marrying her. I owe no apologies for the family I have, the person I love, or the way we live our lives. If you’re really that afraid of another person’s marriage, please take a few moments to look inside yourself and ask why. It’s more likely that the “evil” you see in me is actually a reflection of something inside yourself.