Chris and Aaron do not know this but silent tears streamed down my face towards the end of our first phone conversation. I first spoke with Chris- greetings, a bit of small talk, brief details about wedding location/dates. He said there was just one more thing he needed to ask, when his voice shook and he paused before continuing, my heart went out to him because I knew. I don't know how I knew, but I did.
So when Chris told me that he and his partner were same sex, I was not surprised- I was actually elated. At this point in my wedding photography career, I was burnt out on the contrived white dresses, ceremonies rooted in beliefs that people exploit for the sake of tradition, a tradition that discriminates who is allowed to love, vows that 40-50 percent of people seem to forget... basically I was headed straight to bitter town.
But in a sea of frivolous ceremonies, same sex unions are earned. These men and women face persecution, judgement, are stripped of their dignity, and human rights but they still stand up and fight for their love- the same love.
I was born privileged.
I am white, straight, I won a free wedding at the top of the Empire State Building, married a lawyer, 3 kids, a dog. I can run passed a police officer without fear of being shot. I didn't earn any of those things- sure, I work my ass off but no one asked me that before allowing be to enjoy all of those things. I was given those opportunities because of who I was born.
When Chris asked me if I was comfortable photographing a same sex wedding, I said yes- of course! At that moment, Aaron chimed in. He had been on the line waiting. I listened to them tell me about their story, their love. Chris is an Army Ranger stationed in Georgia and their claim to fame is being the first same sex couple to attend a military birthday ball. The pride in their voice, the love in their voice, the heartbreak in their voice when they told me that they were having a difficult time finding a wedding photographer in North Carolina that would capture their wedding, broke my heart.
I will never understand people's need to show hate, I have to believe it is out of fear and misunderstanding. There is nothing sweeter in this world than love and being loved.
Yesterday's Supreme Court's decision to legalize marriage for all individuals was America's way of choosing love over hate, acceptance over dissent, unity over partiality- this is the country to be proud of, friends.
Kristy Lynn Adams