Rarely have I found legal advantages to being queer in America, but when I proposed to my girlfriend, Zoe, we had to laugh at the irony of our situation. I’m a bisexual woman, she’s a lesbian transwoman who is legally male, and in any state in the good ol’ USA we can get married with ease. We can have our own biological children and not deal with second-parent adoption. In a world where being transgendered is so often a legal nightmare, it’s nice to find an upside.
I met Zoe at a friend’s party in April 2008, and with my characteristic outspokenness I outed her to the entire room not fifteen seconds after she arrived: “Zoe? That’s such a cool name for a dude!” She wasn’t dressed as a girl that night and when she informed all present that, actually, she’s trans, I realized that I’d really put her on the spot. I tried for the next couple of hours to discreetly pull her aside and apologize, but she just thanked me for helping her get it out of the way all at once. She was shy, but determined to be honest about herself when meeting new people. We ended up spending most of the night with our heads together bonding about gender issues and flirting up a storm. Before either of us could blink, we were completely smitten.
She didn’t exactly bring a U-Haul to our second date, but by the end of the summer we were living together. On Christmas Day I proposed quite spontaneously while she was driving us to a holiday lunch outing. She narrowly managed to not crash the car while crying and fluttering her hands, emphatically saying “yes.”
As far as all our loving friends are concerned, our unconventional situation is cause for rejoicing and excitement. My dad and her sister both asked if we were going up to New England to tie the knot before realizing that our Big Gay Wedding can take place right here. I know there will be complications down the road: getting people to believe that we’re actually legally married, explaining the slightly more complicated birds-and-bees to the kids someday, and the looming question of what happens to our rights when Zoe is declared legally female. But in the meantime, we’re dealing with the more immediate and critical concerns of wedding favors, buffet receptions, vows… and blissfully contemplating our future together.