New Year’s Eve, we headed to the home of some church friends to celebrate the holiday and to witness their commitment ceremony. I was extremely excited, mainly because this would be the first such ceremony that I had seen, but also because I’m interested in having my own some day.
After the sixty or so guests had arrived and greeted one another, the happy couple asked everyone to gather around as they took their places in front of a minister friend. An instant feeling of peace fell over the room as the couple was enveloped in their own love and the support of those in attendance.
The women looked deeply into each other’s eyes and smiled as they exchanged their vows of love and commitment, leaving some of the audience in tears. I love that it felt so natural seeing them standing there, holding hands, loving one another. It was easily as genuine and heartfelt as any heterosexual union I’ve ever witnessed, and a beautiful reminder that love transcends all.
After rings were exchanged and the happy partners had greeted the flashing cameras, the party continued. And what a celebration it was!
We had a scavenger hunt that included thirty items artistically tucked away into various corners of the home. After handing each person half of a piece of paper and telling us to find the person holding the other half, I realized that Kelly would be my partner in crime. We found twenty-one items in the time that we were allotted, although I must admit that we had a little help from other gracious searchers.
The caterers soon began serving one of the most delicious meals that I’ve ever eaten, which included beef and pork, hash brown casserole, asparagus spears, garlic mashed potatoes, salad, and rolls. I could have made an entire meal out of the beef, which was so juicy and tender it would almost melt in your mouth.
We finished off the festivities by counting down to the new year, having a glass of champagne, and blowing our noise-makers – something that resulted in Kelly, Honey, and I laughing so hard that I thought I would die. It was a wonderful way to end an exceptional evening.
During the earlier ceremony, the minister had referred to this gathering of friends as the couple’s “family of choice”, something that was clearly evidenced by the atmosphere. This was a safe place – a rare oasis for those of us who constantly struggle to fit into a world that seems determined to leave us out.