Author Linda Lewis
When my youngest daughter was to be married she asked her homosexual oldest brother to give her away. He was thrilled but asked if his spouse would be welcomed. He understood that many of the grooms family and friends held deep rooted homophobic beliefs. Bless the grooms open minded and accepting heart. He grabbed the speaker and said if his husband didn’t come he didn’t need to come either. That he expected them at the bachelor party and wouldn’t take no for and answer.
He told my daughter not to worry he’d take care of it. He proceeded to talk with every invited, RSVP respondent that he knew held homophobic reservations. He told them up front that his soon to be brother-in-law and his partner/ husband would be accompanying him. He expected them to be treated with the respect due the brides family and would not tolerate anything less. He also told them if they chose not to socialize with them it was fine, that was their choice. That he really was looking forward to them attending the wedding and reception but if they could not be respectful and polite they would be asked to leave. He took a firm understanding and positive stand. The wedding went off without a hitch every RSVP respondent attended and had a good time at the reception.
The reception started off a bit strained but warmed quickly. It really loosened up quickly when my new son-in-law grabbed his new brother-in-law’s partner and they danced together. There was a hush around the room but as they danced a buzz started, people started laughing and smiling. When they hugged each other at the end of the dance many people stood up and applauded. The ice was broken and they were welcomed without incident. It was a learning opportunity for all concerned. Many of the homophobic’s changed their fear to caution, some into friends that drop by to visit when my son and his husband come to visit.
Right or wrong is not for anyone to say other than you and your soon to be mate. It is your decision. My experience may not be the norm but it certainly boosted my respect for my son- in -law which was all ready high. It also made me respect the small, predominantly Christian, farming community that swallowed their opinion and learned and taught that day.