Posing with LGBTQ-friendly wedding professionals at WeddingMBA 2016
I need to be honest with you. As an LGBTQ-identified woman, and white parent of an adopted child of color, I’ve been reeling since the results of the 2016 presidential race were confirmed.
I say this not because of a party-affiliation or because my candidate didn’t win, but because the message of a campaign that was built on a foundation of exclusion rather than inclusion (albeit one wrapped ultimately in a penchant for change) has won the highest office in the land.
Those of you who have followed my writing
or heard me speak know well of my commitment to justice, equality, fairness, open-heartedness and belief that listening with love, leading with love and serving with love is enough to get us there. And I still believe this to be true.
But what do we do when our neighbors are yelling in a one-way fashion? When people are picking sides? When people are saying things that we didn’t know they believed and that don’t align with our comfort zones or values? How do we overcome our personal perspectives at a turbulent time to serve our neighbors and be all that we can be for our clients? These questions are especially true when thinking about planning same-sex weddings, the weddings of non-white and interracial couples and of other couples who often feel disenfranchised or destabilized.
What can we—as engaged couples, married LGBTQ couples and wedding professionals—do?
Now, a few weeks out from the election, I am beginning to be able to find the words I need to organize myself and what I want to say. It started with a realization a week after the election, as I got ready for bed, that I needed to surround myself with a message of resolve while I struggled to cope with reports of open prejudice flooding our airwaves and news feeds.
So I chose my GayWeddings #WeDoLove t-shirt and slept in it for a week straight. It felt helpful to wear a message of love and celebration and it helped me to remember how lucky I am to work with WeddingWire, a company that embraces and empowers me as a lesbian woman and is dedicated to being a trusted resource for rituals and celebrations of love. (It’s also worth mentioning that WeddingWire has also just received its second of two perfect scores of 100 percent on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index and is ranked as a Best Place To Work For LGBT Equality in 2017.)
Me with Nancy Flottmeyer, the publisher of Wedding Planner Magazine, at WeddingMBA 2016 in my GayWeddings #WeDoLove shirt
I continue to have as many questions as you do about what will happen next under a Trump/Pence Administration. Thus far, it appears that we’ll be able to count on lots of Tweeting, a lack of predictability, and an odd combination of conservative social policy (if Pence and Trump’s current cabinet nominations are any indication), with the exception of an attitude of comfort with the status quo on marriage equality (Trump). As we wait to see what will happen in Trump’s first 100 days, all we can do is continue to educate ourselves, invest in consumption of thoughtful news, and otherwise continue to ‘lead with love’ in our daily lives and advocacy efforts.
I promise to keep the GayWeddings community posted, but, in the meantime, I invite you to see what Jay Brown of the Human Rights Campaign shared on GayWeddings Live about the pending legal issues that may impact the lives of LGBTQ Americans.
Meanwhile, we hope you’ll keep us in the loop on the (positive and negative) experiences you have while planning your weddings and/or working with LGBTQ couples. If you’ve got a good story, we’d love to hear it. Share it with us here
Wedding innovator Kathryn Hamm (@madebykathryn) is co-author of The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography (Amphoto Books, 2014), an Education Expert for WeddingWire and Publisher of GayWeddings.com