Jen Jorczak

I now pronounce you... okay, I don't know what to pronounce you.

Filed By Jen Jorczak | May 31, 2007 7:16 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Living, Living, Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics, Politics, The Movement, The Movement, The Movement
Tags: blogging for LGBT families, LGBT families, love, marriage, patriarchy, Photographer Natalie Evans, religion, Rev. Nancy Ferriani, Rev. Tom Kryder-Reid, Trinity Episcopal Church Indy, wedding industry

A month ago, I did something I thought I'd never do: get married.

jen gig161.jpgHere is a picture from the ceremony:

That's Barb, on the left, then me, then Mother Nancy Ferriani of Trinity Episcopal. (Trinity is Barb's spiritual home, and they're very cool peeps. Mother Nancy kicks ass.) We had a priest, an exchange of rings, we are married.

Except, not really. We have no legal marriage certificate, and even though we got married in a church (REALLY something I thought I'd never do), technically, the church called it a "blessing of our union" and not a marriage. All because the person I fell in love with, and want to spend the rest of my life with, happens to also be a woman.

Back when I was a straight girl (that's a long story that I'll leave for another post--let's just say I'm a recent "recruit"), marriage didn't seem so important. Aside from finding feminism at a very early age, I also witnessed my parents' very long and drawn out divorce. So marriage wasn't something I was building my life toward: what's with the princess fantasy, what's with the patriarchy, what's in a label, what does a piece of paper mean?

But now, suddenly, perhaps only because I can't have one, that piece of paper seems pretty damned important.

Bil was asking shortly after the wedding:

"What did it feel like? Did it make you angry that you couldn't get married? Any jealousy that it was "just" a commitment ceremony? Does it matter if it's marriage or were you just as happy as you could have possibly been if they'd called it something different? Did the name matter?"

What did it feel like? Yeah, I was angry I couldn't get married, and I was angry that I felt under attack for wanting to get married.

jen n1 064.jpgBarb and I never stray from calling it a wedding, a marriage. Which led to some complications. After all, we were choosing our caterer, baker, photographer, etc, as the legislature was debating SJR 7. It was particularly galling to listen to all the fundie crap as we planned (though it was nice to know that Trinity's senior pastor, Father Tom, testified against SJR 7 in the Senate Judiciary committee hearing), and this G-spot post from April was like a punch in the stomach. I get her point about not buying into wedding-industry crap (believe me, we spent nowhere near the national average of $28,000 for our wedding day--which is pretty atrocious), but I don't agree about the access to legal rights--I want those 1300 legal rights and protections--and I am currently intimidated by the 20+ pages of paperwork the attorney sent for us to fill out before we go to her office for our initial consulation.

I'll also say that as a writer, words mean a lot to me. For me, nothing is "just a question of semantics." I consider myself Married. As Barb reminds me, "we'll be together--FOR-EV-ER."

Barb also comments that:

It was an emotional roller-coaster. We got so many well-wishes and congratulations, as well as different family members refusing to attend for various reasons--my mother, with whom I have a very tenuous relationship, first said that she didn't know if she could find a hotel room. Then she claimed it was because she was raised Jehovah's Witness, which is the first I'd ever heard it--but it would explain why I never got birthday or Christmas presents...

I was excited and wanted to tell the world--it was very stressful and exhausting to feel like I had to pick and choose who I'd tell because it inevitably meant having to come out to them. Not that I have a problem coming out--I just don't want to have to do it on a daily basis! It's exhausting having to deal with everyone else's heterosexism--one co-worker asked me--"heard you got married--what's his name?" Jen. " that his last name?" Sigh.

jen gig343.jpgI didn't have to deal with that--most of my co-workers had already met (and grown to love) Barb, but yeah, there were several members of my family who refused to show up just because Barb doesn't have a penis. Oh, they said it was because of "religion"--despite the fact that we were married in a parish that was completely supportive--or "family values"--despite the fact that so many other family members came. Barb's favorite new relative is my 80-something year-old great-aunt, who gave us a "lovebirds" figurine, and told Barb we should kiss often, making appropriate kissy-faces at her all day. We don't have a problem there.

We want to thank all of our family and friends who did come, who've been so supportive and wonderful--despite what the fundies say, we are married in their eyes--and more importantly, in our own. Love does make a family.

Photos by Natalie Evans

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Congratulations Jen and Barb! I'm so thrilled for you and I wish you two many happy and successful years together.

Very cool! Congrats to you both.

Damn, Jen, you made me tear up again reading this (like I wasn't a fountain already at the actual ceremony!).

I couldn't be happier that you two found each other, and I'm still honored that you let me be a part of your day.

And I hope you forgive me for mangling your cake. ;)

Too cute for school! Congrats, you two!

Bruce Parker II | June 1, 2007 4:57 AM

I wanna get married

You two are the two most wonderfully sweet and kind people I have ever met. Congrats and may you spend the rest of your lives together, and only two blocks away. :)

Jen Jorczak | June 1, 2007 8:35 AM

Awww... thanks, everybody! Party soon--amazingly, we have a lot of wine & beer leftover from the reception!

Aww, congrats Jen! I am so happy for you two.

I'm an avid bilerico reader and that was one of the more enjoyable posts i've read in awhile. Thank you for being so candid and open!

I'm a huge romantic at heart and that post instantly made me let out a huge AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

Congratulations and best wishes to both of you!

Yep, G-spot conflates the wedding industry with marriage, not to mention conflating marriages of a few hundred years ago (largely made for economic reasons and/or to control women) with those of today (supposedly for love and mutual support), and bad marriages with good ones.

You fell in love and want to spend the rest of your lives together. Sounds like a fine definition of marriage to me, and as long as the state is going to recognize the entwinement of two lives into a single financial unit (which I tentatively still believe it should), it ought to recognize any such commitment. Yours and your sweetie's, mine and my sweetie's.

Uh . . . I'm ranting on a stranger's blog, when what I really want to say is


Jen & Barb, I don't know if you remember me or not but I used to work at Borders with you both back in '01-'02. I am so happy to hear that you are both so happy together. Congratulations! I hope you both have many, many, (many many) happy years together. :)

a wonderful post. I love your eloquence! I am constantly amazed and frustrated when it comes to my attention that something as natural and beautiful as your relationship (and now MARRIAGE! yes, I said it) to Babs is anything to even discuss. It's like someone wanting to debate whether or not we should let the sun continue to shine...only bloodsuckers find any validity in such life-negating and ridiculous nonsense.
You two are beautiful, and add so much to our whimsical spinning sphere.

Ahhhhh!!!! My two sweets! Am so happy to hear your news and so sorry that I can't be there to celebrate the two of you in person! The pics are fantastic and looks like a great time. Sending you loads of hugs and congratulations from the Emerald Isle!