Betty Greene Salwak

Transmen Exchange Vows in Illinois

Filed By Betty Greene Salwak | July 27, 2012 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: marriage, marriage equality, trans wedding, transmen

zhougarden.jpgLast month I had the great pleasure of attending the wedding of someone I had known since he was little, the child of dear friends who attend the same church.

This wedding was probably a once-in-a-lifetime event for me. It was the exchange of vows between two transmen.

James (left) and John were married in Chicago in June surrounded by friends and loved ones.

John is acknowledged by his birth state of Illinois to be male and has changed his Illinois state ID and Social Security card to match.

James' California driver's license has "female" as his legal sex. (He does not want to change his legal sex unless they offer T for transgender.)

By taking place in Illinois, the marriage is registered as between bride and groom, thereby being recognized in all 50 states and by the federal government. (BTW: genius way to work the system, gentlemen.)

It was a privilege to witness the moving ceremony, and lots of hankies were out for all the right reasons.

(More after the jump).


There was a pall cast briefly over the celebration afterward when James approached to tell me how important it was to him that my husband and I attended.

"You are the only ones of my parents' friends to attend," he said.

"I know, sweetheart."

"Some of them stayed away on purpose." His blue eyes were bright.

"I know, sweetie, and I'm sorry."

We hugged and the party went on into the night. John and James are obviously in love and good for each other. I see a peace in James that was not evident for a long time.

Love is always something to celebrate.

Photo credit: Beck Long

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