When I dropped down on one knee and asked my sweetie if she’d marry me, I thought the risk was that she’d say no; I didn’t understand that doing it publicly would unleash a torrent of criticism, mockery, verbal abuse, and death threats.
Last Friday, I did propose, and despite both my girlfriend’s and my own ambivalence about the institution of marriage, I acknowledged publicly that, yes, I did want to spend the rest of my life with her and wanted to do it in a publicly sanctioned form. My girlfriend, Liz, is a bit larger-than-life, the nicest woman in the world, a passionate LGBT cultural competency trainer, but, as she says, “the fiercest 120 pounds you’ll ever meet.”
With a woman like that, it’s go big or go home. So I chose the most fearless place I could think of to pop the biggest question: the central hall of the White House, in front of 500 other amazing LGBT community advocates at the president’s annual LGBT Pride reception. It felt like she took forever to say yes, but she finally did, and it was amazing.
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