By the time this blog post is published, I will be a happily married man. On August 9th, I will be tying the knot with my partner of 10 years, John Hatchett. While our wedding ceremony will take place at the Borough Hall without much pomp or pageantry, getting married to John is one of the best things that could ever happen to me.
On the eve of such a joyful occasion, I want to dedicate this post to all those gay men and women who died without the benefit of having their relationships legally recognized, as well as those left behind. As well as to the survivors who, in many cases, lost everything they owned and were denied the protections and benefits granted to heterosexual widows and widowers.
My fiance and I are both over 40 years of age, and we are both long-term survivors of HIV. Many of our close friends are people who have been personally impacted by HIV/AIDS in different ways. For us, marriage equality is much more than a contract or a “status symbol”; it is reassurance that we, as a gay couple with HIV, can pursue happiness just like anyone else, without fearing the future.