A toast to my moms and #LGBTQfamilies on their wedding day

On Monday, June 1, 2015, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer bloggers, their family members, and allies from across the U.S. and around the world will celebrate the tenth annual Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day. The event, developed and run by the award-winning LGBTQ-parenting site Mombian, and sponsored by Family Equality Council, aims to celebrate LGBTQ families, their diverse natures, and raise awareness of how current prejudices and laws have a negative impact on their lives and children.

A toast to my moms and #LGBTQfamilies on their wedding day

By Becca Novak

This is the text of the toast I gave at my Moms' wedding ceremony in January, 2014 -- which took place in Marin County, CA, on their 39th anniversary:

Not many daughters get the opportunity give a wedding toast for their parents. It’s kind of an unusual situation. I can't go the typical route and say, “when I first met Anne and Theresa…I was in the womb. I remember when they were just two young lovebirds, the vague sound of their voices coming through to my amniotic sac.”

I also can’t ruminate on their future together. It’s like “spoiler alert,” 39 years later, things are pretty good. You still get nervous when the other person drives. You are still in love. You have 3 kids, and they turned out awesome.

So I don’t get to do the typical wedding toast. Instead I do have this really remarkable opportunity to celebrate my moms’ relationship.  Today I want to talk about what I’ve learned from my witty, opinionated mothers.

With all of the news and debate about marriage equality today, I’ve had lots of time to think about my moms and the impact they have had on me. 

Am I all screwed up because I have lesbian moms?

Am I confused about who I am?

Do I wish I had a dad?

I’ve had to answer those questions a lot. And the answer is no.

My mothers are parents who chose to be together, in spite of real obstacles. These are parents who pushed their children to always be who we are, no matter what other people think. They are parents who taught us to advocate for our rights and for the rights of others. Parents who taught us to love who we love, no matter what.

They have taught me so much, but because today is a wedding, I want to talk in particular about I’ve learned from my mothers about love.

Their relationship is pretty amazing. Can you believe it? 39 years! I’m in a very good position to talk about their relationship and commitment to one another, because I’ve had a front seat.

 

Mom & Mama, you look worried. You should be. Your kids see it all.

Some of you might know that last summer I hiked the John Muir Trail. It’s a trail that runs 218 miles from Yosemite, over 8 mountain passes to Mt. Whitney, all in the backcountry.  This is something I would never have considered if not for the wonderful summers my mothers spent taking the three of us camping in Yosemite, in Yellowstone, and in Glacier national parks.

As I was hiking, I thought about my moms. When I had called them from an outpost a week into the hike, they told me that they had been officially married in California. And I was so upset! They did the official paperwork without me, and without any guests. I'd like to therefore take full credit  us celebrating here today.

It’s good I had my moms to think about because while the trail was beautiful,  actually hiking it was also the hardest thing I have ever done. My backpack was too heavy; it weighed 45 pounds. I had to clamber up these endless 10 mile inclines, up thousands of ft in elevation, to get to each peak. And then I had to do it all over again. Those climbs were absolutely horrible.

But then, I’d get to the top. And the top was unfailingly the most beautiful place I’d ever been, each peak more breathtaking than the last. There were turquoise alpine lakes, wildflowers, and snowcapped peaks. From the top, you could see the whole world spread out below your feet.

And I realized, this is what I know about love. And I learned it from my moms. It is hard sometimes. It can be horrible. There are endless switchbacks and sometimes you don’t know if they’ll end, you’re not sure if you’ll make it to the top.

But you keep working at it, you put your head down and put one foot in front of the other and you make it to the top. And at the top is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been.

And then you do it all over again.

And, Mommy and Mama, you’ve been through a lot together. You’ve climbed a lot of long uphills, and I’ve watched you put the work into many of them. You have reached so many glorious peaks. Thank you for your perseverance and your honesty, your commitment and your love.  You’ve taught me that the things that matter, like love, take work.

I want to toast you both –  to the mountains you have yet to climb, the peaks you have yet to reach.  Congratulations, and here’s to 39 more years.

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