Same-sex marriage is a controversial political topic, sparking countless, seemingly endless debates with all sides fervently fighting for what they think a family should be. All too often, this argument carries on without facing the people it effects, making one of the most intimate issues that challenges the United States into a nameless, impersonal discussion. In the current issue of Front Porch Journal, Carol Guess offers an insightful first-hand look at how a lesbian couple might come to terms with living in a country that doesn’t acknowledge their love.
Guess is not overtly angry about her situation and instead chooses to live in love. Her creative nonfiction essay is at once heartbreaking and optimistic, following Guess and her partner, Elizabeth, on their journey from Washington to British Columbia for their wedding.
They cry at their vows, eat thick chocolate cake served on china, and honeymoon in a high-rise hotel. Guess writes, “We go to sleep married and we wake from dreams married and we drink coffee married and then we drive home.”
And with that quick drive back across the U.S. border, their marriage is shattered. Guess recalls:
Just before we cross into the U.S., Elizabeth takes a photograph of the two of us, our faces touching. Then, as the wheels roll over and the U.S. reclaims us, annulling our marriage, she takes another photo of the two of us together. Later we won’t be able to tell the difference between the two shots.