Never the Bride: On being alone when everyone else is getting married

When marriage equality is a reality, and you are still single.

A Queer Ladies’ Guide to Wedding Attire

What’s a semi-androgynous, slightly neurotic girl to do? Make elaborate pro/con lists outlining all possible wedding outfit options- that’s what. (Side note: I scribbled “heteronormative” as a negative for wearing a suit, but my fiancée countered with “gender-conforming” under the dress column—so you know we’re meant to be.) Utilizing my extensive moderate limited knowledge of fashion and trends, I compiled my pro/con list findings to create the following wedding attire guide.

Continued on AfterEllen…

Taiwan has a lesbian couple on "Ordinary Love"

Taiwan is regarded as one of the most progressive states in East Asia. Same-sex sexual activity is legal, although the Taiwanese face a lot of the same roadblocks felt here in the US regarding legal protections. Legislation aimed to legalize same-sex marriage was proposed in 2003, however, the bill received opposition and was not voted on. Should the law eventually pass, the Republic of China would be the first country in Asia to permit same-sex marriage.

In November 2003, Taiwan held the first gay pride parade in the Chinese-speaking world. Held in Taipei, with over 1,000 people attending, it continues to take place annually, hosting 65,000 citizens in 2012, the largest LGBT event in Asia. Currently the Republic of China does not have any form of same-sex unions but that didn’t stop a lesbian couple from holding the first same-sex Buddhist wedding in 2012.

And on February 20, 2014, two stars of the Taiwanese primetime soap opera Ordinary Love, Sunny Lee and Carolyn Chen, made history when they shared an onscreen kiss.

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For a year my partner and I were planning our wedding but when we got the opportunity to get married live on the Grammys to Macklemore’s song “Same Love” that was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. I had to keep this wedding a secret for a whole month and I couldn’t wait for the world to see this. As I walked down the isle I could see some of the biggest celebrities crying. These people were crying at our wedding and that’s when it really hit me. Love is love and love is so beautiful! Katy Perry, who is one of my inspirations, was standing two inches from me as we exchanged rings and I looked over to see her crying. That moment I will never forget. It’s one thing to follow a celebrity whose music or movies you like but when you see them show emotion for something that is so important to you is just such an overwhelming feeling of joy.”

Full Story on AfterEllen…

Edie Windsor Shares Her Story

Last night at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, Edie Windsor shared her story about her fight for marriage equality in discussion with Roberta Kaplan, her lawyer who won her federal case, and comedian Judy Gold, who moderated the event.

Translating the 44-year love story, one that Justice Ginsburg described as “a great partnership,” into a legal case intended to dismantle DOMA was Kaplan’s biggest challenge. Having worked on marriage equality cases since 1994, she knew that Windsor “[couldn’t] sue the federal government on principle.” Instead, the case had to be about taxes—specifically, the $363,000 that Windsor was taxed solely because her marital union was same-sex.

“I told Edie she couldn’t talk about sex,” Kaplan admitted to the audience. Focusing on the economic discrimination ensured support from fiscal conservatives, which Windsor’s team widely received in the myriad of amicus briefs filed on their behalf.

(Windsor, however, was determined to talk about sex later during the discussion, when she told a fantastic tale about how she only fully realized she was gay after meeting Thea. She couldn’t know for sure, she said, because she “was surrounded by Freudians” who discredited lesbianism by claiming that “you can’t really come unless you come vaginally.”)

Continued on AfterEllen…

"Like my two moms say, family is sacred"

Dear straight women, it’s time to stand up for your gay sisters’ rights

Note: Jenn Fitzpatrick is the little sister of AfterEllen senior editor Heather Hogan.

When Liz Cheney announced on Fox News in November that she supports the traditional definition of marriage (despite the fact that her sister Mary Cheney is very publicly gay and married), I don’t think any of us were surprised. After all, Liz is getting properly trounced in her Senate run by incumbent Mike Enzi in the conservative bastion of Wyoming, and we all know that when it comes to Republican primaries, the only direction to run is farther right. Ms. Cheney has been pressed on this issue before; after all, having a lesbian sister is something of a quandary if you want to be in office and also keep being a Republican. Also unsurprising is the fact that former vice-president Dick Cheney came out in support of his straight daughter’s position (against his gay daughter’s civil rights) yesterday afternoon.

I, too, am a straight, married woman with gay sister living in a hyper-conservative state. So Liz, forgive my familiarity, but I’d like to address you personally, since we do share some common ground.

You couldn’t even wear an engagement ring when Thea proposed in 1968. People would ask too many questions. You wore an engagement pin instead, because you still wanted a symbol that both of you could recognize. But you got braver with time, marching on the streets of New York City, demanding equality, becoming domestic partners when it became possible in 1993, deciding that you couldn’t have patience any longer. You gave great advice: “Don’t postpone joy. Keep joy as long as you can.”

An open letter to Edith Windsor on the day of her DOMA hearing


Jane Abbott Lighty, 77, and Pete-e Petersen, 85, were the first couple to get married in Seattle, Washington last night after the new same-sex marriage law passed.

Lesbians always arrive early.