Happy Belated Birthday Marriage Equality!
Yup! Yesterday was the day! The day that the Supreme Court of the United States decided that everyone has the right to marry the one they love. It was an exciting day.
I was at work, not expecting this momentous decision to come down in the least. Everyone figured there was a decent chance it could happen, but most of us were expecting it to happen on Monday…and here it happened on a Friday morning. I was just going on my nine o’clock break and turned to Facebook and there it was. I jumped on the rider (a smaller standup version of a forklift) and dashed across the building to were my husband was working and let him know.
There was much happiness.
Also because this happened days before our first wedding anniversary—which we had to fly to Baltimore to make happen since our state of Missouri didn’t not allow same-sex marriage (although they weirdly honored all marriages from other states, even same-sex marriage).
Yes, much happiness!
So much so that it inspired a whole plethora of stories. Including this one….
The first time Lucas Arrowood saw Dalton was on his way to his first day of kindergarten. His mother was walking him to school, he was very excited, and his right shoelace was flopping untied.
“Baby,” said his mom. “Let’s sit down and try to tie your shoe.” He looked up at her, excitement temporarily squashed. He couldn’t do it. Couldn’t tie his shoe. And he was supposed to be able to. His mother had tried to show him out—over and over again—but he couldn’t get the laces to go where they were supposed to go, and it just fell apart. He couldn’t do it. If his teacher found out, would they make him go home? Would he have to wait until next year? That would be horrible!
“Hey, you can do it, it’s easy!”
Lucas gave a little jump and turned around and sighed as he looked into the narrow dark eyes of the most beautiful human being he had ever seen.
“Want me to help?” the boy asked, flipping his mop of dark brown hair out of his eyes with a toss of his head. “I taught a bunch of kids last year when I was in kindergarten.”
A bunch of kids hadn’t known how to tie their shoes? Lucas looked up at his mother.
She smiled. “Do you want him to help?”
Then he realized something. He did want the boy to help him. He thought he would do anything the boy wanted him to do, even ask his mom to take the training wheels off his bike (which was a big scary because he was afraid of falling and getting hurt!).
“Sit down,” said the boy pointing to the landscaping wall along the sidewalk. Lucas sat.
“What’s your name?” asked Lucas’s mother.
“Dalton Churchill. Like Winston Churchill Only it’s Dalton.” He smiled and Lucas knew Dalton was the most beautiful boy on the planet.
“Who’s Winston Churchill?” Lucas asked.
Dalton shrugged and got down on his knees before Lucas. “I don’t know. I think he’s a minister. Okay now first you pull your laces up and then cross them over, like this.” Dalton demonstrated.
“I can tie a knot,” Lucas said, wanting very much not to look like a dope in front of Dalton. Then he frowned. “It’s the other part I get mixed up on.”
“That’s cool,” Dalton said, tying the knot. “Okay…. So here’s the tricky part. First you make a loop and stick it up so it looks like a tree—see?”
Lucas nodded. He wasn’t sure the upward turned loop looked much like a tree, but he wasn’t going to tell Dalton that.
“Then you take the other lace and wrap it around the bottom like this—like a dog running around the tree.”
Lucas smiled. “My neighbor has a dog. His name is Super Mario.”
“That’s a great name,” Dalton said, laughing.
Then he finished showing Lucas how to tie his shoe.
“Wow,” Lucas said.
But then Dalton untied the shoe.
“Hey!” cried Lucas.
“Now you do it,” Dalton said. He nodded. “You can. I know you can. Easy.”
Lucas wanted to yell, “No, I can’t!” but he quite suddenly knew he could not disappoint the pretty boy with the beautiful eyes. He sighed. What had Dalton said about a tree? He made a loop with one of the laces.
“Just like that, but the other one. Unless you’re a south paw.”
Lucas looked up through his own dark bangs. “Huh?”
“South paw means left-handed.”
“Oh!” Lucas giggled. “I’m not.”
“Tree!” Dalton ordered—brows knitted together.
So Lucas made a loop with his shoelace.
“Yes!” Dalton said with such enthusiasm Lucas would have thought he rode down to the corner and back on his bike without training wheels. He laughed and then thought about dogs running around the base of trees. A moment later, Lucas had tied his shoe. His mother clapped.
“Yes,” shouted Dalton. “I knew you could do it, Lucas.”
Dalton walked the rest of the way to school with them. He also promised to walk Lucas to school the next day.
“I still think he’s a little young to walking to school alone,” Lucas’s mother said that night over dinner.
“I’m going to marry him some day,” Lucas said and dipping his fish stick in the puddle of ketchup on his plate and then taking a big bite.
His mother laughed. “You can’t marry Dalton,” she told him.
“Why not?” Lucas asked. Why couldn’t he?
“Because boys can’t marry boys,” she explained.
Lucas gave her a curious look. Took another bite of his fish stick. “Why not?” he asked. It didn’t make any sense.
“Boys marry girls,” she said and she wasn’t smiling now and that made Lucas feel funny. “Two boys can’t have babies. You get married so you can have children.”
“I could adopt,” he said, wondering why that wasn’t obvious. “Like your friend Angie. Didn’t you say Angie got a baby because it didn’t have a mummy to love it?”
Lucas’s mother sighed in that way that told him he should really stop. But it was frustrating. He wanted to talk about it. Today he had met the boy he was going to marry one day. He knew it.
“It’s not legal. A marriage in between one man and one woman.”
“But what if two guys fall in love?”
She bit her lower lip. “Lucas….”
“Can we take the training wheels off my bike,” he asked, changing the subject.
It worked. She laughed again. “What brought that on, honey? There’s no reason to rush.”
He nodded and stuffed the half fish stick that was left in his mouth.
“Lucas! You’re going to choke!”
“Sowwy, Mhum,” he mumbled through a mouthful of fish stick.
Why did he want to take the training wheels off his bike? Because he didn’t want to look like a little kid in front of Dalton. That’s why. It turned out that Dalton was a big kid. He was in first grade.
Because he knew what he knew.
Today he had met the boy he was going to marry.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Of course that’s not all of it. There’s more. A lot more.
But while I was writing—flying high over the fact that I was legally married—and began to wonder how other gay married men felt. I wondered if they felt as amazed and grateful and happy as me. And I asked a few of them. And they did. We were four men who grew up in a time where we never ever thought we would be legally married—to another man that is—and all flying high.
I asked them if they would want to join me in an anthology writing about the feelings we were experiencing. They did.
And so here we are, a year later and not only is it the first anniversary of the SCOTUS decision, and in celebration Dreamspinner Press has released our anthology. We’re very, very proud of it.
I hope you’ll check it out!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
B.G. Thomas lives in Kansas City with his husband of more than a decade. They’ve been married twice. First in 2005—although it wasn’t legal. They jumped the broom (as well as the sword) and were married in heart in front of their friends and loved ones. Then in 2014, they flew to Baltimore and made it legal (and couldn’t have without the help of B.G.’s fans who practically funded the entire weekend!). He can’t get enough of seeing that gold wedding band on his hand, even two years later. /react-text
B.G. loves romance, comedies, fantasy, science fiction, and even horror—as far as he is concerned, as long as the stories are character driven and entertaining, it doesn’t matter the genre. He has gone to conventions his entire adult life where he’s been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers. He has made up stories since he was a child; it is where he finds his joy. /react-text
Excited about the growing male/male romance market, he submitted a story and was thrilled when it was accepted in four days. Since then the stories have poured out of him. “It’s like I’m somehow making up for a lifetime’s worth of stories!”
Leap, and the net will appear” is his personal philosophy and his message to all. “It is never too late,” he states. “Pursue your dreams. They will come true!”
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