STORIES: DeAnna & Paula

Paula and I will be celebrating 12 years as a couple in March. We are soul mates & best friends. We met at work, became good friends and supported one another through some rough times. Then one day we realized that we were in love. We both had been with men and did not think we were gay until we found each other. For us, it was not about a gender but a person who we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with. We were hiding our relationship for a while due to the fear of facing discrimination or losing friends.

My father is gay and was hiding it for many years which kept him from being himself. My aunt on my mom’s side has been with her partner for over 25 years and it was not to be talked about. I learned that I needed to lie or avoid discussing my feelings for the wonderful woman in my life. Finally, we started talking to people and sharing our love with others. My mom and I lost touch for months because of this, but my grandmother, brothers and most of Paula’s family just wanted us to be happy.

We already considered ourselves family for years since we had our home together, shared finances, furry kids, and had drafted our wills to take care of each other if something would happen. But, we still wanted to be married. In April of 2009 everything changed. Thanks to the Iowa Supreme Court, we could finally plan our wedding! It was fun planning our big day with my aunt and her partner who were also making plans for their own wedding. I think it brought us closer and was a very exciting time for all of us. We were all in a state of disbelief that we could actually, finally, get married.

Our big day was August 8th, 2009 in our back yard. It was six days before my 38th birthday and a day we both will never forget. We had 96 people share in our day…96! It was very hot that day, 98 degrees and sunshine. The wedding was beautiful and the reception was awesome. Family, friends, food, drinks and fun! Tents in the driveway for some shade but it just wasn’t enough to cool the crowd down. Our guests grabbed some of the plastic tablecloths off the tables, hooked up the garden hose and lathered up in dish soap…how many weddings have you been to that there was a slip ’n side? We still chuckle about that when talking about our nuptials.

We live, we laugh and we love! That is why our marriage matters!

Thank you Iowa,
MRS. DeAnna Comstock

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