Stephanie Donald (Left) and Kathy Collins (right) just before the ceremony.The Raving Lesbian (She’s Married!)
Stephanie Donald-Wilcox—Publisher, LGBT-Today
In a small Pagan handfasting ceremony yesterday, Kathy Collins and I were finally wed in the company of our best friends and loved ones. It was completely life-affirming and I got to be the proudest, most in-love, grateful lesbian who’s ever made it to the “alter.”
The ceremony was absolutely perfect in every way that truly counts.
Of all the feelings welling-up in me right now, the one thing that comes to mind is that of pure love for everyone who was there, everyone who watched the video on Facebook and through this article, because you care enough to want to see pure love and good feelings being passed onto you, too.
The most important and bona fide feeling yesterday was for us when our friends saw a rare sight. The Priestess, Bobbie Kilgore, who performed the ceremony put Priestess Barbara (Bobbie) Kilgoregenuine power into the ceremony and the air was charged like being at the center of a lightning strike.
The guests never knew what hit them, but each said the same thing: “I had never seen anything like it before. It was beautiful!”
Along with Schatze, the wonder-dachshund, as our maid of honor and ring bearer, the love, the environment and the power of the ceremony overwhelmed the guests no matter what creed or religion they believed in.
Bob Kunst,, the gay pioneer, an activist within both the gay and Jewish communities, watched raptly with his own husband, Doug, who had a marvelous sense of humor and grasp upon what a miracle life is. Make no mistake about it: Doug suffers from a debilitating illness, but he knows that everything that passes in front of his eyes, every new experience, is a reason for celebration of just plain, old-fashioned appreciation for the layers that humanity tries to hide itself. He’s a man who is living each moment with the wonder of a child.
Bob Kunst, gay pioneer, activist and good friend.Bob was always sort of—well—pissed-off a good deal of the time in his life, but with one look of them together, I knew Doug grabbed Bob’s attention and told him, “Wasn’t that wonderful?” to each moment they were together. You’re a lucky man, Bob and one huge sweetheart when it comes to people who have managed to breach that next circle and been taken into your family. Kathy and I felt privileged that they both took the effort to drive 8 hours from Miami to Melbourne, Florida for the event.
Another person who has my gratitude and has become my personal hero; Suzan Smithson, who loaned us the beautiful atrium, complete with a pond and several turtles—along with a wide variety of gorgeous plants and orchids, at her home only two blocks from where we live. You’re a true treasure to find in this cynical world, Suzan. Generosity was the mark of our hippie generation. I wish it still was.
There was one of those, “If you travel far enough you’ll eventually meet yourself” moments when I realized that while Kathy was introducing us from their friendship at work, it was a marvelous surprise that we had known each other at one time when we went to high school together. If I had known more about you back then, I would have definitely tried harder to be a close friend and learn from you about the majesty of life everywhere around us. Hindsight always seems to be 20/20, doesn’t it?
Through Suzan, she has a neighbor who bakes cakes and this marvelous lady (whom we never even found out her name), baked A gorgeous work of art and delicious wedding cake by Suzan's friend.the most magical cake I’ve ever seen or expected—and did so for free! We owe you a huge debt of gratitude for the love and artistry that went into that marvelous cake!
Then there was the Priestess, Bobbie Kilgore, who delivered the most powerful invocation and ceremony either Kathy or I could have hoped for.
In all this, we have become good friends with Bobbie in a very short period of time. Her generosity and spirit are unsurpassed throughout this whole pre-wedding arrangement situation. She offered her love and support to us throughout and we’re looking toward a long and lasting friendship.
Then there are those people who just couldn’t make it because of finances, work schedules or special circumstances. I still felt your love and so did Kathy. It reached across the atmosphere and found its way into everyone’s hearts.
When people think of magic, they have some distorted concept of a person waving a wand and zapping Lord Voldemort. That’s not the way real magic works.
Magic happens when you see small indications that you’re influencing your own world. Sometimes, all it takes is changing your overall attitude from negative to positive. You’d be surprised just how much your world can change when you change your thinking.
Other times, you can feel magic when everyone is thinking the same thing. Love works like that because it’s the most powerful kind of magic of all.
Even when you have relatives who are estranged, as I do with my father, daughter and my grandchildren, a tiny bit of love still poked its head around the clouds of prejudices and hatred. It didn’t come in the form of verbal or some other contact, but the Goddess knows your hearts and there has to be some love there even when they claim there is none.
My biggest and most overwhelming thought going through my head before, during and after the ceremony, was that we never expected to be given the right to publicly declare our relationship legally. Even when this miserable little clerk had a hissy-fit when we asked for a marriage certificate, we were compensated by a lovely clerk who had love and understanding seeping through the window at us.
So I present our handfasting to the world. May it fill you with some of that love that’s absolutely magic and froze one perfect moment in our lives on one perfect day.
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