Today’s Video Story was collected on the 50-state Story Tour. We met Sonja in Cleveland, Ohio. She works for Colors of Cleveland Pride, a non-profit that provides “outreach services to all lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, intersex and heterosexual communities of color, in an effort to bridge the racial divisiveness locally and nationally within these communities.” She and a few other members of CoCP were kind enough to meet with us at their offices on a Saturday where Sonja shared her story.
My name is Sonja. I’m from Cleveland, Ohio. Keep in mind that we are two people who – I’m not her type, she’s not my type. She said that she would like to marry me and I said, “You don’t know me.” And she said, “I know enough to know I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” I said, “Well, if that’s true, then you’re going to do these things.” And she completed those things, March of this year. Mhm. I never expected her to complete these things. So I didn’t expect to have to deal with the whole marriage thing. Apparently my Christmas gift will be the engagement ring and at that time she wants to ask officially on one knee and all this business. And I always say to her “Well you’re not a man, so there are no rules for you getting on one knee, and we can start our own traditions.” And she’s like, “No this is what I want to do.” So I just stay out of it. Because same sex marriage is not legal in Ohio, the closest place for us to travel is Washington D.C. so we’ll travel to Washington D.C. and then we’ll get married there. Pryor to going to Washington D.C. we have to get Domestic Partnership Registration here in Cleveland, Ohio then travel to D.C. for same sex marriage, then travel back to Cleveland, Ohio for a commitment ceremony for our friends and family that don’t get to go to D.C. and a reception. And so just the point of having to go to D.C. never really thinking of how much of a hassle it is just to come back to Ohio and not be recognized as a married couple. It’s almost a moot point when you really look at it. Neither one of us really thought of how much of a hassle it’s going to be not being able to get married here locally and having to travel and travel back and all that, you know? And a lot of people are just like, “Well you’ll already be married.” They want to be a part of the real ceremony, or whatever and I don’t know if people will be able to get off work and go there to D.C. with us, or how it’s all going to plan out. It will be better if they could, then we could just have a reception when we return.