Flower petals arranged in the shape of a heart on a white plate, resting on a natural wood surface, with a natural blanket nearby

Oolie Loves Love: A Personal Pride Story

Summer is finally upon us! As an LGBTQ+ ally, this is my favorite time of year: Pride Month!

Pride Month is a time to celebrate love and honor those who have sacrificed, fighting for the rights of others. For me, Pride is about being vulnerable, reaching out, connecting, and celebrating the freedom for LGBTQ+ people to be their authentic selves.

Personal Pride

This Pride Month is especially meaningful to me, as I’m celebrating my brother, Matt, and his husband, Patrick, for the first time as a married couple.

Just ten years ago, I wasn’t sure if they would ever have the right to marry. Around then, voters in my state had rejected an amendment to ban same-sex marriage, after 30+ other states had passed similar legislation.

I still remember where I was on June 26, 2015, when the Supreme Court struck down all bans on same-sex marriage.

When we heard the news of the Supreme Court decision, I was filled with so much hope, joy, and — well — pride. This entire group of historically marginalized individuals — including my brother! — finally had the same right to marry as heterosexual couples. Love won.

Personal History

Matt and I have always been close, despite the years between us. As his big sister, I’ve been very protective of him. He has faced so many challenges in his young life, through no fault of his own. There’s pain in knowing that certain things will be harder for him simply because of who he is, and there's nothing I can do to protect him. Even as a child, this pain motivated my support for all marginalized communities.

Flower petals arranged in a rainbow on a white background

When Matt first introduced me to Patrick almost eight years ago, I could tell they had something really special. Patrick became an instant brother to me, and an uncle to my three children. I've seen their relationship grow and evolve through cross-country moves, career changes, and the adoption of the best puppy ever, Dex! 

Last weekend, I had the honor of attending their wedding. The ceremony was beautiful in every way, held in a park and officiated by one of their best friends. While it was an intimate celebration of their commitment to one another, I found myself caught off-guard by how moved I was. I'm not the type of person who gets emotional at weddings, but you wouldn't know it by my reaction that day! My heart swelled with joy as they committed to their lives together — officially— surrounded by the family of friends they have cultivated in their shared lives together.

In many ways, Matt and Patrick were already a married couple. But hearing their vows, watching the exchange of rings, and signing the marriage certificate felt so right — natural, real. And, rightfully, legal. Matt and Patrick have made each other so incredibly happy, creating the kind of happiness people spend their whole lives searching for. I am so excited to see what the future holds for them.

Families & Love

Families come in all shapes and sizes. So what makes a family, a family? Love.

Love is love. And all love is to be celebrated.

So this Pride Month, let’s celebrate love as we continue to work towards a world of true and complete equality for everyone, today and every day.

Happy Pride!

—Brittany Mathiowetz

 

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