The first time I referred to Ebert as "my husband" to another person was the day after our wedding. He had accidentally locked us out of our hotel room so I went down to the front desk to get another key. As I'm telling the front desk person why I needed a new room key I remember pausing before saying the words "my husband…". In fact, I may have even stumbled a little on those two words, then quickly recovered on "locked us out of our room". I felt nervous and a little scared saying it out loud for the first time- it was as if in that moment "shit became real" for me. I don't know why it was in that moment exactly and not the day before, maybe because up until then "husband" was just another word in the dictionary without any particular meaning to me…but now it meant something. It meant that from then on there would be one person in the whole world who would always love me and who I would always love in return.
Then, all of a sudden, that nervousness turned into this immense feeling of joy, happiness, and excitement! It was thrilling to think about the journey we were beginning together- not only as husband and wife- but as two people fully committed to one another.
And that's why the issue of marriage equality is important to me. Everyone should have the same opportunity to experience that first thrilling moment of referring to the person who makes your heart sing as "husband" or "wife" - and all the thrilling weight those words carry.