loveislove

5 years ago, I learned Pride.

Excited, anxious, terrified. I was waiting for my Tinder date at the bar at Joey’s Yorkdale. I kept looking at the door breathless. The bartender made small talk - I think she knew I was nervous. A beautiful girl approached me “Hey, are you Kevin?” I don’t even remember if I said a word, or just shook my head no. The bartender laughed “You should have said yes,” she said. Ready to bail, I texted my best friend Tif, needing her to push me in the right direction. She always does. Deep breath. I look to the door. And there he was. I was now on my first date with a man.


°.°.°


I reflect often on that time in my life - when I learned who I am. But it didn’t start with smiles and fanfare. For a long time, I was self-loathing. I felt like I was lying to myself, my family, and my friends. If you’ve met me, you know I’m an open book. But I was hiding that chapter from myself. I formed relationships with people hoping to find the version of myself I thought others wanted me to be. It was killing me.


I talk forever about community, and the people that we surround ourselves with. Tif at the time was a critical part of my community. She was the only person who knew what I was dealing with at the time; she was my life line. Without her, maybe I would have stood up and left that bar. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to pick myself up off the floor when I got home that night and cried.


Love drives us. It drove me to discover who I am, and it drove Tif to support me in coming out. Support like that is what helps us self-identify, and find the courage to be proud of who we are. Slowly, I started to share my secret with my community. Looking back, I was certainly confused. I was projecting my fears on others. I was looking to be the person I thought they wanted me to be. Look at your own communities. You’ve included these people in your life because they support your decisions and love you no matter what. So when standing up and proclaiming what love means to you, why would they ever do anything but support you? Who my community wants me to be is myself.


I have an uncle who, when he learned I am gay, said “we’re here to love each other, not judge each other.” I believe that to my core. My community - my family, my friends, my colleagues, my couples - we are here to love one another. We are here to support one another. I can’t imagine who I would be today if it wasn’t for all of them. Because if I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t know love. And I wouldn’t feel safe being myself. I wouldn’t have Pride in the man I’ve become. Thanks to my community, I am happy. Thanks to my community, I love who I am. And I thanks to my community, I have Shane and Astrid in my life.  ...and Sister Margaret.


.°.°.


We left the restaurant, 5 years ago today, and went for a walk. It was snowing so softly. We stopped under a lamp post, I turned to Albert and said “here goes nothing”. And we kissed.


There was no spark between us.


But I never felt more alive.

From “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

“I suppose you are real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

“Someone made me real,” he said. “That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

William Niholson’s original illustration 

William Niholson’s original illustration 

Ceremony Music Tips

One of the additional services I offer is music for your ceremony. I get a lot of couples who tell me they have no idea what music to use! Ceremonies usually consist of 3 songs - an Entrance, a song for signing, and a recessional. But don’t forget some light music for your guests to listen to as they are taking their seats! Here are some tips I give to my couples when making these decisions: 

  • Listen to the lyrics. Its easy to fall in love with a melody, but sometimes the words aren’t so appropriate. There’s a great song out right now called “Marry Me” by Thomas Rhett that I get requests for often. Pretty song, but it talks about him drinking at the back because “Yeah, she wanna get married, but she don’t wanna marry me”. The best songs for a ceremony are about how love makes you feel about each other.

  • Think about timing. When it comes to a procession, a lot of couples want the bride to walk in to her own song. I actually encourage against this. The most popular wedding song last year was “Yours” by Russell Dickerson - put it on now. Consider the length of your aisle - usually 15’ to 50’. How long will it take you to walk at a slow pace? The song doesn’t hit its build up until 2:26. So your whole party could enter before you, and you can walk in at the pretty part!

  • Plan an extra signing song. On average a signing is under 5 minutes, but your photographer might want to slow you down for photos. Have a back up. On average a song is only 3.5-5min.

  • It’s not cheesy if it’s meaningful. Don’t over think things. If you have an idea that you love, do it. I had someone this year say “but everyone’s tired of that song”. So instead, you want to settle on something you don’t like? Choose what you want, not what others will like. This is your ceremony. I had a beautiful ceremony a year ago where they listed every wonderful love song you could think of, and we found a instrumental version of each to make it their own, and it was so perfect.

Music sets a tone. It reflects you, and connects us all. Let’s pick music that speaks to you 

If you’re looking for inspiration, follow my AppleMusic account, <a href=“https://itunes.apple.com/profile/BCausLove”>@BCausLove</a>.

 

 

One of my favourites from this year!  Dan + Shay - Speechless