As one of the many individuals that got hitched last year, 2016 for me is about reflecting on what it means to be married. Part learning curve, part melding of minds, and part quieting my inner fears & doubts. Which is fair, since the journey from fiancés to husbands happened rather quickly.
My husband and I (italicized because that seemed CRAZY when I just typed that out) are both left with some lingering emotions to process:
First: “Holy crap… that happened.”
Second: “…did we do it for the right reasons?”
In the story of “The Ring Thing,” our protagonist must overcome her family history of divorce in order to decide if marriage is right for her - an obstacle all too familiar to this newlywed filmmaking couple helming the project.
As we execute this vision, our production will interweave a narrative story with dozens of interviews with real life married couples, divorcées, and other individuals in the LGBT community. Why the hell are we doing this? Because saying “I do” is the easiest and most boring part of all of this. I want the real story about what gay marriage looks like in 2016 - the good, the bad and the $500/hr divorce-lawyer version. I want to learn from those perspectives, keeping an open mind along the way.
When I was growing up, I always said I would never get married. It was an easy way for a closeted teenager to ward off female admirers, but also, gay marriage didn’t even exist. The answer was simple.
Now, the answer of what happens before and after that popped question isn’t quite so simple. What exactly does this opportunity mean for a generation that grew up never expecting to get it. What does it look like a year from now. Or three? Or forty? Just because #lovewins is trending, is it for everyone?
Clearly I’m pretty bad about sitting in the “easy-breezy newlywed” phase, and much better at the “worrying about the unknown-future” phase and thinking how complicated this sickness/health/better/worse thing could potentially get. To be pessimistically realistic, if 50 % of all marriages end in divorce, did I just set myself up for failure? What brings a marriage down in flames and how do I avoid that?
I don’t have the answers to these questions yet. Neither does my husband, neither do the character in our film. But we’re looking for them - and maybe you have one of the answers.
Will you help me with this jigsaw puzzle?