So I just got back from an amazing commitment ceremony. (If you don't know what a commitment ceremony is, it's like a wedding, just without the patriarchal connotations of one. A place where the community serves as the witness instead of a church or state official) It was a wonderful event. It got me thinking that we often take these kind of events for granted. When we are able to convene our communities together, a lot of things happen.
Now let me clarify what I'm not talking about. I'm not talking about the type of events that some of us have in our families that are so excruciating, your brain slowly melts the entire time that you are present. You know what I'm talking about, when your second cousin's cousin is getting married and your mom guilts you into going. You bring your partner and together you struggle to get through comments like, "I have Mexicans that work for me that would love to live in that port-o-poty" (Real quote from a real wedding I attended).
I'm talking about a ceremony and party where it doesn't matter how you define your gender, where people get equally excited to dance to Bigger Than Hip Hop (Dead Prez) as they do for It Takes Two (Rob Base). The kind of event where every shade of skin tone is present and no-one seems to even think about it, except when I Don't Want To be a Player is on and the whole dance floor screams "Boricua, Morena, Boricua Morena".
What we take for granted about these events is how necessary they are in solidifying community. A ceremony like this is an extraordinary undertaking and completely stressful. Even if your merely attending, it can be stressful. If you are related to the people involved you definitely need a chill pill before it gets under way. But when it's all said and done, and your stomping your feet to "Real Love, I'm searchin' for a real love", you forget that your vexed about anything. If you are trying to build an alternative lifestyle and share it with people close to you, you need to take moments like this, where you celebrate and let go. It's like drinking water.
Thanks G + T. We all needed it and y'all deserve it.