I couldn’t help but make the Lion King reference here with my featured image. Get it? Pride Rock? Anyway, I’ll just hakuna my tatas over here. It’s been a while and I’ve got much to discuss! For the sake of writing more than an entry every few months, I’ll limit this to Pride and our recent Eternal Bond ceremony.
What Pride Means
June is Pride Month, which means different things to different people. It’s a time to honor those who’ve sacrificed to earn us the limited rights we have now. And a time to refresh and renew to continue to challenge those who would deny us the remainder of them. People like my Dad seem to view others gaining rights as them losing rights. Or “where does it stop?” No one is losing rights, unless you count putting others down as rights. And it stops where it stops–no one would fight for the rights to hurt nor take advantage of another.
I’m pretty simple with Pride. I want to plaster my social media profiles with the trans flag, but I can’t given I’m not fully out offline. It reminds me that any time I try to defend trans people or rights, another eye is cast in my direction. Growing up with the way my Dad is, thinking because “there’s no gay gene” that the LGBT are demented and possessed and such? And yet still including him among the people I want to make proud, to not lose? It’s kind of a big mind fuck.
Fear prevents me from making steps to better myself. Last night I misplaced a rug when working on the FC estate. I was beside myself because I couldn’t put this rug back. Not being able to fix this, accepting that it’ll never be the same. This is the same kind of feeling I have when I stare at the number for Planned Parenthood. I could call them and get help and on the proper hormones through an informed consent clinic. But what would people think? Could I male present long enough still to keep safe in society? What if when I do start, something goes wrong?
Pride: Afraid, but Everything’ll Work Out
I can also make things so much better if I conquer that fear. Maybe I’ll find a better place for the rug. Perhaps my Dad would finally treat people right knowing how he’s been to his daughter. Nikki once gave me a shirt with a Steven Universe quote on it. “If every pork chop were perfect, we wouldn’t have hot dogs.” Sometimes things go wrong and beyond our control, and we’re left with scraps. What matters is though that we remember we can turn these scraps into something great. Maybe I can make that call and have that hot dog… or lose it. I dunno, bad joke!
I’ll try my best to rally my pride as gratitude to those who’ve allowed me the chance to be myself. And as an acknowledgement to those who live in places where they can’t. My Pride means I’ll try to live the best life I can, for myself, those close to me, and those who can’t. That all said! I’m still too nervous to make that call–even if I’d like to someday to finally have some peace of mind and to start this slow, crazy journey.
Reforge the Wedding Rings
Nikki and I have been leveling our alternate characters over on Hyperion for a little bit now. Partially as a side project to give us something else to do, and partially to be able to better step in for friends’ raids when we needed to avoid lockout. As we were leveling up, we realized that we were missing something crucially important: our wedding rings!
The amount we use these rings during hunts, quests, maps, etc. is absolutely bonkers over on Excalibur. And missing them on Hyperion made us realize just how much we’ve taken being able to readily port to one another really is when we’re more active. With this in mind, Nikki suggested that we hold another wedding–this time a free one–to acquire the rings and basically renew our vows.
Both of us had much shorter vows this time around, but meaningful all the same. We’ve been married in-game for three years now and officially together for five years. Both of us have gone through a lot of steps on our life journey and found out a lot of things about ourselves and each other. And, happily, have deepened our love and respect for one another–and maybe our knowledge of how to troll and tease the other. 😅
Eternal Bond Ceremony
Going from experiencing the fully paid ceremony to the free one is a night and day difference, despite the relatively minimal gains. You don’t get a dye-friendly dress, but thankfully Nikki was crafty enough to come up with one of her own. The music and color choices to the ceremony hall are quite limited too, but this was enough. Finally, you don’t get the two-seater mount. I didn’t think this would bother me at all, but as we’re doing maps on Excalibur I remember how cute it is riding along side-saddle. Thankfully Nikki tends to use her Moogle mount instead, and relaxing on a bench together works too.
We had one person show for our wedding out in the country, as it were. Thanks for attending, Ana! It was quite the different result from the nearly full house we had years before. With even just one person, the clapping was we walked through was heard as though a crowd was present. Both types of attendance are nice in their own way. With a larger group, you’ve got many more people witnessing and validating your bond. It feels almost overwhelming, but happily so. Chances are there might be events that happen immediately after, which could be fun. Yet with a smaller group, you still have people there for you–just without any of the feeling of obligation to keep the energy going.
I’m very glad we held this ceremony again together. And am excited to continue a lifetime of adventures with her at my side, both in Eorzea, on Earth, and beyond! ❤️