When I started photographing weddings I had a lot to figure out, but one thing I knew for certain was that a hallmark of my business would be that it was "inclusive to a degree beyond lip service". Never would a couple find my website, flip through it and wonder "is she alright with us being gay, trans*, queer?" Inclusiveness has been woven into the fabric of everything I do since day one.
During that time I have marched the streets of New York City calling for marriage equality, written letters to congress, and sought to change hearts with loving words and kindness. I've photographed so many same-sex couples eloping to New York enjoying marriage equality since we got it in 2011 that I've lost count of how many. Many times I asked them "What happens when you go back to your home state?" and, until 2013 when DOMA was overturned, the answer often was, "We won't be married any more unless we come visit New York again," a fact that was overwhelmingly sad for me. I would press my hands into theirs and say, "Don't worry. We'll get there someday." Then we got DOMA overturned, but people still had to leave their home states to get married and have recognition on a federal level, and weren't protected state-to-state. We still said, "Close, but not yet. Someday."
Congratulations to all of the amazing same-sex couples I've photographed over the past five years, on being full and equal in the eyes of the law of our nation. I imagine this means that same-sex elopements to New York are on the decline, but I don't mind! On a personal note, this means that *I* am getting married later this year, in a country where everyone can. Equally. When my future husband and I realized this, we started crying all over again!
I am overjoyed.