It's an exciting time to be gay. Well, it's an exciting time to be me. Feel free to grab a bucket to vom in. I am newly engaged and therefore an absolute bore to anyone who has to spend any time with me. We aren't even in the throws of planning the big day yet, we just know it's there, in the future, hanging out, waiting for us to have enough money for me to wear a couture suit and her to have white Louboutins (I am a comedian, let's hope she's patient). Also I am as annoyed as you are that we fit so neatly into heteronormative stereotypes. Don't worry we both have long hair. F**k the system.
I never thought marriage would be for me, obviously my abhorrent personality is one thing but until very recently it wasn't even an option. I hoped for it. Sure, I went on marches wearing my 'Some People Are Gay, Get Over It' t-shirt but even if the Marriage Bill went through I wasn't really that interested in something as old fashioned and 'normal' as marriage. I was also happily single. Of course, equal marriage was legalised. I celebrated by getting so drunk in Soho I forgot where I lived (Suzi Ruffell Gay Ambassador of the People). But since that dreadful hangover in July 2013 I have met someone and guys, let me tell you, I think it's serious. We have rings but also a cat and once you make that kind of feline relationship investment you know you are officially off the market for life.
I met her about a month after the Bill passed. I knew immediately that she was an amazing person/super hot. I am not gonna give you the gory details but, spoiler alert, we fell in love. Pretty hard.
I knew quite fast that I would like to marry her - don't worry, she wasn't pregnant. I just knew she was the one. This surprised me, I have always been a 'marriage is for the patriarchy, who needs a piece of paper to say they are in love' kind of a gal. Also I hated the idea of being tied down. What if I want to sod off to New York? Or live for a year in Berlin? Or shag about? A wife wouldn't be okay with that. But then with her it was different. She'd come to New York or live in Berlin or kill me if I shagged about. All of a sudden I understood what I went out marching for in July 2013, it wasn't for other peoples equality if was for my own.
Of course not everyone is happy that equal marriage exists. The Catholic church is still very concerned about protecting marriage, which seems bizarre, I am sure Johnny and Karl's big day won't make yours any less special. What do you think will happen? A cardigan of lesbians will show up (yes, that is the collective noun) and sing KD Lang while you sign the register? It has been big news in the current presidential race in the States, with the until very recent Republican candidate Ted Cruz saying gay marriage was a 'crisis' for America. I don't understand how love can ever be a crisis.
It's happening closer to home too, a little while ago in cool hipster London, the fianceé and I were on a Tube holding hands (no kissing or touching or heavy petting just sweet, innocent hand-holding, the type we did at primary school) when a man looked at us, tutted and then called us dirty, which was bang out of order as my hair was still wet from the shower. But how can I be surprised when we live in a country where our equalities minister voted against equal marriage? (shoots self in face). Our neighbours are unsure of us too, once one of them saw us leaving the flat, he looked puzzled then said "I always thought that was a one bed?!". It's worth pointing out we live in Holloway, not 1922.
These things hurt me, probably more than they should. I am a comic, I am meant to have thick skin, but when it comes to people degrading us or telling me that our love isn't good enough for marriage (of which 50% end in divorce) it hurts, I am all of a sudden 15-year-old me, bullied and shamed that I am not the same as everyone else. In fairness, now I couldn't think of anything worse than being the same as everyone else. What a bore! I don't want to blend in with the crowd or start wearing beige, but that's mainly because my mother says I am too pale for it.
So I knew I wanted to marry her but then what? Who proposes? Does someone get down on one knee? Do you both cry? Do you shake on it? We don't have a set precedent that some straight couples stick to, we are making history, we are writing our own.
After two and a half years together I started making plans, saving money for a diamond, I booked a super posh restaurant. Then one night about two weeks before I had planned to ask the big question, getting into bed I was rumbled: "Are you gonna propose?". She knew, she can read me like a Kindle - that, or I need to delete my internet search history more often.
"Please don't", she asked. Ouch, that hurt! It's okay she wasn't saying no, she said she wanted us both to have a story. She didn't want it to fit into that boy/girl tradition we all grew up with. So we went out together and bought each other rings. One woman in a very posh shop was very confused about why we both needed a ring and couldn't get past the fact that we weren't gal pals looking before we send our fellas out. A few of the shops were rude, not just because we were two girls but because we didn't look rich. I was wearing trainers for goodness' sake (in fairness they were quite expensive ones). Eventually we found a little independent jewellers, the guy behind counter immediately told us his niece had a lovely wife. This is the gay version of "having lots of black friends". After trying on about 15 rings that were all nice but not us we found the right ones. He said "these are different rings but are from the same set", which seemed pretty perfect.
After an evening of champagne, cocktails and excitement (just for the record you both cry), we told our best friends and families the next day. All very happy for us. The first question is always "When? When are you gonna do it?". Oh shit, we have to plan that now. That sounds like it might be a lot of work.
Two bridezillas? Probably not. She will choose the pretty things, I will be on food and music - which will mostly be '90s RnB and hip-hop, yes it will be awkward to dance to music that often has obvious misogynistic and homophobic messages but I just can't deny a good beat.
Since we got engaged I have become more aware of people's dislike of gay marriage. Whether its my aunt's friend Gemma saying "I just don't know why you have to have the same as normal people" - nice Gemma, real classy - or the Jehovah's Witness lady at my Tube telling me she'll pray for me and my partner, you can't ignore that some people are still homophobic and hate the idea of two chicks making a vow. Obviously that won't stop us. We are planning on doing it in on a beach in New Zealand, so if the haters wanna come all that way to scowl, more fool them.