Jos76’s Blog

Thoughts and musings on life in a gay marriage.

Archive for the ‘The Past’ Category

One last question

Posted by jos76 on February 2, 2008

I began a new job back in September of 2007. I have been teaching mostly middle and high school for the past ten years, but this new teaching position is in an elementary school. A whole different ball game. I am teaching first though eight grade in a small suburban independent school after having spent the past six years in a public charter school in the city. I could go on and on about the differences, but to be honest, financial situations aside, there are not a lot of differences in the kids. I have found that kids really are kids no matter where they are or how much or how little they have.

One thing that I was dreading when leaving my former school was not seeing my great colleagues/friends everyday. As I mentioned in a previous post, Dac and I are particular (luckily we can be) about where we work in that we have come too far with our relationship to have to hide it from anyone, so we have had the luck of taking positions where we can be out and respected. This was definitely the case for me in my previous school.

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When interviewing for my current position, I asked one of the administrators (the tenth and last one that I had met with that day) if I could be frank with her. She said yes. I said, “I’m married to a man. How will that go over in this school?” She turned to me and simply said, “We don’t put up with any nonsense around here.” She said that she was honored that I had asked her this questions. She was wearing hot pink and white striped pants. I figured anyone who was comfortable wearing pants like that understood what it was like to be different, so I took a shot. Nothing but net!

Jos76

Posted in Friends, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Costco is no place for kids

Posted by jos76 on January 30, 2008

In case you have been wondering why the blog title is Jos76, it is because I was born in 1976, when Gerald Ford was president (I just had to look that up. Do you know who was president when you born?) and disco was all the rage (that I knew). If you haven’t done the math yet, I’ll save you some time, I’m currently 31 (as of the writing of this post). This means that last year I had to turn 30. I didn’t see it coming. One day I realized that my 30th birthday was coming up in about four months. I decided that I wouldn’t talk about it much in hopes that no one would realize it. But, wouldn’t you know it, Dac and our families were well aware of my up-coming birthday and wouldn’t let it go by unnoticed.

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It came. I turned 30. Nothing changed. I had already seen my brother turn 30. I attended a few 30th birthday parties prior to my initiation. Dac’s brother and his wife both had big parties and yelled their age from the rooftops. I figured that if they could do it, so could I. I was just not going to gather people to make sure that they knew. I was fine reaching the third decade of my life, but if others wanted to be informed they were going to have to figure it out on their own.

Dac is heading toward his initiation into the third-decade-of-your-life club in a few months and he is not yet sure if he wants to celebrate it or mourn it. We both work full-time professional jobs, pay a mortgage, vacation about once a year, contribute to our retirement funds, and stock-up at Costco. I’m not sure what wild and crazy 20-something lifestyle Dac is trying to hold on to, but I say that we pull him over the line with dignity and grace, whether he wants to come or not.

Jos76

Posted in Family, Friends, Fun, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

My three sons

Posted by jos76 on January 19, 2008

I truly believe that our healthy gay marriage/relationship/existence has a lot to do with our parents.  Once they clearly expressed their feelings of acceptance, others followed their lead, especially given their respected roles in the family.  I understand that not every gay person has this privilege.  However,  I can’t underestimate how important it has been for us to have parents who take their parenting responsibilities seriously and support Dac and me in our mutually-supportive relationship

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A great example of this came about one day a few years back when I went to meet Dac’s father at his office.  I went into the large engineering firm, went up to the receptionist in the lobby and asked her to call up and let Dac’s dad know that I was there.  She asked who she should say was here. I said, “his son-in-law.”  She called, got his assistant and let him know to pass on the message. 

My father-in-law told me when he came down that his young male assistant said to him, “Your son-in-law is downstairs.  I thought you had three sons.  I didn’t know you had a daughter.”  To which he replied without a second thought, “I don’t have a daughter, but I do have a son-in-law.” 

Another unsuspecting person unwittingly influenced by those who support us the most.  And if the boss says it’s okay, it’s okay.

Jos76

Posted in Family, Friends, The Past | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Raise your right hand and repeat after me.

Posted by jos76 on January 16, 2008

If you read my previous post, you know that my partner, Dac, and I have the same last name.  It is always fun when people find out.  It seems like someone new finds out every day.  I began a new job last month, so I am still enjoying the shock on people’s faces until I get to the part of the story when I tell them that we are certainly not related.  Most people assume that one of us changed our name when we got married.  We always respond the same way to this inquiry, “We both came this way.”

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We were a little concerned when we went to get our marriage license.  We live in Massachusetts so we went about getting the license in the traditional way at the city hall.  We wondered at first how they would treat a gay couple.  No one was alarmed.  Over 4,000 gay couples had been married in the state before us.  But still, a little shock and awe would have been appreciated.  I digress.

Once we were past the initial “we are two men and we want an application for a marriage license,” we were a little concerned with the clerk wondering if we were in fact related (though we could not look more different than one another).  We thought about bringing our birth certificates, but, get this, both of our mothers are named Denise.  So, essentially it would almost prove that we brothers (well, half-brothers because our fathers’ names were different).  We chanced it with nothing but a wish and a hope in tow.

The clerk looked a bit concerned so we made a joke.  She was not amused.  She pulled out a sheet of paper with a list of all of the people that you can’t marry in the state of Massachusetts (brother, sister, mother’s brother, father’s cousin, etc.).  She asked us both to raise our right hands and read it aloud and swear that we were not blood related.  We did.  We waited for the two days (the mandatory waiting period) and got the marriage license.   And then came the wedding preparations…stay tuned!

Jos76

Posted in Family, Fun, The Past | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

I’m gonna need to see some ID.

Posted by jos76 on January 16, 2008

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Remember back in the late 90’s when everyone that had a free email account (yahoo, hotmail, aol) saw all of their information displayed in the recipients email in-box?  I remember seeing the senders full name and various other pieces of information at the top of every email that I received.  Now, we wouldn’t be caught dead providing that type of information at random on the Internet (said Jos76 as he cautiously chose his year of birth to include in his blogname.)

But, had we not been freely given this information, my partner, Dac, and I would not be together today.  I posted a profile on love@aol (remember when we used to access the Internet through aol dial-up?) back in 2000 and Dac responded to it, claiming that he saw that I was Portuguese (and French Canadian) and decided to reply because he is Portuguese as well.  When I received his third email I noticed in the freely-provided information from hotmail that we had the same last name.  “Oh great,” I thought, “just when I meet someone that I really like I find out that he is a cousin or something!”

I mentioned it to Dac and he did not believe me at first.  In fact I had to show him my license on our first date to prove it to him.  No worries.  We are not related.  It turns out that my grandfather had changed his last name when he moved here from the Azores, so though we have the same last name now, we don’t have the same heritage.  Thank God!  What would our children look like?

Jos76

Posted in Fun, The Past | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Thoughts on an old Portuguese lady

Posted by jos76 on January 14, 2008

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We all hear differing political views on gay marriage. Most (if not all) Democratic Candidates support some form of Civil Union, where Republicans are quite opposed to any recognition of a same-sex union.

It’s difficult sometimes to be driving to work and listening to the radio and hearing rich white men say that I am not equal to them and thus don’t deserve the same rights, “privileges,” and respect that they do. Unfortunately, they may be the ones to decide this issue for us. Though my partner and I are legally married in Massachusetts, we question if it will ever be recognized federally.

Just when I get a little down in the dumps about what might come about politically I usually get a reality check. Just yesterday, several anniversary cards arrived for me and my partner. As I mentioned in the previous post, we don’t tend to celebrate these milestones, but at times our friends and family do. One of the cards that arrived was from my partner’s 83 year-old traditional (Catholic even) Portuguese grandmother. The card read: “On Your Anniversary…You’ve believed in each other, trusted each other, treasured each other and it’s brought you to another beautiful year shared together in love.”

This from a women who was married for almost 60 years. Her blessing, recognition, acceptance, and respect are what essentially validate our marriage. Now, if we could just get her on the Democratic Ticket (Though like most traditional old Portuguese ladies she probably votes Republican…go figure!).

Jos76

Posted in Faith, Family, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

2 down, 48 to go!

Posted by jos76 on January 14, 2008

Wedding Cake

My partner and I are celebrating our second wedding anniversary today. We live in Massachusetts so it’s the real legal kind of wedding anniversary. We have been together for seven years and we don’t usually make a big deal about celebrating the milestones (in fact neither of us said anything about it this morning when we left).

We are proud of our two (actually seven) years together, but last night we were invited to a 50th anniversary party for a couple that we know very well from our church. There were about 60 people there and as we looked around we saw a very eclectic group. We were the gay couple (younger than the couple’s own children). We were so proud to be invited and enjoyed being the presence of such an accomplishment.

When saying our good-byes, they said to us, “Congratulations on your anniversary tomorrow.” They added that it won’t always be easy, but it is so worth sticking it out. If a Protestant New England heterosexual couple married for 50 years can talk to us like we have the “same” marriage that they do, there is hope for the rest of the world (and maybe even the Republican Candidates).

Jos76

Posted in Faith, Friends, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Jos76’s life in 350 words or less!

Posted by jos76 on January 14, 2008

I spent some time in a Mennonite boarding school in Pennsylvania when I was in high school. Suffice it to say that as the resident gay kid I learned to have a thick skin. I never personally felt that my faith and my sexuality were in opposition to each other, but I constantly heard how evil the “homosexual lifestyle” was.

I graduated from high school in 1994 and went on to a large state university where I tried to fit in, but quickly realized that I was way more religious than I had thought. I spent my sophomore year in France where no one wanted to listen to any kind of religious banter. I quickly realized that churches in France were just pretty museums that tourists appreciated more than French citizens did.

Once I graduated from college, I went to live on Cape Cod where I also taught for four years. I had a really rewarding experience with a group of colleagues that taught me that I could be openly gay (and even date at times). I took them up on it and eventually met my partner, through and online dating site.

I don’t think my colleagues saw it coming, but I moved off of Cape Cod to be with my new boyfriend. During our first date we had a quick conversation about whether or not we wanted to be together exclusively and we both agreed. We have been together ever since. We were together for five years when we decided to get married two years ago.

We both have very interesting families and friends that always keep us guessing. In these postings, you will be introduced to many of them and will come to see the experiences that we have as a young (can we still say that at 29 and 31 years old?) gay couple. Stay tuned.

Jos76

Posted in Faith, Family, Friends, Fun, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »