It’s been two-weeks now since my man Jacques made an honest (wo)man out of me. I’M MARRIED! Officially all kinds of gay married, tho. WOW! Where do I start?! Well, once upon a time a shy southern boy growing up in the Bible Belt in Nashville hoped that one day he would meet the French man of his yet-known dreams and…. OK, OK! Not that far back! Ah, the memories of my husband and I. They are so fond in my heart, mind and soul. Here’s what I’ll share…
I met Jacques in L.A. 15 years ago this past May. I threw a big party and a dear friend brought my future husband as his guest, and the rest is history. A wonderful, loving, blessed history together. Last year we were sitting by the pool one night and he looked over at me. “I want to get married next year.” I immediately smiled and said, “Yes.” When so many LGBT were fighting for the word “marriage” back in ’08 and beyond, it was always about equality for us. We’ve been domestic partners since ’04 so our hearts have stayed as one for quite some time. There was never any rush for us. We exchanged beautiful custom diamond rings early on and called it love. Because it was.
Jacques had a big birthday in April and with our 15 years together we knew we wanted to take a nice trip somewhere this year in celebration. So the adventure became our honeymoon and Hawaii was quickly chosen as the destination. I booked round-trip tickets first class on Hawaiian Air and got amazing prices. Real cute, tho. Jacques researched our accommodations and found that staying at the exclusive Kahala Hotel and Resort would be perfect for us both. Done and done. We needed this escape so damn bad!
After calling City Hall, Jacques made an appointment for us to be wed on Friday 5/29/15. We decided to give our honeymoon the budget and had a very simple ceremony with a few close friends in Palm Springs. It was actually a perfect day, right before our LAX departure to Oahu the next day. People continually asked me if I was nervous and really I wasn’t. I knew Jacques was who I am meant to be and know that’s how he feels. I love my husband and can’t imagine myself anywhere else than by his side.
Friday arrived. Dressed in white dress shirts and dark slacks, two gay men arrived to City Hall to get gay married. (Love saying it that way!) Our dear John and Rob met us there camera in tow. Michael pulled up in his Porsche soon after. A few close friends and we were good to go. I knew I didn’t want a 20-foot train so this was perfect for us. However, waiting in the hallway I did keep repeating to people in a haste, “Uh, my train!” while moving imaginary fabric out of peoples way like they were walking on it. After some paperwork and protocol, it was showtime!
We grabbed hands and walked into the room. Very quiet room with chairs and a small garden through the window. The woman who officiated over the ceremony was incredibly sweet and approachable. We chatted a bit before going in so it was very comfortable. She began and we looked into each other’s eyes. I really don’t remember blinking and neither did Jacques. I think we were trying to hold it together. On the way to City Hall I wanted to say to him, “I wouldn’t be the man I am today if it wasn’t for him.” I couldn’t get the first word out. I was about to ball my ass off and cry the house down. I finally said it as we were getting closer. It was the truth and is the truth.
Thankfully we got through our vows that we repeated after her as instructed. Getting the rings on, he was good with me. Me on him… It didn’t want to slide on and I immediately said, “Did we get them switched?” which broke the mood. We all laughed. He had polished them and put them in a small bag for us to give back to one another. She declared us gay married and we gay kissed. WE’RE GAY MARRIED! Afterwards we took the boys to lunch at Jake’s and enjoyed some libation, good food and fellowship. I went home to pack and Jacques went to close up the office for the weekend. It could have not gone any better unless that Vera Wang to-the-floor veil had come in time. Damn, FedEx! Kidding, totes.
Saturday we got up with the roosters, gave Barney some lovin’ and pressed it to LAX with our packed bags. Blessedly, we were on TSA Pre Check which is a traveler’s bliss. The Hawaiian Air first class lounge was actually a bit whah-whah but it got us off the floor from the paparazzi forming to take our photos. Celebrities, tho! What can you do?! It’s their job. As soon as we boarded the cocktails started coming and I don’t think we stopped drinking until we landed back in Los Angeles. A guava/champagne/wine mix was the drink du jour inflight and it kept pouring. I wasn’t mad about it. We ate good food onboard and we watched movies on our tablets. I was with the man I loved and we worked the hell out of our honeymoon introduction. Trust.
Once landed, we found our rental at Enterprise. Finding our way through Honolulu, we soon discovered The Kahala Hotel and Resort to be absolutely spectacular, magnificent, special and every incredible adjective one can say. It blew us away. We valeted the car and headed into registration. The sweet gal checking us in grabbed some leis and said, “Give me your phone.” The pictures she had us pose for gave us quite a giggle. Finally after much direction from Sofia Coppola, I replied, “Ok doll, we have it. Thank you so much.” Ending this moment with courtesy but assertiveness. I get what she was doing but girl… enough. To the room, please. (I love the look on Jacques face and smile in this one photo.)
When we opened the door to our ocean front lanai balcony and the saltwater hit our faces, we were sold. It’s everything. Below our 10th floor we saw the Dolphin Lagoon where 6 in-house dolphins enjoyed attention from the guests and performed fun tricks with trainers. They were very, very rambunctious in the mornings playing together. Very excited with one another, if you will. And all male. I guess we weren’t the only gays on site. After reading reviews of screaming to free the dolphins, I saw nothing confining for them and no mistreatment. We thought they were better there than trapped in some fishing net or eaten by sharks. They seemed very happy. The ocean view from our room EVERY. DAMN. THING. I could sit there with Jacques forever.
After unpacking we slid on our flip-flops to hit the beach and pool respectively. They are so close within feet of each other. The Kahala is incredibly exclusive and private away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki Beach but only minutes from it. It was perfection! Back in our room we found champagne compliments of the resort congratulating us our honeymoon. That evening the concierge made dinner reservations for us at Orchid located inside Halekulani. Delicious food facing the ocean with the man I love. Life was good. Afterwards we headed back to The Kahala and called it an ocean breezy day.
The next few days we swam and sunned our buns. Drank tropical concoctions by the pool and found sand in between our toes at the beach. Weather wise we had sunshine, misty rains, heavier rains for a few minutes at a time and pure tropical bliss. Shopping called us to Waikiki Beach a few times but our home at The Kahala Hotel and Resort kept us secure and safe for most of our stay. Afternoon Tea at The Veranda offered a classic tea setup with sweet and savory choices while our dinner at Hoku’s gave us life! We had no agenda but to have one incredible trip with each other and get our island fever with an “Aloha” here and “Mahalo” there.
Even through the scattered clouds and overcast skies we were able to get some good color bringing a crispiness to our glowing skin only reminiscent of a true trip to the islands. Our skin peeled very little once home but it was all worth it! The final night in Honolulu a dear friend cooked us dinner which was a great way to end the weekend. Our trip wasn’t long enough but vacations never are! The adventure was so special to us.
And life A.C. (after ceremony) compared to living out of wedlock like sinning heathens before we signed the documents has gone to a new level of respect and connection. For me it’s hard to describe but the days leading up to the actual event I started having this sense of self and being with Jacques I hadn’t before. I felt the actuality of what we were doing and it felt really, really right. And we’re still gay married! Mahalo. ♥