One of the responsibilities of coming from a middle class background is that you rebel. I rebelled against the status quo, I embraced Afro-centrism in my early twenties. I got rid of my perm, grew out my dreadlocks, and changed my name. I went Afro-centric for a number of years, and I did not date white women because I knew that black on black love was revolutionary. But I still had white friends, and so my white friends would periodically try to hook me up with people and I was like “I’m not dating white, I mean really!” but as it happened there was one very persistent friend who worked with Sandi. She was throwing house parties and people would come over and we’d play cards and just hang out regularly. We had a good time, but at one of these parties she insisted I go to the airport to pick up this friend of hers that she kept telling me about and so I thought okay, “I’ll go and pick this woman up.” I rolled up and I will never forget, she was dressed all in black and her red hair was illuminated under the spotlight, so she was like this red beacon. It was pretty immediate for me that the chemistry was there. I knew I had met my soulmate and I was ready for her when she showed up.  That is the key for happiness.

“We knew we were creating change.”

Sandi herself is much more of a romantic than I am. She sees marriage very much as a sanctified bond, while I had determined early on in my childhood that I was not interested in getting married. Most relationships I saw seemed very unbalanced and I found that problematic and was therefore not interested in getting married. Of course, now I think that part of my disinterest was because I was not that into men. So when Sandi and I decided to get married it was revolutionary. We were going to change the world. We jumped the broom and then got a civil union in Vermont – the first year that were able to do so. But we were very consciously, revolutionarily married and knew that we were creating change, encouraging change, and committing to whatever it would take to make sure everyone had equal access to whatever they might want to have. Of course, Sandi’s view of marriage has absolutely become our reality, and I am delighted that it has.

Fish Out of Water