One year ago today same-sex marriage became legal in the state of Texas. A day Crys and Wendy McDonald remember like it was yesterday.
“We’re like how about we just wait until Texas legalizes it,” said Crys McDonald. “We thought about it and then gay marriage happened and we were both at work, we both work at the same spot, and I sent her a message saying ‘Hey gay marriage is legal, will you marry me now?”
“I was beside myself, I was ready to go that day,” Wendy McDonald said.
Crys said she proposed to Wendy five years ago, but they didn’t think they would see the day they could legally marry.
“Part of me wanted to believe that it would come through and that we will be able to get married, but part of me was still reserved about it not knowing if it was ever going to happen,” said Wendy.
“It’s nice to know that she and I are legally partners,” Crys said. “There’s no longer confusion about taxes. Do I call her partner at the doctors office? Do I call her my bestfriend? Do I call her my domestic partner? It’s now easy to just say she my wife.”
The Reverend Mel Martinez, Pastor of the Wichita Falls Metropolitan Community Church, said growing up in Texas she knew legalization would some day happen. Now the next step is compassion and understanding.
“Some of us have had our relationships for 20, 30 years before we were able to get married,” said Martinez. “We can’t legislate compassion, but legislation certainly opens the door for us to have conversation about building compassion.”
And for Martinez and members of Wichita Falls MCC, Sunday is a day of celebration, but the events in Orlando two weeks ago still sit heavy on their hearts.
“There were a lot of folks that needed to be consoled, we needed to have some community building,” Martinez said. “We needed to be angry together and sad together and remember them together.”
Martinez said now people are ready to get through the grieving process and start advocating for one another in the community.
“All that matters is that there is no hate any more,” said Crys. “Nobody’s getting shot up, nobody’s getting beat up or killed because two women have married or two men have married.”
Pastor Mel said many people outside of the LGBT community have offered help after the Orlando mass shooting. She also said many people want to help, but don’t know how.
For more information on how you can help, click here.