On March 5, 2012, a (then prospective) client reached out to me, in an initial inquiry saying, in part:
“…just wanted to be up front but, we are having a same-sex wedding and wanted to let you know beforehand so there weren’t any awkward surprises if that was something that you were not interested in doing. :)”
I remember feeling the weight on my chest, sitting at my desk, reading this — like a ton of bricks — and becoming newly-aware of the minefield of judgement that same-sex couples brave.
I replied that the entire Something New Entertainment family had an
“extremely sincere desire to help couples of all gender makeups to celebrate their unions in the way that best expresses their joy… we’re passionate about civil rights, and we’re not shy about it!”
Well — we’re still not shy about it. We’ve worked with quite a few same-sex couples, in the past, and we plan to work with a lot more, in the future, now that the recent SCOTUS ruling has granted legal recognition to these couples.
(By the way: for the couple, above, I later officiated their beautiful and touching handfasting ceremony, designed lighting for their venue, and MCed their wedding reception. It was an honor and a delight to work with them. But — though they married in another state some time ago — their marriage wasn’t recognized as “real” by the State of Ohio until last week.)
You know what? State recognition does *nothing* to help the social scorn these couples can face, under the wrong circumstances. All for the privilege of being allowed to spend their money, during wedding planning. That hurts. It’s unpleasant, and its scary. Planning a wedding shouldn’t be a fearful process; it should be a joyful one.
That’s why we’ve created The NEO Rainbow List, a resource for LGBTQIA couples to identify Northeast Ohio Wedding Professionals who feel the same way we do about your Northeast Ohio LGBTQIA wedding.
We’ll still be publishing wedding pro interviews as part of our carefully-curated Vendors We Adore list, but The NEO Rainbow List will be comprised of ANY local wedding-related vendor who requests to be added. So, while we may not be able to answer detailed questions about style and experience for each and every vendor on The NEO Rainbow List, it will serve as a reference list — a safe zone for equitable treatment — free from fear of discriminatory practices, and we will continue to hope that one day, such a list will not be necessary.
This effort is not a comment about “corporate rights,” but about creating network of colleagues who I can feel confident about referring to my LGBTQIA couples without fear.
If you are a business owner who feels comfortable joining with us to publicly note your open arms and open doors, please contact love@SomethingNewEntertainment.com, if you’d like your company to be added, and we will be delighted to include you.