Today is my double anniversary; 24 years since the blind date where I met my husband Gerry, and 14 years since we got married. We met on a blind date on 10 February 1996, after I placed an advert
in the ‘Lonely Hearts’ page of the Yellow Advertiser newspaper (a good 20 years before the likes of Tinder). We had spoken on the phone quite a few times beforehand and so already knew we had a lot in common. Meeting up, I guess you could say it
was love at first sight. we already knew we were right for each other.
It still feels strange to reflect on the first 10 years we
were together, during which we had no legal recognition at all; for most of it, the law considered us a ‘pretended family relationship’. And so, our wedding in 2006 was important not just because of the romance, or the lifetime commitment all couples
make to each other on their wedding day. It was important because we were finally legally recognised.
In fact we gave all our wedding guests commentative badges which read; “I’ve been to my first Gay wedding”. When I announced this during my speech, the room erupted into loud applause. Equal
marriage rights weren’t just important for Gay couples. It meant the world to our family and friends too.
At the time, of course, our 2006 ceremony was a civil partnership. But when
we were offered the chance to be legally married a few years ago, we were pleased to see this was simply back-dated to our wedding day. So, we have a wedding certificate that has 10 February 2006 as the date of our marriage.
It feels as though Gerry and I have lived through a time of enormous, positive change for the LGBT+ community. But we don’t take anything for granted. We know how easily attitudes can reverse and how rights can be taken away again. But today,
we are enjoying our anniversary; 10 February 1996 and 2006. Both were great days.