So, we did it. We are engaged now, and we couldn’t be happier. As most all of you know, we share a lot of our life on social media. Not all of it, but those of you who have been following along the past three years know that we share a good chunk. That said, we decided to wait a good amount before letting social media know.
Social media has made our lives a balance act in a lot of ways. We need to find a balance between our non-social media jobs and social media. We need to find consistency in how much we share versus how much we keep for ourselves. Nick popped the question on our trip to Portugal way back in April of this year. After the initial shock and joy, we needed to have a serious conversation about how to proceed with telling everyone. Thus begins the first part of our blog series on planning (see also: surviving) a LGBT+ wedding in the age of social media. If you want to see how Nick popped the question, make sure you hop over to our YouTube channel and check out our engagement announcement video.
With the click of a camera and the quick press of a “share” button on social media, we have over 600k followers who instantly know what we’ve been up to. We love each and every person (except the trolls, but they do keep us humble) who has followed along on our journey from poor graduate students to a now newly-engaged couple. We’ve also made some wonderful friends through social media along the way, and we always so love running into you all when we are traveling or out-and-about. However, we’ve constantly had to remind ourselves and — in some ways — teach ourselves about the balance between our life outside social media and our life inside it. Think about it: how would you feel if you grew up with someone, were really close, and you found out through social media about a huge announcement? On the flip side, we also actively share our lives with so many, and we do enjoy sharing our lives with our followers.
Life is about balance, right? I mean, I’d like to balance my intake of ice cream to my intake of healthy foods, but that’s difficult! We decided we need to strike some type of balance with our engagement announcement. In the end, we ended up waiting six months before making an announcement on social media. We took our time, mostly to make sure family and really close friends knew first. That way, they wouldn’t learn about the engagement from social media. It’s a strange thing, social media, in that it really does so much to help us connect, but it also can disconnect us as well. We often think about the countless wonderful people we’ve met and friends we’ve made through social media. For sure, it helps us connect. However, with those whom we have fostered relationships with outside or before social media, it could potentially have the opposite effect. That was our thought process, at least. To be honest, we probably should have made the announcement on social media sooner (this being a mix of trying to figure out how to do it and just being some mix of either way too overwhelmed or just very lazy and watching Netflix). Nevertheless, we are so excited to share this journey with you all.
We remember growing up and thinking about marriage. When you grow up gay, especially in small towns, it’s hard to imagine what marriage will be like. There was so little representation of gay marriage in the media when we were growing up, even though so many LGBT+ heroes were championing the cause of inclusion well before we were born. In many ways, we still are acclimating ourselves to what a LGBT+ wedding will entail. It shouldn’t be different than any other marriage, right? At the same time though, shouldn’t it make a statement? Shouldn’t it be just a bit different to pay respect to the fact that so many had to fight for this right? Someone reached out to us saying that they didn’t think we should define our wedding as a “gay” marriage. We are — after all — human beings who love each other like any heterosexual couple. Marriage is marriage is marriage, sure, and it’s magical for everyone, but this is a new frontier. Social media has started to show the world that we deserve the same rights and respect as anyone else. We know that it’s difficult — especially on Instagram — to be “activists.” Sometimes, though, just being visible is a tiny protest in-and-of itself. We personally feel that — by actively referring to our wedding as a “gay” wedding — we take a stand. Of course, we don’t actively call it our “gay” wedding from day-to-day, but there is power in words. We hope that this journey will be a tiny continued protest for the work that must still be done.