Each and every night as my brain transitions through that stage of sleep where I begin to lose muscle tone and involuntarily twitch and jerk, my wife elbows me and asks if I’ll marry her.
“I already did,” I tell her. “Do it again,” she says. This dialogue reads true for me - not because I’m a romantic, but because I really can marry her every night, and I do. As a Universal Life Church ordained minister in the state of Massachusetts, in my own words and those approved, I sleepily utter “And, now with the power vested in my by the Commonwealth, I once again pronounce us wife and wife.” It is with an inexhaustible flood of unconditional love, and the right to marry another woman I do my civic duty. To a woman, a true partner who has the power to enchant. But, this reoccurring dream just doesn’t stop at my own wedding night.
As queer female Provincetown residents, we have high hopes for more queer women to adorn the streets of Provincetown - year round. To that end, in 2016, we put our love on our own front lawn at Bride Pride, the World’s Largest Lesbian Wedding and Renewal ceremony where 106 women descended upon Provincetown to proclaim their love and tie, or re-tie the knot, during a group ceremony officiated by LGBTQ icon, comedian and activist Kate Clinton. We turned our own private renewal ceremony (we married in 2009) into an event that attracted lovebirds ages 27 to 72. Now, we’re in the midst of producing the second annual Bride Pride scheduled at the Pilgrim Monument on July 22 during Provincetown’s epic Girl Splash week, a premier summer event for women- now in its tenth year.
The Town of Provincetown stands strong and tall in celebrating the right to marry and we are LEANING INTO LOVE bigger and bolder hoping for hundreds of women to proclaim their love in front of the world! Bride Pride isn’t only an event but a story of love and hope that ties the community together and shows the color of the “gay nation” right now, especially given the current political climate. Whether you've stopped watching the news, reading the trades or snagging your internet snippets of world drama, you can’t avoid the fact that 2017 is shaping up to be a banner year for anti-LGBT discrimination. With Bride Pride, we find one of the best ways to continue to fight discrimination is to “light it” by showing and telling the stories of the women who marry. Last year, 53 couples from across the country married or renewed at Bride Pride - each with a story, each couple showing a bond of love no different than other couples around the planet. Some of those stories — loving couples who live in towns where others don’t “approve" of their relationship — blew us away. Not that we were surprised. But, angered and reminded that while it might be legal in all of the fifty “united” states, it isn’t necessarily comfortable. The day after Bride Pride 2016 (we gave ourselves a night off), we made a commitment to continue this annual celebration of love. The message of 'same love’ is a message of Love, period.
Because this grand group wedding and renewal ceremony also has an amplified human rights appeal to it this year, we’re hoping hundreds - maybe even thousands- of women will once again come to our beloved town, and in the shadow of the Pilgrim Monument (a testament to freedom and equality), profess their love for each other. We are also hoping to attract notable couples who want to become part of the story. We want celebrities, pro-athletes, news anchors, politicians and more. Our invitation is universal - we want brides from around the globe.
If more than 100 couples are married, the event will earn the Guinness Book of World Records distinction of World’s Largest Lesbian Wedding. In honor of the brides, Bride Pride will make a donation to Cyndi Lauper’s TRUE COLORS FUND, working to end LGBT youth homelessness.
The perfect backdrop for a wedding, Provincetown is filled with stories of love, equality and acceptance and is meant to be shared with lovers. What better way to say "I Do" than surrounded by your tribe in the state where gay marriage was first made legal. We’re turning up the heat this summer, refusing to be invisible and leaning into love.
Advance registration is required.
ILENE MITNICK - April, 20, 2017