At twenty-two years old, I will admit that I haven't seen much of the world. I don't know many of the things that come with age or trial and error. There is still much I am learning. How to do my taxes; how to pay student loans and rent; how to pursue what I want in life. But the most important thing I'm learning--is how to be a good spouse.
My now wife and I traveled nine hours to Washington, D.C. four weeks ago, and in front of our closest friends, we declared our love, support, and steadfastness to each other. We exchanged rings, held hands, and joined souls. Our families were not present because we both come from conservative religious households.
Our love has been a struggle. A fight. A war at times. But never between ourselves. We battle our families, our faith, and our government. Filing taxes was a formidable reminder that in the eyes of the government, I am single. Many married people choose to file their taxes separately, but I do not have that choice.
As my wife and I drove home from D.C., we were anxious about crossing the border from Maryland into West Virginia--from a state which recognizes same-sex marriage, to one that doesn't. Would we feel different? Would we feel that our marriage had been futile? We held hands as we drove across the border, apprehensive. But our love, our newlywed giddiness, and our marriage, remained.
Our marriage. It is a reminder, a beacon, a shelter. We are committed. We are bound from here to eternity. And we are going farther together, than we ever could have alone.