I might never have my own wedding, because I cannot dance the Electric Slide. With my cerebral palsy, arthritic hip and lack of physical rhythm, it looks like people should be hosting a telethon around me whenever I dance.
But my best friend Jon is married.
He married a cool guy named Kenn. Jon and Kenn’s wedding in Massachusetts was one of the highlights of my life, even though I never once got to sing karaoke that weekend, and not just because I got to slow dance with this really, really cute guy in pink shoes without my mom there telling me I was causing a scene.
Going to see Jon and Kenn make it legal at a huge, two-day-long megaparty surrounded by family and friends who were ecstatically happy for them said so much to me about love and all its possibility, that hearts can open up enough to accept every kind of family.
It made me want to be a groom—something I thought I’d have to abandon when I realized at 18 that there was a part of me that I’d never be able to keep hidden during a time when acceptance was in short supply.
Their wedding taught me that, like Miracle on 34th Street, putting hope in something that once seemed as impossible as Santa Claus was a powerful thing. And that being gay didn’t mean I’d have to accept a lesser kind of love or a lesser kind of life.
Miracle on 34th Street, lunatic as this may sound, taught me more about legal precedent than any John Grisham movie. And obviously I mean the 1947 Oscar-winning version that stars Edmund Gwenn and Natalie Wood, not the one with the crazy grandfather from Jurassic Park.
By the end of Miracle, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Kris Kringle is Santa Claus. And he has the mail to prove it.
Now that the federal government will accept joint tax returns from gay married couples, there is no doubt in my mind that I can be a groom if I want. (And I can marry a male to prove it.)
Weirdly, the trailer for the original Miracle – and all of the marketing for it – kept the story of what the movie was about a secret. There’s no footage of the movie really in the trailer.
Instead, a man walks around the Hollywood lot and talks to other movie stars from other movies about how much they liked it, all while saying nothing about it. The studio released it in May, and none of the promos mentioned Christmas or Santa Claus.
Of course, once it came out, Miracle on 34th Street was embraced for what it was. It was here! It was a Christmas movie! And Santa Claus is marching in the Thanksgiving Parade, proud to exclaim who he is!
Santa Claus taught me to fight for the fundamentals I know to be true. Now all I have to do is find a man who hates the Electric Slide.