I told lunamoth to check the Lounge for an update, though I’m worried that this may very quickly end up more appropriate for the Politics and Society forum. First off, in general, I’m doing fine – still preparing for graduation (one semester left, yahoo!) and for job-hunting. On top of that I’ve usually got one or two auditions and one or two concerts every month, so I’ve got plenty to keep me busy. The main thing going on in my life is this: Love shook my heart like the wind on the mountain rushing over the oak trees - Sappho Scarlet Pimpernel and Marguerite St. Just are pleased to announce that they will be legally married in a private ceremony on Tuesday, the twenty-first of February Two thousand six Maastricht, the Netherlands I snailmailed this to a few members of my family in the US (with our real names, of course). I’ve been putting it off emailing it to the rest (I know email is not proper ettiquette but I don’t have snailmail addresses for everyone, besides which, overseas postage is shockingly expensive) for the same reason I’ve been putting off posting it here: fear of people’s reaction. My reason for posting it here in the first place is not to offend anyone, or to wave my sexuality under anyone’s nose, or anything like that. It is simply that I care about the people who post here (as odd as it seems to care about people one has never actually met, I do), this is an important and joyous occurrence in my life, and I want to share it. It seems ridiculous that, that being the case, I feel the need to couch my announcement in layers of apologetics. My partner and I are not trying to make a mockery of the institution of marriage. Far from it – it is because we have so much respect for marriage that we have made this decision. We love each other and want to spend our lives together, and want to publicly announce and solidify that commitment. We also want recognition of that commitment, from family and friends as well as from the Dutch government. This ceremony will not take place in a house of worship – by Dutch law a civil marriage or registered partnership must take place first, followed by an optional religious ceremony (optional from the point of view of the government, of course). As neither my partner nor I are church-goers, and setting aside the difficulty of finding a clergyperson willing to perform a same-sex ceremony, having a church ceremony would seem to be pretending to be something we are not, and ultimately more disrespectful than only having a civil ceremony would be. I fully expect some people here to be upset by this, just as I expect certain members of my family to be upset by it, or at least deeply confused. I’m not doing it, or even saying it, with the goal of upsetting you personally. Like I said, I care about the people here, and that’s why I want to share it with all of you. As a matter of fact, maybe if this starts a dialogue, that will lead to more openness and understanding.