church. Tired of forcing those half smiles and weak nods of acquiescence. Tired of being invisible.
For this reason too, my wife and I jumped the broom as a part of our wedding ceremony. Jumping over the broom symbolizes various things depending on the culture. But in our ceremony, uniting us as two beautiful, Black women, jumping the broom symbolized the hurdle gay and lesbians had overcome for same sex marriage to be possible. When the bill was passed in New York State last year, followed by a historical public acknowledgement of same-sex marriage by President Obama, we knew our wedding became bigger than us. Therefore, jumping the broom on our wedding day symbolized not only the ancestors who were not allowed to get married as Blacks on plantations and who died to make our dreams possible; but that our union and our love for each other as Black Women will be recognized by everyone.
Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn received her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work addresses gender, sexuality, religion, and the Caribbean immigrant experience. Her forthcoming novel, Run Free, tells the story of a transgendered son of Jamaican immigrants. Nicole currently lives with her wife in Brooklyn, NY.