creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

Friday, November 26, 2010

We Are Gathered Here Today...

As this is a national time of sharing gratitude I feel moved to give a very heartfelt thanks for the love of my family and friends. I usually might have climbed aboard my soapbox to point out some particular hypocritical or idiosyncratic elements of the holiday that have evolved from its origin to now, but I think we all sort of get it by now, right?

Last month on the auspicious day of 10-10-10, I was most honored to serve as the officiant for my younger sister's wedding. I was touched that they trusted my judgment to help create a ceremony that fit their character, held surprises, and made the already special day even more memorable for them. Their day ended up being practically perfect in every way. I have never seen my sister happier, glowing in fact. So many members of the family came together to make it work well and I was glad to have contributed my part.

The process of helping plan, organize, and give fresh perspectives for weddings is a type of creative consulting. I served as Man of Honor for one of my dearest friends several years ago, followed by being the Wedding Planner/ Stage Manager for two other dear friends, and offering up advice for rituals and unique twists for several other weddings. In a way, a wedding is really a type of theatrical event, one that focuses on the union of two co-stars, supported by a fancy dressed supporting cast, conducted/directed by an officiant, and with an audience of family and friends cheering them on. This metaphor was utilized for my sister's wedding, which took place on the outdoor Festival Stage in City Park, Iowa City -- but we had all the family members sit onstage instead of the audience seats, so they would be closer, more connected, and playing supporting roles.

Even though men of the cloth have a historical precedence of being gay, I wouldn't have served as officiant if Iowa had a ban on gay marriage. Fortunately though, in April of 2009 the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage, so my heart felt clear to participate. However, Iowa is still in a hotbed of controversy over the ruling and three Supreme Court Justices were ousted during the recent elections.

I feel very fortunate that my family accepts me for who I am, and that they were comfortable and confident to chose me for the role. It is truly a shame that religious dogma and ignorance can come between families, and that this whole controversy still rages on. The timing of my trip home was not lost on me, as the nation woke up to the reality of gay suicides, I was reminded of my own challenging teenage experiences. While I can agree it gets better, I feel the more appropriate sentiment is that I got stronger, bolstered by the support of gay mentors and friends. I am so grateful for the love and support of my family, and pray that in time more and more families will come to love, understand and accept all of God's children.

Thursday, November 18, 2010