Mosquitoes, Mason Jars and Marriage in Virginia: Why I’m Now Ready for Love

By Layna Jade

Last month, I went to the wedding of one of my oldest friends. Well, technically I was in the wedding as one of her lovely bridesmaids and although there were some bridezilla type issues (ironically, not coming from the bride), everything was quite lovely.

I got to see one of my nearest and dearest be insanely happy in an amazing dress and just enjoying her day. I was honestly moved for her, especially since she and I have gone through all the things from general life blahness to our oft disastrous relationships with both sexes to her being there for me when I lost my mother and her health scares. We have seen each other from all sides, so I almost felt like things were coming full circle as I watched her descend the wooden stairs that led to the patch of earth where her groom was standing.

It was fulfilling and while I sat down by one of my other oldest friends, Rob, and partook in the glow of all the festivities, it dawned on me how simple and open love can be.

This year, although mostly dormant on the romantic love side, has challenged me in how I view relationships and my queer identity. In most of my relationships, I've always taken on the more dominant role; I was the one in control and I kept it all together. Truthfully, I never felt like I had a true partner and I kept repeating that cycle over and over.

Being a part of her wedding, interestingly enough, jarred something inside of me. Since I don't consider myself a romantic, it was quite unnerving. In fact, I would say that I'm quite pragmatic when it comes to affairs of the heart. So, for a while, I couldn’t exactly place it.

Truth be told, I haven't really dated anyone for any considerable length of time SERIOUSLY since my broken engagement three or four years ago. Of course, there was the brief-ish sojourn with the psychologist and, while that was a lesson of sorts, I can't say that I had butterflies.

Seeing how enamored my friend was with her hubby made me admit to myself that I do want to have my heart be open again. My friend once told me that while her husband was not in the package she expected, he checked all the boxes when it came to the type of partner she wanted, which made me so happy for her because she is so deserving of having that. She's probably one of the most open minded, non-judgey people that I know.

The wedding took place in their backyard, complete with handmade table decorations (which I loved), a dance floor, an open bar and amazing food. Their house is a brand new subdivision and it is ginormous; it always throws me how uncramped the rest of the world lives comparable to NYC. There was SO much space and the nuptials took place by a river that is literally a small walk from their backyard. It was absolutely perfect.

It helped me realize then, that I want to be married; I want to be seen – really seen by my future partner and supported. Through the good and bad, I want to just be present. I deserve that, which is something that has taken me a long time to admit. Hell, I felt a sense of anxiety just typing that out, but, oh well, it’s out there now!

Ever since their marriage ceremony, I have been ensconced in all things romantic across the board from books, movies… hell, even what I'm writing about for my own screenwriting projects. It is like whatever blockage that was once barricading my heart has finally given in and it is just spilling all over. Which sounds kinda gross because the only thing that flows through the heart is blood...and that sounds more morbid than poetic.

All that to say I don't even recognize this part of myself and while this doesn't mean that I'm going to start cruising for anyone or anything right this second, I'm open to something. Which is more than enough for me.

Photo: Andrew Park/Shutterstock

Layna J. spends her time writing, acting and learning how to direct. She enjoys talking about branding, life/love and having those kind of deep conversations that people often eschew until they get to know each other. A Brooklyn resident for about five years, she can't picture herself in any other part of the city. Check her out at:

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