Photography By Benedict Evans
Adapted from Nick and Derrence’s wedding vows, read at a ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History on May 31, 2014.
When I was about to get engaged to Derrence, a friend of mine gave me some advice — some advice from a person who’s been very influential in Derrence’s life: Beyoncé. If you like it, put a ring on it. I was a little bit nervous about the wedding, but I can say one thing: I had no anxiety, no hesitation, no thoughts, no sleepless nights. I wanted to be married. I wanted to be married to Derrence.
Our wedding was a dreamlike occasion. It was beautiful. It’s many people’s dream, but I don’t think it was either of our dreams — certainly not my dream. I didn’t expect to be married. I didn’t even expect to be in a relationship. A relationship was a bonus. I was always expected to be successful, but I never really believed that I would be happy. I believed that success was going to be my consolation.
My mom was fearful — as many mothers of gay sons are — that I would just be unhappy. Alone. The extra guest at Christmas. You really don’t want to be the extra guest at Christmas. I wanted to make my own family. I wanted to make my own family with him.
Derrence is one of those people that the more you’re with him, the longer you’re with him — and this is what gives me real hope for our marriage — the more miraculous he is. He is as beautiful inside as he is outside. He is just my match. That’s it. He is my other half. He is the one I want.
I’d marry him a thousand times. How could I not marry him? It’s damn near perfect. He knows it, and I know it. Language, words — his favorite things — cannot express what I feel. That which is truly divine has no name. But I’ll try.
He is the best homeboy. And he makes for the most beautiful husband. A dreaaammm of a husband. Ain’t no nigga like the one I got. Flawless. No one comes close. He’s the realest dude I know. He saved my life, and then he changed my life. He challenges and encourages me to dream bigger dreams, ones that match the scope and depths of his. He teaches me things I thought I already knew. I’m excited when he doesn’t know how to do something, because that means that I can do something for him. Making him happy makes me happy.
It’s my pleasure, my great pleasure, to be responsible for loving him. With love like this — that offers comfort, deep companionship, mutual respect, excitement, and inspiration — it’d be easy to just shut off the world and all the senseless noise it seems to make and just seek refuge in the perfect, warm, and increasingly fun bubble we’ve been creating together. Just him and me. I love it. I love him. I love me. And I love our shit. And I love our bubble. My heart, my light, is his.