Speaking of Women's Rights: The Sisterhood of Marriage

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Sisterhood of Marriage

By Anna McAllister

I’m lucky to have five sisters: four I grew up with, and one that came to me by love. All of us have— or are about to have— children. And all of us are in strong, loving committed marriages. Except one of them isn’t recognized by law.

Here’s another way I’m lucky: my sister Molly is also just about my very best friend. She’s got a huge, loving, generous heart. She couldn’t be a more devoted aunt to my two daughters. She makes me laugh, she cries with me, she loves and supports me always. I like to think I do the same for her.

Just about 10 years ago, Molly told me she was gay. She was married to a man at the time— but even so, I wasn’t surprised to hear the news she shared so anxiously with me. It was like a subconscious part of me had known it all along. Throughout the difficult months that followed, as Molly ended her marriage and began dating women, we reached a whole new level of closeness.

I couldn’t have been happier when Molly and April became a couple. Not just because of how great they were together, but because of how much I connected with April. Almost instantly, she became an integral part of our family. I warned Molly that we might have to keep April around instead of her if they broke up. I was only half kidding.

So naturally, I was thrilled when they decided to commit themselves to one another. And beyond honored when they asked my husband and me to lead the ceremony, our elder daughter to sing, and our younger daughter to serve as their flower girl. I had already been thinking of April as my sister for months, but on that joyous day I started referring to her as my sister-in-love.

Now, nearly five years later, Molly and April have a family of their own: a sweet and hilarious 2-year-old daughter and a son due any day. And although I have been married to a wonderful man for 21 years—and gave birth to my first daughter five years after that—I am constantly learning about the true nature of love from Molly, April and the family they’ve created together. I am so lucky to have April as my sister-in-love. Someday soon, though, I hope she can be my sister-in-law as well. 

Anna McAllister is a Pride Foundation Parent Ambassador, sharing her story in order to change hearts and minds around the freedom to marry.

Anna's story first appear at Why Marriage Matters.