Well, we’ll start off with good news… PHOTOGRAPHER BOOKED! We have picked the amazing Kevin Weinstein!!! It took about five minutes to know that he was our guy when we walked into his studio! Such a relaxing atmosphere and such a nice way to wrap up a rainy and (unseasonably) cold day! It’s always nice to pick someone who you just felt a connection with. After some back and forth about prices and budget, we realized that someone who will be capturing your day for you from start to finish is something that is well worth the money you spend! Was Kevin a little pricier than the others? Maybe a bit but with what he offers in the complete package and his personable demeanor and great “jive” with us, we knew this was the guy for the job! We are looking forward to meeting with him in a few months for a little “engagement” session (or as we like to call “Look, we lost weight before the wedding!” photo shoot)!!!
Now, onto the sobering reality of the views some people still have toward gay people. Bear in mind, this is still VERY fresh and is a complete 180 from the excitement we have over the wonderful photographer we chose for the big day.
On Saturday, October 15th, at 7:30 p.m. at Illinois State University (CJ’s alma mater), Dr. Tim was attacked for standing up against the word faggot.
The story breaks down like this: We were leaving an old bar CJ used to go to in college to go back to our hotel and freshen up when a guy approached us to ask for a lighter. As we were about to give him one, he said “Some faggot just kicked me out of the bar and I don’t have a lighter”. We both stopped reaching for our lighters and Tim said, “You know, I really don’t like that word” and the guy said, “Oh, I guess I won’t be getting a lighter from you guys” to which Tim replied, “I guess not”. The guy walked away and everything seemed fine (CJ was still a little leery).
All of a sudden out of nowhere the guy starts yelling at Tim and says, “If you don’t like the word faggot, then you must be a fucking faggot”. We tried to ignore him but then what felt like a split second later, the guy was up in Tim’s face, grabbed him on both sides of his head and head-butted him full force and threw him in the street. Now, this could have been even worse but luckily there was a red light as the street Tim was thrown in is one of the busiest in the campus area at ISU. CJ got Tim out of the street and got him seated in the grass on the side of the bar and then ran into the bar and told everyone that Tim was attacked - to which all of our friends jumped to their feet and came outside. By this point, Tim’s injuries had turned for the worse and blood was pouring from him nose, he was bleeding from his elbow and the bruises were already forming - the bar was very nice and brought him towels (see, there are still good people out there).
The part that makes us scratch our heads is that the guy that did this to Tim came back to the bar and was telling one of his friends that “That’s the guy I did it to”. CJ noticed him after the guy asked him for a lighter AGAIN! (You have GOT TO be kidding us!!!) Once, the guy realized who he was, he took off. Our friend tried to take his picture but he swatted at her hand and ran across the street into another bar. He then came back AGAIN and our other friend pretended to be a single lady who wanted to “Get to know him” - so she walked with the guy and his friend while a couple guys watched to make sure she was okay.
The whole time we were waiting for the police to show up – and they finally caught the guy behind the good ole TKE house! Besides the whole being attacked thing, the scariest part is, when our friend was walking with them to “track them” – the guy told his friend that “that guy got exactly what he deserved”.
It breaks our hearts to think that people STILL have an issue with gay people. That other people feel like they have the right to use words like faggot and think they should just be allowed to get away with it. It sickens us that, the next morning at breakfast, it felt like every straight man in the restaurant was staring at us because they wanted to attack. It makes us angry that we don’t want to be in straight bars anymore because of the hateful glare or the horrible comments that straight men feel that they can make. It crushed us that the next day our friend was called a faggot at the Bear’s game because someone felt like they had the right to say that.
We both decided that the best way to handle this wasn’t to talk to our straight male friends but to talk to their girlfriends and wives to tell them to tell their husbands that it is NOT OKAY to use hateful words. It is not OKAY to call your other straight friends gay or fag.
It has to stop. It just has to.
CJ and Dr. Tim