Happily Ever After

David Valdes Greenwood goes inside a same-sex marriage to candidly show the ups and downs of domestic bliss.

David Valdes Greenwood goes inside a same-sex marriage to candidly show the ups and downs of domestic bliss.

In recent years, most books about same-sex relationships have been sociological or legal treatise on the need for legalization. While these are useful for the fight for justice and equality, they are not necessarily fun to read. In the memoir Homo Domesticus: Notes from a Same-Sex Marriage, David Valdes Greenwood has created a wonderfully readable demonstration that relationships are created out of love, not a particular mix of genders. The story follows two very different personalities from their initial meeting as grad students through a commitment ceremony, a legal Massachusetts wedding and finally an adoption. While the book is often romantic, it is also incredibly honest about the difficulties the couple faced along the way.

The story begins at the commitment ceremony of a groom who forgot his pants. It proceeds, with frequent digressions to give past history, in roughly chronological order. Unlike so many gay memoirs that seem to feel they have to be incredibly witty or sarcastic, this telling is sweet, funny, and very real. The reader will be reminded of friends sharing stories of their relationships around the dinner table. Valdes Greenwood seems to have cultivated this feeling, drawing his readers ever closer to his subjects.

Part of the humor in the book arises from the differences between the two men. The author is a self-described gushy romantic while his partner is far more stoic and pragmatic. Trying to work through these differences not only creates the humor but also the tension. As in any relationship, all does not go smoothly. Though, seeing how one couple overcame such trials is a reminder that relationships, LGBTQ or A, require work.

As same-sex relationships remain a political football for heterosexuals, Domesticus is a reminder that a loving relationship is a loving relationship, regardless of gender. For homosexuals, it’s a joyful story of lives shared.