I wrote the piece on Jeff Rhorer to fill in the gaps for anyone struggling with their own sexuality or for those who simply don’t understand. There are plenty of us, gay or straight, that are confused and disconnected by such a CHANGE! In 2018 there seems to remain humans who are totally lost on how to cope with what seems radicle. It’s my hearts desire for his-story, their modern family story, to give people hope. It’s my prayer that when faced with such CHANGE that we should all choose LOVE! Love doesn’t make it less difficult but it does little by little mend broken hearts and men broken families and heal strained relationships. LOVE WINS!
Phase one was the realization that Jeff is gay. Phase two was meeting his partner Josh Ross. Phase 3 is the crescendo and before I get there I wish to address my faith and Phase 3.
What would Jesus do? HE would LOVE! Jesus is LOVE. I’m very outspoken about my christian faith and beliefs. As a Christian it is my belief that the term “marriage” is biblically speaking between and purposed for a man and a woman. That being said, I also believe that being attracted to the same-sex is a not a choice, that it’s a built-in “born this way” inherent trait that is NOT WRONG!
Now what I’m about to say may not sound or be popular (and could potentially open myself up to criticism) but as a Christ follower I have to say it! Being gay is NOT a sin. It’s not morally wrong. It’s no different from heterosexual attraction. Sexual sin is committed when two people act on their sexual desires outside of the confines of marriage according to God’s word. Sin can be committed as a homosexual or heterosexual. Anyone who has ever had premarital sex, extramarital affairs, or experienced lust has committed sexual sin. God’s word says to refrain from sin (in all areas) as much as possible. The word of God is clear. What goes on in the mind or bedroom of any human is between that person and God. Not me and God. Therefore, my role as a christian is to LOVE!
Mr. Chicken Fry and I had over four and half years to process and encourage Jeff through his coming out. Aside from casual conversations with mutual friends who were also “in the know,” we courteously kept this tight-lipped and to ourselves. Not because this extra enlightenment needed to be tight lipped necessarily but for the basic reason that it really isn’t our story to tell.
This being said, had a strong inclination that a union was on the horizon! I started preparing my wardrobe for the exchange of wedding vows all of nine weeks ago! Oh Snap! Check out my short solution for my packing debacle.
But for some…the impending news bulletin would send shock waves in and around Dallas, Texas. The Wednesday before the grande wedding weekend the announcement hit the World Wide Web! Jeff and Josh’s wedding would make Jeff the first NFL football player to be in a same-sex marriage.
To many in and around Big D that knew of him or personally knew Jeff, this ground breaking headline was a double jaw dropper! People were in discovery and total disbelief! Chicken Fry’s phone was blowing up! Facebook messages and more were filing into his inbox and my hubby was a direct dial phone a friend from guys all over the metroplex.
These past acquaintances or sports fans had no knowledge or speculation…they were in phase 1…the news of Jeff’s sexuality and his plans to marry a man hit the news all heck broke loose. Mr. Chicken Fry gingerly responded to texts, calls and emails with the verity that in fact, “nothing has changed!” Speaking Jeff’s truth and wisdom to those who were puzzled.
Josh and Jeff’s wedding made national news because it was a historical event. Years from now Jeff Rohrer will be remembered for “a lot” and one of which will be the undeniable fact that he is first NFL football player to be in a same sex marriage. His coming out was even bigger than he or we could have imagined.
So, we packed 6 bags between four of us! Ladies and Gents..twas time to get groovy! We took a laggard plane ride to sunny Califorina to witness and stand by the family during this momentus celebration. Being present in the moment, watching our friends exchange their committment vows and devotion, was completely fluid and natural. (unlike my pose in this pic) Ya’ll..I’m wearing a hand-me-down Herve Ledger! What’s unatural is the weight of the dress. It’s almost unbreathable tight and weights about 10 pounds on it’s own. NEVER AGAIN…but I did it/ wore it for Josh. Josh wanted all the glitz and glam a formal wedding should be. I dolled the girls up in formals from Lulu’s boutique and don’t they look spot on charming?!?! Chicken Fry is wering a suit from the Men’s Warehouse in case ya wanted to know!
Jeffrey and Joshua Ross married last Sunday afternoon. At the top of the Wattles Mansion surrounded by family, friends and FLOWERS GALORE.
The wedding was stunning! The weather could not have been more cooperative. The grooms were quite dapper in midnight blue tuxedos designed by Ferragamo. Isabella sang the Elvis classic yet melodic “Fools Rush In.” She was decked in a gold sequin gown that fit her 15 year old frame to a T! Behind Jeff stood 14 year old Don Dillon in a traditional black tux and a grin! Each child in support of this special occasion.
Following the ceremony, Josh and Jeff shook hands as they marched off for family photographs. The champagne popped, drinks were pored, decadent food was served and the Nosy strummed guitar!
Eventually the cake was cut and I dove in as fast as I could because my motto is…ALWAYS EAT THE CAKE!
Speeches for Jeff and Josh were observed. Sentiments from the heart of close friends ranged from well crafted tearful talk to sweet off the cuff candor with unintentional tears mixed with humor. It was an intmimate showering of joy and laughter. The unique stories of growth and change in both men were inspiring and precious.
This is a quick 3 min speech from Mr. Chicken Fry himself.
Last up was a beautiful serenade surprise by the ever so multi talented Jeff Rohrer. He began to strum the guitar and speak into the microphone. Choked up with a rattle in his tone he said…”This song goes back to a time when Josh and I had been dating for a while. I write songs in the garage at night that no one ever hears and this is actually one of them…it’s called, “Don’t let the rain burn ya baby!” It’s a coming out song!”
It’s a trip. The song speaks volumes about the turmoil that was building under the surface. Listening to lyrics I firmly believe that God brought Josh into Jeff’s life for a very specific purpose. It’s much deeper than just their truth and happiness. It’s multifaceted like a onion with layers and layers.
Heather had laid the ground work so Jeff could open up and free himself. Josh came along and over time pulled Jeff out of shame. Josh along with Heather’s genuine support have moved Jeff into a healthy place. With the teenages on board and plenty of open communication this modern family is doing it.
Heather, Jeff’s ex-wife, proudly admits that their new modern family has glaringly benefited from Josh’s health concious mindset. He’s got everyone eating better and living a more wholistic balanced lifestyle. As well, Josh is kind, generous and cherishes his new title of STEP DAD! He’s game on and completely present in the teens activites.
Once the wedding was over Chicken Fry and I dropped the girls and met friends for dinner and drinks at PUMP. LA’s sexiest restaurant. YALL this place was so funky and delicious. The whole place was wall to wall awesome with quaint nooks of seating. It’s a must if you are in the area! The food was devine. I had the grilled salmon and Chicken Fry had a burger…go figure. I bought a hat..so sue me!
We ended the night with a dance party and a night cap next door the ever so popular ABBEY! It was such fun from start to finish a classy, sassy experience.
The wedding was just one of three back to back parties of festive music and dance. We saw old friends laughed and caught up. I also mingled and enjoyed new friendships. Like NOCY! Yall this guy is one of a kind guitarist. You have to hear it to appreciate it.
Friday night was an intimate gathering of family and a few friends at the Palihouse roof top and bar. It was there we met most of Josh’s family and close friends. Josh surprised Jeff with Gaga’s smash hit from A Star Is Born. “Always remember us this way”. It was a power house emotional song that brought the house down to tears. It was a unforteggable night and the beginning of countless sentimental moments of the weekend.
The food at the Palihouse was so fresh and super healthy. It right up my alley. Look at these wedges would you!!
The next night was a good ol haute couture country hoe down at Sunset Ranch complete with horseback rides to and from the famous Hollywood sign. Presley and her friend Kinsey saddled up on the pronto with the dirt stains to prove it. The band played and the tequila bar went dry. More speeches more music followed by an impromptu after party at the Lowes Hotel. Nocy never stopped strumming and added so much energy to the night.
The Yale MUG! This mug was borrowed, so I was told, from THE YALE library for Jeff’s wedding. It will hold an entire bottle of wine and was cautiously governed by the lender. In salute, we all took turns mocking sips from this heavy hunk of tin. It smelled of saliva and wine but when in Rome right?! How often do you get to sip from an authentic ritualistic cup of old from YALE??
Everyone did it up right and dressed accordingly in there best Cowboy duds. We kicked up our heels and danced in the dirt to the band that played for two hours. The barbeques Texas buffet style grub was out of this world. The beans, the chicken and the coleslaw were true ranch style finger licking good. And what is an outdoor party without smores! Two please!
By wedding time, we were all on a first name basis. And aren’t new friends the best thing to have? It was so laid back and everyone was …was…well just happy to be there! No agenda, no judgement, just be present. Accepting of change and in exchange for LOVE!
Waking on Monday I was left with that warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of my soul. Hope for the future, change and growth for every human being on the planet.
Thank you Josh and Jeff for including us in this monumental ceremony of Change and Exchange.
We love your whole big modern family!
Love, forgive, move forward and live!
In case you missed it…here is my post on all the things we did while in California.