Two Years Later: Removing the Hyphen

by | Dec 12, 2016

It’s an age old problem we all face in different ways; to stay right where we’re at because we’ve gotten comfortable, even if it may not be the most healthy or productive decision for us.

In divorce, the decision to split ways is nothing short of life-altering and takes a long legal and therapeutic process to heal from the aftermath.

Luckily, a parting of ways can sometimes be the best decision we make in order to move forward towards happiness.

What a difference two years can make. On Sunday, July 24, 2011, I was one half of a same-sex couple making history in New York by legally tying the knot. At that time, my new husband and I were considered the “poster children” for young, same-sex love, with mentions of our nuptials in national media outlets such as USA Today, Bloomberg Businessweek and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. Fast-forward 24 months: I’m not planning our anniversary getaway; I’m preparing for our divorce.

Since separating from my soon-to-be-ex-husband last October, I’ve been anxiously hoping that this day would just disappear. Who wants to go through a day that magnifies an epic fail, especially when the date of that failure is tattooed on your wedding ring finger? The second wedding anniversary gift is supposed to be cotton. Sadly, I’m right on trend. I recently gifted myself cotton, but the difference is that it’s protecting a coverup tattoo on my wedding ring finger.

On the eve of July 24, 2013, I am comfortable embracing my newest reality: I’m an African-American man who is a business owner and entrepreneur on the cusp of turning 30 years old. Oh, and I’m divorcing another man. In many ways, I’m a unicorn and perfectly proud of it. Alvin Lopez-Woods has completely checked out, but Alvin Lopez Woods stands tall. Removing the hyphen that connected my last name with his but choosing to keep that name as a part of my business moniker is the definition of empowerment.

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