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Thank You, Dear Friend

My fiancé, Nick and I are counting down to getting married, as our wedding date closely approaches. The last few weeks of 2018, and the early part of this year has been incredibly overwhelming, and felt like something out of a movie. The news of our “Same Sex Barbie Wedding Set” going around the world has been a whole other level of emotions. One day, I plan to share with you more of what our journey has been like. Our hearts though continue to beam with gratitude for all the support. We don’t take all the thoughtful messages and kind words for granted. In fact, they ignite an even stronger sense of purpose and drive within us. Meeting with the Barbie team at Mattel headquarters in January, and being welcomed into the Barbie family was so powerful, and we could not be more thankful and excited. For Nick and I, this entire experience has turned our upcoming wedding day into a symbolic moment of equality, acceptance, family unity, and a representation of a simple message we stand behind – love is love.

This time has also allowed us to reflect on the past LGBT advocates, freedom fighters, and leaders that fought for marriage equality. The ones that stepped up, spoke up, marched, and used their voices to make marriage equality the law of the land. We plan to honor them in our own special way at our wedding. Reflecting back on history and taking a pause to be appreciative is something we encourage everyone to do. It is so good for the soul.

During our personal moments of reflection and looking back at the past few months, we also thought much about the love from our family, but most specifically, the compassion that came from our friends. And, by friends, I mean the people in our lives that have checked in and simply asked, “How are you?” Friendship is important to us, and like many of you, I am sure you can agree that it is the friends in each of our lives, and whom we choose to surround ourselves with that help shape us, influence us, inspire us, and motivate us. One of those friends and bright lights in our life was our friend, Cat.

Cat cheered us on for seven years, always showing such a genuine joy for us, whether it had been when our nieces were born, or when we announced our engagement. She was a true cheerleader, and when our Barbie news went viral, Cat was right there reposting, sharing articles, and sending out her support, all while battling cancer and fighting for her life. Her friendship with Nick was one that I wish every person could have – effortless, loving, and caring. Cat had the ability to make anyone’s day better with her witty humor and contagious smile. Last month, we lost our dear friend, Cat who was only 37 years old. She fought so hard and was so brave. We are still in mourning and miss her deeply. If you’ve lost someone close to you, I’m sure you can relate to the mourning process that follows. It is an up and down feeling that is hard to put into words. We are at peace knowing Cat is no longer suffering, but it’s still so hard not to hear her laugh.

My hope for all of you is that you take a moment to think about your own friendship circle. Who has been there for you? Who has supported your dreams? Who was there for you during your darkest of nights, and your brightest of days? Perhaps, it is time for a catch up, or quick moment of gratitude, because you never know when someone may just need a warm: “How are you?”

With Love & Gratitude, Matt Jacobi

Matt Jacobi is a writer and has been a voice of truth on various world topics such as women’s rights, religion, mental health, bullying and equality. His current mission is to get more men to stand with women so that they can work together to make equality more of a reality. Jacobi was inspired to be an advocate for women’s rights since the birth of his two nieces. He vowed to bring light to the topic of female empowerment, so they could grow up in a world that is filled with equal opportunity and rights that support them to be leaders, bosses, and – yes, fighters. Freedom fighters, equality fighters, and human rights fighters.