Cause We're Going to the Chapel . . .
2004-02-20 - 8:02 a.m.
Right now I'm at my desk, trying to keep from crying.
It's not because of my friend's sister, because the "this is cancer" is now officially, "y'know, this might not be cancer," which is great news. We'll see when she has the mass removed (it's lodged between her stomach and pancreas) next week. Give her your good vibes!
It's also not because of my show, which has, through a series of minor miracles, turned out to be quite the ass kicker. We open tonight, and, even though I'm knocking on any and all wood I can find, I think it will possibly maybe rock the house (KNOCK ON WOOD). If you want to come, it's tonight at 8pm at 300 Allen St (Get on 5th street. Allen is between Shady Lane and Pleasant Valley. When you see Allen St turn South and go to the end of the street). Tickets are $10. There is also a Saturday dinner theatre show (featuring an all-vegan aphrodisiac dinner) at 7pm for $20, a Sunday matinee at 2pm for $10, and two more shows next weekend. If you're in Austin, come by and see it!
No, I'm not crying for any sad reason. I'm crying because I'm looking at the pictures from the weddings in San Fransisco over the past week. I don't always cry at weddings. I do, however, always laugh at funerals.
There are various pictures available on various sites. I would recommend checking them out here:
At the second site, you can also order a poster that's a shot of the rose petals and rice grains on the rain-soaked steps of city hall. The title is "Justly Married."
Sorry, I can feel the waterworks starting again. Give me a minute.
If you look at these pictures, you are going to see pairs of men and women waiting out in the rain. They camped outside for days in the cold, under umprellas and tarps. They waited to have, for the first time, the thing that some of them had been waiting for these past few decades: a chance to have their love for and commitment to their partners recognized by the United States of America.
Yep, there come the tears again. Someone remarked that every married couple should have to do this. I couldn't agree more. How valorous to prove the earnestness of your marriage than by waiting for days, if not for decades.
Keep looking at the pictures, and try to keep a dry eye. You are going to see couples of all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors. They are packed into City Hall, waiting for one of at least a half dozen justices of the peace to come and change their lives. Many of them are surrounded by friends and family. Others have cell phones on to allow people around the country to hear them say those two precious words. A few of them even have their extremely bored children dangling from their necks. Many of the people, particularly those who got married on the first day, are dressed in casual clothes, but others have gone all out with tuxes and wedding gowns (two of each, of course). There are Afircan American couple, Latino couples, Asian couples, South Asian couples. As they embrace and kiss at the end of their ceremonies, everyone cheers. They run outside and show their marriage certificate triumphantly to the crowd.
Shit. I've got to get some more kleenex. I mean, seriously, I am all choked up.
I think the most touching couples are the elderly ones. There are gray-haired men and women, some of whom look barely strong enough to stand, who are about to do something they might never have imagined doing when they first came out so many years ago: go on their honeymoon.
Today, I pity the religious right, because they aren't going to be able to understand what these pictures make abundantly clear. No matter what Dubya or his evil minions might want to believe, the legalization of gay marriage would be the best thing to happen to the institution of marriage since, well, since they legalized the marriage of mixed-race couples.
Imagine what would happen if, tomorrow, every state in the union recognized gay marriage. There would be scenes like this all over the country. City halls would be clogged with people trying to tie the knot, emerging minutes later with tears streaming down their face and huge smiles beaming out at the crowd. Imagine the heterosexual couples watching all this, watching as people wait out all night in the Minnesota winter or all day in the Arizona summer (depending, y'know, on when this happens) in order to celebrate their love.
Maybe some of the couple who are unsure about marriage would come to stronger realizations as they ask themselves if they'd be willing to face down hate groups for hours in the rain or the snow or the heat just to marry the person next to them. Maybe some marriages that didn't need to happen won't. Maybe people who are afraid or unsure will turn around and say, "I would do that for you, you know. I would look the religious right suqare in the face and sit on the sidewalk for a week to spend the rest of my life with you." Maybe it won't just be the pre-marriage couples who feel this way. Maybe married couples, too, will remember what it means to make a lifetime commitment, that it means remaining faithful and sticking through the bad times.
And sure, that's not gonna last. If we legalize same-sex marriage, then in a generation or less we'll have Gay Bridezillas and My Big Fat Obnoxious Same-Sex Fiance. The gay divorce rate will probably match the straight divorce rate. After a far shorter time than anyone would like to admit, gay marriage will be something that Justin Timberlake does on a weekend in Vegas.
But today, I actually wished that I could be one of those people, deeply in love, ready to pledge that love in front of God and the City of San Fransisco. I wanted to be part of that celebration of love and human rights.
I want same-sex marriage to be legal. I want to be a part of America in the same way that everyone else is.
Go see these pictures, and then go to websites like http://www.dontamend.com to make sure that the religious right doesn't get the chance to further poison the American spirit.
In the meantime, I wish the thousands of happily married queer people in California all the happiness in the world. Remember these days when you're arguing over bills, or how to raise the kids, or just kinda sick of each other. You might have been given a gift that a lot of other marriages could have used.2 comments so far The End - 2005-02-11
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