Monday, June 25, 2007

The Triangles And Bald Spots Were The Same Lovely Shade Of Pink.

This weekend, we missed Gay Pride. (For once "we" actually means "we." Fishwatch and Bigmouth were both in Napa Valley for a wedding). Instead of sitting on someone's roof in the West Village, sipping Pimms Cups and pretending to ignore the gyrating mass below us, we found ourselves seated at the edge of a willow-lined lake in the middle of a tiny vine-covered valley. Instead of sharing a joint with some other guys in polo shirts and flip flops and enjoying the faint feeling of smug superiority, we sat quietly in our suits and watched two straight friends exchange vows.

It made us wonder if we could really do it. Have you ever wondered that? If you could overcome the feeling of strangeness that even we, staunch marriage equality supporters, would feel following those rituals with another man. Would you feel, somehow, ridiculous? Would you feel like imposters? If equal marriage was not yet legalized, but you wanted to wed anyway, would it all feel like a childish farce?

This is really what we sat there thinking. And as we watched our friends get married, we wondered what our own loved ones would think if we had done the same thing. Would they feel strange, too? Would they be turning it over in their minds as they watched us walk down the aisle without the familiar chords of "Here Comes The Bride?"

The next day, we were driving back to the airport in San Francisco, and saw a giant pink triangle that the city had erected on a hill in honor of their own Pride celebration. San Francisco really goes all out for it - not just the gay people. A giant rainbow flag billowed across the front page of the Chronicle, for example, and much of the city was shut down for the march.

It made us remember what happened when we came out to our family years ago. By then our parents were divorced, and we told them separately. But we will never forget that our mother, father, brother and stepmother all said the same thing - that they were proud of us. Ever since then, on Gay Pride, we've kept that in mind. Sometimes having other people take pride in you is almost as important as having pride in yourself.

When we get married, whether it is legal or not, of course it's going to feel strange. It'll take a little extra chutzpah on our part, and on the part of our guests. But even if they feel a little bit weird watching us together in matching suits, exchanging rings, we're pretty sure our loved ones will also feel a little bit proud - that's why we love them.

For last year's slightly more eloquent take on Pride, see here.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that. I have always been cynical about gay pride celebrations, but that adds some genuine perspective on what I have to be proud of.

bella wilfer said...

You both better get married - I am looking forward to taking prom photos of you and your husband(s)! Maybe that guy we saw who was headed to the mudbaths will have chucked his sugar daddy by then...

I could not be prouder to be both of your friends and to have been with you this weekend. Especially at In n Out Burger.

MattGaymon said...

Not to mention, two tuxes are better than one.

Clint said...

Remember this, a partner/husband relationship is NOT boyfriends to the next level, it's a whole different thing altogether. If you really find a partner, you'll know it and the wedding won't feel strange at all, just a natural expression of the way things already are. You might have a boyfriend your entire life, but if he's just a boyfriend, don't marry him.

Patsy said...

Darling...how many times have I told you...your wedding isn't about matching tuxes. It is all about my fabulous dress! And the fac t that we will recreate the Footloose dance at the reception...strange? no way!

Anonymous said...

I just went to a big fancy lesbian wedding in the Caribbean and what struck me was how completely and totally and almost comically normal it felt. They had a very very traditional wedding held on one of the WASPiest island enclaves south of Nantucket. The rehearsal was black tie with a million speeches all about friendship and family and funny stories of yester year. The brides both wore white gowns, different cuts same designer. They had 25 groomsmen (mostly gay men) dressed in white pants and blue pinstriped blazers and they formed a guard (a gay guard) along the isle. The service was presided over by an old friend who was ordained online. One bride walked down the isle with her father, the other with her best friend. There were fireworks and what looked like a shrine of bride figurines interspersed with the wedding cupcakes.

Maybe it was the appropriation of the traditional marriage ceremony that made it feel like, well, any other wedding in many regards. No one was dwelling on marriage rights at all. More like, how does my outfit compare, how is the food, how much did THAT cost, and where is that cute boy? With the exception of the obvious and a few wink-wink, nudge-nudge comments here and there, there was nothing awkward, self conscience or abnormal about the entire event.

Just two people coming together and announcing to all their loved one's that this is the person I love and we aren't just two people mutually infatuated with each other, as Sister Sledge so famously sang, "We are family."