I may be Valentines-challenged, but I know people who aren’t.
Yesterday, on Valentines Day, from Efren Bose, a Bay Area homeslice of mine, wrote:
We Got Married!
I’m shocked. Honestly, I’m really shocked. I’ve
always been a bit cynical about the whole gay marriage
thing, especially since technically the marriage
doesn’t count anywhere else outside of SF (which is
funny because my partner and I can literally spit into
SF from our house). We’ve always joked with each
other that we’ll go to Toronto, Vancouver, or Boston.
The mayor of SF is also a bit of a publicity hog so
when the announcement came that queers were going to
get married, most of us thought, “yeah, whatever.”
Then Del Lyon and Phyllis Martin got married.
You could hear the collective shock from all over SF.
We still weren’t pretty serious about it. Even my
partner, who’s always been more excited about marriage
than I was, wasn’t too excited about getting married
But we figured, hell, Valentine’s day, convenient, and
we’re a part of history. We arrive there in casual
gear, both in jeans and t-shirts, and wait in line.
And wait. And wait.
What strikes me the most is the whole mundaneness of
all the couples there. And the cameras. Snapping
pictures of ordinary, boring queer couples like us.
The couple in front of us, two men from LA who are
visiting SF for the International Bear Weekend.
Behind us, two women from SF with their 2 year-old son
in tow. Journalists are everywhere, swarming down on
The most interesting thing is realizing that we are
the ONLY asian-asian male couple in line. A few
interracial couples with one Asian are there, but it
amazed us that we didn’t see any other Asian-Asian
male couples. The Japanese news cameras spot us, and
literally run to us, and interview us for a good 5
minutes. This is an hour into waiting.
My partner runs to McDs, gets fries. Random people congratulate us, give us Hershey’s kisses, roses, refreshments. We fill out the forms, and notice how everything’s been “gender-neutralized.”
And we wait. 4 hours finally pass until we get to the
foot of City Hall.
All the couples take pictures at the stairs. We take
two, and suddenly a pretty blond woman runs up to us
and says, “take these shirts! i made them for guys
like you. congratulations!” she disappears into the
crowd as quickly as she came in. the shirts,
“Validated Gay on Valentine’s Day.” Size: Small. I
will NEVER fit into this.
We go through security, fill out the forms. Pay our
fees, swear that we’ve told the truth, rush down the
stairs and walk to the rotunda, where the weddings are performed. We were under the impression that we would be doing weddings en masse, a la the Moonies, but no, we see a guy in a suit come up to us and says that we’re next.
So we get to a spot on the rotunda, and the guy starts
talking from the script. He says, “Do you take…”
As he says it, it suddenly hits me. Wow, I’m getting
married. The cynic who’s always referred to marriage
as something nothing more than pomp and circumstance.
I’m suddenly overcome with emotion. I’m declaring in
front of total strangers that we’re getting married,
saying the actual vows of marriage. I have to fight
back tears as I look into my partner’s eyes, who is
also fighting back tears. “I do,” I say.
Suddenly it’s over. We’re married. We keep repeating
it to each other. “OMG, we’re married.”
We go to a fundraiser later on that night, and we’re
announced as one of the new newlyweds. We get
interviewed by two more newspapers that night.
There is an air of excitement and shock when we
announce that we’re married. We go to a club later on
to tell friends that we didn’t get a chance to tell in
the rush to decide, and everyone is amazed, but not
shocked, that we’re married.
Yesterday was just…amazing. Even if (which I
expect) these weddings are declared null and void or
suspended, the actual fact that we went through this
was a chance in a lifetime.
Still stunned, and amazed…
“Sometimes, in life, for principle, you’re gonna have to kick some ass.” –Jill Scott, Gettin’ in the Way