Column: Two brides, one wedding
So, I went to my first gay wedding a few weekends back. Of course, it couldn’t be called a gay wedding, because Californians voted last March to ban same-sex marriages, by a 61 percent to 39 percent margin.
It’s really just a matter of semantics, though. Pass all the laws you like, but you can’t stop people from being together.
So this was called a “commitment ceremony” instead, held down in the City of Angels. One of the two brides was my old high school buddy, Sun, whom I’ve known for going on 15 years now, and who came out of the closet about six years ago.
The ceremony was as life-affirming as any hetero wedding I’ve been to; both families were supportive and enthusiastic, and a whole plethora of friends traveled from all over California to Los Angeles to share Sun and Anna’s special day.
Sun was straight when we first met, back in the murky depths of high school. I had a lot of fun in high school, but like everyone else, also more than a few moments where I felt submerged in a swirling, black pool of fears and uncertainty. Being gay in high school and not knowing it is, I imagine, one of the loneliest places to be in the world. There’s not a lot of support for being too different in high school.
Sun didn’t know she was gay, then, except perhaps subconsciously, and none of us would have suspected that she was. Yet, when she came out of the closet a while back, my first thought was, “Of course.” It was the piece in her architecture that had been missing, and when she realized who she was, she became the person she always had the potential to be: settled, happy and at peace with herself.
And her and Anna make one of the cutest couples I’ve ever seen, straight or gay.
Contradiction is an essential part of human nature. For instance, you will have folks jumping up-and-down on one hand saying that the ‘gummint’ has to keep away from their guns, their taxes, their cars and their schools; some of these same people are the most fervent proponents of restrictive social laws such as Proposition 22.
One of the central arguments of the anti-gay marriage lobby is that same-sex partnerships shouldn’t be open to child custody, adoption and partnership benefits.
There’s a lot of people who once thought the same things about black folks marrying white folks, or Jews marrying Christians.
There seems to be this strange belief out there that allowing gay marriages will taint heterosexual marriages, that somehow it’ll prove “contagious” and ultimately cause society to collapse into a pillar of salt.
But by virtue of biology and genetics and just the general structure of society, “straight” unions will always outnumber gay ones by 10 to 1.
States including Nevada, Maine and Oregon are voting on anti-gay marriage initiatives this fall – and money is being spent to encourage people to get out and vote against gay marriages, against the idea of two people being happy together. If this isn’t a sad waste of money, I don’t know what is.
I am perfectly happy with my wife in my own little heterosexual marriage – and I don’t imagine that my friend Sun’s marriage, and that’s what it is, despite the law, to Anna will convert me in any way, that I somehow will pick up some nefarious “gay virus” and become “one of them.”
They are happy. This is all that matters, and this is why we get married in the first place – to be happy.
To be “gay,” if you will, in the long-lost old-style meaning of the word.
If you are gay and want to get married, why on earth should that matter to anyone else? Love is love, and if it doesn’t hurt you, what’s the harm in the form it chooses to take?
The world can always use a little more love, and I’m not so picky that I’d start slapping labels and moral judgments on what the “right” kind of love might be. Love is love, and the Beatles once sang that it was all you need.
That may not be entirely true all the time, despite our best intentions in life but it’s close enough to make the difference when you need it most.
Sierra Sun Editor Nik Dirga grew up in Nevada County.
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