I’m not very political. And I don’t enjoy discussing controversies, at least not publicly. But I do support gay marriage, and since I don’t think that this issue should be either political or controversial in the first place, I’m going to throw in my 2.5 cents on it.
Cent #1: I got involved in community theater when I was around ten. And here’s the great thing (okay, one of the millions of great things) about community theater: it’s a chance for kids to be around grown-ups who are not teachers in a setting that is not school. And not just any grown-ups: talented, welcoming, nice grown-ups who treat kids with the kind of respect that comes with working to create something as a team. As anyone who has ever been in a show knows: you’re in it together, no matter how many times your costume rips open due to some faulty velcro. You embrace the fact that the audience is staring at your lame-ass Sears training bra, you all have a good laugh about it, and the show goes on.
Some of these grown-ups were gay and some of them were straight. But all of them were fun. All of them were cool. And all of them were hilarious. As far as my ten-year-old self was concerned, anyone who could make me laugh until I peed myself was awesome, and I didn’t give a fig who those people slept with when they went home that night. I still don’t. Awesome is awesome. Period.
Cent #2: I am lucky enough to live in a state where gay marriage is legal. (“Massachusetts: Not Just For Sam Adams Impersonators Anymore!”) A few years ago, I attended my first gay wedding. Much like the other weddings I’d been to in the past few years (I am of an age where lots of my contemporaries are getting hitched and shooting out babies like t-shirt cannons) there was cake, there was dancing, and there were M&M favors, which I inhaled well before the toasts even began, as is my way.
But there was something different about this wedding, and it’s this one small element that has garnered it the title of my number one favorite wedding of all time. (Sorry, straight friends–your weddings were still lovely, I swear, and I really enjoyed the steak. It was perfectly cooked.) It wasn’t the wedding program, which was designed to look like a Playbill, and it wasn’t even the brides’ matching custom Converse sneakers. It was the Look.
The ceremony was simple–if memory serves, there weren’t even seats, just an open space where the congregation…congregated. There was music playing, and we waited. The music swelled. It got louder and faster, and just when it hit its climax, two doors on opposite sides of the room opened and the brides walked out.
I’m a writer, so I guess I should be able to describe the looks on their faces, but it’s hard to convey that much joy in words. They were ecstatic. I have never forgotten that look, even though I’m pretty sure I started crying and couldn’t have seen much through the disgusting flood of tears. It summed up the entire marriage equality thing in a single moment of pure emotion. To me, those faces of theirs said more than any Facebook profile logo ever could.
Now, I’m not saying that my straight friend couples weren’t excited to get married. Of course they were, and of course I was when I got married. But there was an extra, added layer in those brides’ excitement that I’d never seen before. As a straight person, I have always known that if I fell in love when I grew up, I could get married and have babies and have the same argument week in and week out about who’s going to take out the recycling. It was a given. But for gay couples, it wasn’t a given. It was something they had to fight for, and in many parts of the country are still fighting for. And the idea that there was a chance that those smiles couldn’t have happened, that these two people in love might not have ever been able to share that moment, is friggin’ ridiculous. It really is.
Cent #.5: Less of the bullshit meanness and intolerance. More of this and this. More plain old human decency, please. This argument has been going on for far too long, and it isn’t even an argument, really. The only argument that we need–that every single American, gay or straight, has the right to shout at each other at two in the morning–is who’s going to take out the recycling.
Everyone deserves that joy.