February 16, 2004


UPDATE: Here's a similar report with many updates and a few pics from JozJoz--

This wonderful news comes from stkyrice, via the LGBT-POC listserv we both belong to:

From stkyrice
Date Sun, 15 Feb 2004 3:02 PM
To LGBTPoC@topica.com
Subj [LGBTPoC] 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 either.

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 people.

The most interesting thing is realizing that we arethe 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...

stkyrice :) =====

"Sometimes, in life, for principle, you're gonna have to kick some ass." --Jill Scott, Gettin' in the Way

Posted by ronn at February 16, 2004 05:04 PM