Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ramblings and Snatches from Courting Equality Party

Dragging my sorry, tired butt around after a five-day professional-society conference in Minneapolis, I didn't want to go. I was tired. There was a sky that would have made Noah hammer faster. It was an hour or more by foot and subway. Whine. Moan. Sigh.

God bless my shiny head. I went.

Rally? Signing?

The promo on the Courting Equality site read that it was book release event that, by the way, had guests such as lead Goodridge attorney Mary Bonauto and some legislators. I envisioned a snaking line of other middle-aged types waiting for signatures.

I have bought several copies of the book (as you all should). The one I took to the event was particularly meaningful. I wanted the authors and photographer to inscribe it to Jasper and Jay, the men whose marriage I solemnized. Jasper and I have been buddies since college and have know each other over 40 years. Giving them the autographed book will be just another way of celebrating their love and marriage.

So, with the begrudging endorsement of my wife (tired of handling our kids, cooking and other domestic duties solo in my absence), off into the wetness and wind went I.

The wedding cakes never entered my mind. Nor did not having to wait for signatures. I figured that even in fatigue, I could stand in a line for an hour. I didn't know I'd end up at an inspiring rally instead, get my book signed before it started, and find myself swept into the vortex of leftist rhetoric, challenge and bonhomie.

Charming Principals

Surely I shouldn't write it, but Marilyn Humphries reminds me in demeanor and appearance of another photographer, Marnie Crawford Samuelson. It goes far beyond their being very slender with angular faces and cropped hair. There's an elegant political link, at least in my mind as well. Marnie is a lesbian mom and the former long-term partner of Arlington Street Church minister Kim Crawford Harvie. Kim, of course, is famous for among other traits as giving great marriage.

Marnie is a superb photographer and also one of the deepest thinkers I have ever met. I have a great respect for her intellect as well as for her art. So, meeting Marilyn, I had immediate positive associations beyond admiring her politics and work. I didn't ask if they knew each other. She and Marnie might be pals or might consider each other competitors.

Instead, I introduced myself to Marilyn, who eagerly signed, as did nearby author Patricia A. Gozemba, who even tracked down co-author Karen Kahn -- a labor in all that milling traffic of happy couples and families.

I had never met Pat, as everyone calls her. Yet, she offered an amusing moment that may say much of her candor and humor. She had just signed a book and while the woman she was with waited, Pat watched Marilyn 15 feet away speaking to a small group. Pat snorted and remarked, "She's so upperclass. She'll talk forever. She acts like she's working poor, but she's not."

As an egalitarian sort myself I had to laugh. I now wonder whether I say such things myself. I may. From their long-term association and friendship, they likely have had that exchange a few times and have already gotten over it.

The 250 or so gathering for the event were pretty much a bigot's nightmare. Many had devoted their passions and lives to each other for decades. The brought their kids. Their own parents and siblings came too. Those who like to think of gay people in general and married ones in particular as sad or demented would have been out of luck. They'd have to sit with others who think the same way and delude each other.

There were a few other bloggers, like John Hosty. There were also several people I knew in Courting Equality. I work with Jennifer Hess, who is there (page 131, I think) with her wife and son, and of course, my long-term association with Arlington Street means that Kim and I have known each other for a lot of years. She was in it performing SS marriages, not for her own marriage to Kem.

I had Jenn sign her page, but didn't think about it when Kim and I brushed and bussed. Later Jenn said I should carry it around like a yearbook, picking up more signatures for Jasper and Jay. She considers it like her own yearbook.

Cake Attack

I successfully avoided the two gigantic sheets of wedding cake. Those are all fat and sugar and for some inexplicable reason, I love white iced wedding cake. I'm a bittersweet chocolate guy. I want spice, heat and intense flavors. I despise vanilla ice cream and anything marshmallow. Yet, wedding cake is that every-few-years treat. Whether it's because it accompanies a fun party or just because of leave to eat sweet, buttery treats, who knows.

As soon as the last remarks ended, the event photog turned hostess and greeted me with a white paper plate of white cake with white icing, one in each hand. My heart said take both slices. Instead I thanked her and strode to the door before I indulged.

So, walking in the wet nastiness to the Red Line and then from Forest Hills home at the other end, I had my autographed treasure inside a plastic bag inside my waterproof New Grounds messenger bag.

I'll try to read my notes and cover some of the remarks in the next post. There were comments relevant to the ConCon and a little voyeurism and eavesdropping.

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1 comment:

massmarrier said...

John Hosty over at Live, Love and Learn and several other sites was kind enough to send a link to a Beacon Press news page that included a Marry in Massachusetts post link and others. Courting Equality is a gem, but it is not the only important book the UUs publish. You might enjoy nosing around that site.

Thanks, John.