I’m still not the cheeriest bunny on the block these days, but I have to say I’ve been glued to the TV and San Francisco Chronicle website all weekend watching with tearful glee as the city by the bay stands up for Love. Big L Love. As they turned their gorgeous City Hall, truly one of the most elegant buildings around into a great big old wedding chapel and not just married any and all gay people who showed up, but married them with pride and joy and tearful wonder. Mark Morford’s column sums it up this morning, sums up all the reasons that as a straight progressive person one can really be proud. Go read it right now.
I’ve been thinking of my college friend Michael, raised in a reasonably liberal Catholic household on Chicago’s North Shore (meaning his parents weren’t raving conservatives, but weren’t liberal by West Coast standards). Michael who fought his sexual orientation all through college; Michael who used Susan as a beard so his parents wouldnt’ think he was a loser who didn’t have a girlfriend; Michael who went to Paris the summer before our senior year and came to terms with being gay, but unfortunately that was 1984 and Michael figured out his sexuality by cruising, and by cruising before anyone really knew about AIDS. Michael who was afraid to be gay, and afraid to come out, partially because he wanted a family and kids, and in those days it was still pretty unthinkable that you could be gay and have a home, a partner, kids, a dog … the whole suburban normal enchilada. Michael who never got a chance to be a boring suburban gay dad because he got sick and then he died just before the protease inhibitors came out. So it fills me with great joy to know that all over America, kids who think they might be gay are looking toward San Francisco with hope in their hearts, with hope that if that’s what they want, they too can be boring married people (or since it is San Francisco, they can be flamboyant queers as well). Whatever. Life’s too short to outlaw love between consenting adults. So hats off to Gavin Newsom for having the balls to stand up and call discrimination discrimination and hats off to all those City Hall employees who’ve worked around the clock to make this possible. Here’s to another week of weddings at City Hall!