Monday, May 25, 2009

State Memories Project: Massachusetts

About three weeks after my own wedding, Swankette’s maid of honor was married in Boston. We flew out, hung out with them and their friends, and had a generally great time hanging out with cool people. Swankette reciprocated as maid of honor for her friend, and everything went fabulously...Swankette looking hot in her outfit, giving a beautiful speech or two, happy people singing and performing at the reception...it was the garden variety joyful wedding.

It was similar, and it was, of course, a little different, because it was my first gay wedding, and barely a year after Massachusetts had legalized same-sex marriage, was still a fairly new thing.

My single memory of that weekend is of the wonderful rabbi, who somehow wove together the ordinariness and the extraordinariness of what we were all there to celebrate. I wish I had his exact words, but here’s what he said as best as I could remember:

“In the middle of all of this joy, we can’t forget that what we’re doing is unquestionably a political act.”

I remember feeling like marrying someone you loved shouldn’t have to be a political act or an act of courage. I remember feeling like the wonderful moment here wasn’t any different or any less important than the wonderful moment Swankette and I had had a few weeks earlier. But I remember being grateful that the rabbi didn’t neglect either the commonness or the extraordinariness of what was happening--neither the sameness nor the difference this ceremony bore towards my own recent wedding. He got that complexity, and it helped to clarify what was on my mind as I watched my wife stand next to her best friend, one of two brides. I won’t forget how he pulled that off.

1 comment:

Alison said...

Don't forget: your wedding to Swankette was a political act, too. As far as I can tell, all marriages are.