I’ve always had a soft spot for gay marriage. Despite my qualms with the Institution of Marriage, when the Courage Campaign came out with a video a few years ago of little kids holding up signs saying “don’t divorce my parents” with Regina Spektor crooning in the background, I couldn’t help bursting into tears. As much as I know that Marriage is a tool of patriarchy, that’s it’s fundamentally misogynist and heterosexist, there’s something about children growing up with loving, intentional parents who are recognized as valid caregivers that really gets my tear ducts going. When I proposed to my girlfriend on a trip to New York for our fifth anniversary, patriarchy was the last thing on my mind.
The big news in New York isn’t sitting quite right with me, though. Reading the Sunday Times this morning over a VGF breakfast of tofu scramble with radish greens and toast, I could feel the tears welling up as I started to scan an article on the political machinations behind the passage of NY’s marriage bill. However, as a I read on I felt a tickle of frustration as well. This bill seems to have been as much the product of community organizers as Wall Street honchos who happened to have gay kids. The take home message seemed to be that change comes when the powerful start to take it personally. Maybe this is just the cold hard truth, but it doesn’t feel so good when I think about all the queer people who are farthest from the halls of power: undocumented immigrants, homeless youth, sex workers, and trans folks who have almost NO legal protections. Their issues have not been at the center of the “Gay Agenda” and it’s pretty clear why. Their dads don’t usually work on Wall Street. Their moms don’t usually date State Senators.
This is all by way of saying that my tears today aren’t just tears of joy. There was some bitterness mixed into my breakfast as well.