Two different weddings, one common perspective

I’ve been to two different weddings in the past month.

One was a traditional wedding: Bride and groom, church, reception, dinner, dancing, etc. etc.

The other was a gay wedding: Groom and groom, non-denominational minister, held outdoors at a museum, reception, dinner, dancing, etc. etc.

Both were decidedly called “weddings.” There were rings and vows. There were promises made to each other and to their families and friends. There was advice from each of the ministers on how to make their love survive in this world.

I attended the gay wedding as a member of the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus. We sang during the ceremony and left afterward. I knew the groom — ok, groom #1– because he used to sing with us. It was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art– a very fancy affair, but with an air of casualness. Both grooms wore modest suits, not tuxes. And the minister was fabulous– a big swath of blonde hair and a bigger personality. The ceremony didn’t mention religion, God or Jesus once. It was purely about love and how true love is a challenge that not only the couple has to face, but all of us. It was completely inspirational and beautiful, without being too over-the-top or in-your-face about anything. Best of all, it was short and sweet. I just wish I got to stay afterward for the big party.

I attended the traditional wedding this past weekend in Michigan. The bride is a co-worker of mine, and I’ve heard so much about her wedding plans (she sat across the hall from me) that I felt like I was co-contributer to her plans. And although it was a far drive for a wedding, I didn’t mind. The ceremony was decidedly more religious, but also short, sweet and to the point. Again the celebrant had words of advice for the couple and his words were quite inspirational. It was a lovely affair overall (though the use of the organ was a little dirge-y for my taste).

The reception, however, was amazing. It was held at a country club, overlooking the grounds in all of their autumnal splendor. The room was beautiful, modestly decorated, and full of people ready to celebrate the big event. And celebrate we did. I actually had fun.

Which brings me to the next point about all of this. When I returned home, I had a chat with someone about my weekend activities and he asked me, “Don’t you feel like you’re being cheated when you go to their weddings?”

I thought about this for a second and said, “No.”

He retorted and said “But… we can’t get married.”

“Yes,” I replied. “I am fully aware of that.” We went back and forth a few times on this, and I then informed him I would be writing a blog post about this soon, so hopefully he’s reading this now.

I am fully aware of the marriage fight being waged on behalf of GLBT people. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to celebrate with those who choose to marry.

In my eyes, we can celebrate a union any way we wish. If that means getting married in a church– fine, go ahead. Find a church that is open to gay weddings and do it. If that means professing your love in front of family and friends, without a minister or a judge to make it ‘legal,” fine.

How we choose to do it is completely up to us. It would be nice if we could get the same thing as everyone else, but in my eyes, I don’t need the ‘blessing’ of a church or a government seal of approval to celebrate that union.

I realize this goes against popular opinion on both sides of the debate, but that is simply how I feel.

Love is a personal and extremely powerful thing. No certificate; no seal of approval is going to change that feeling.

I do want to state that I believe the fight for marriage equality is worth fighting. But to close ourselves off from the supposed “enemy” (straight couples) in the fight for equality is completely absurd. Straight couples are not the enemy in this war. Refusing to attend a wedding on the simple basis that “because I can’t get married, I can’t celebrate your marriage” is being bull-headed and stupid.

Grow up, people. We’re all in this together. If we can’t be supportive of each other, how can we expect them to be supportive of us?

Naturally, I don’t have anything to lose or gain in this fight at the moment anyway. I don’t have anyone to marry, and I certainly don’t have anyone waiting in the wings.

But if I did, and I found myself ready to commit myself to him for the rest of my life; I would do it… whether or not a church or our government decides it’s legal or “right” to do so. Because in my eyes, it’s right. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s all that matters.

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Sesame Moments: Monsterpiece Theatre

Ahhh… the class. The regality. Add Cookie Monster to the mix, and you have hilarity!

Sesame Street did a spot-on take on the classic PBS show “Masterpiece Theatre” with its take-off, “Monsterpiece Theatre” in the 1970s and 1980s. Cookie, as Alastair Cookie, dressed in a smoking jacket (with a pipe in the earlier episode shown below), and introduced such classics as “Upstairs, Downstairs” and “Twelve Angry Men” in only the way Sesame Street could show them. Here are those two clips…

Sesame Moment: Snuffy's Cloud Costume

Can’t think of a good costume for Halloween?  How about a cloud?

Today’s clip starts with the classic “Snuffleupagus” walking music, and then features Snuffy in his cloud costume, talking with “Bird” about clouds. It ends with Snuffy singing a little “Cloud Song” to Big Bird.

As for his costume, I’m thinking maybe Snuffy could have used a little more cotton…

OMIGOD you guys…

Kathy was fabulous.  Hilarious.  Hysterical.

And every bit as biting and shrewd as you’d expect.

Naturally, she left no stone unturned:  Britney, Larry Craig, the Emmy Awards “Jesus Speech,” the flap from Christians and Catholics about said “Jesus Speech,” Paris Hilton, The View (especially Barbara Walters), George W. Bush, and countless other completely worthy recipients of her snark were justfully pummeled into the ground.  And we loved every minute.

I had my friend Jason with me and we sat wa-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-y up in the last row of the balcony.  And by last row, I mean the row where they set up plain old CHAIRS because there aren’t even actual SEATS up there.  But fortunately the view is just as good way back there as it is anywhere else.

Especially if you have binoculars.  Which I had.  And while the binoculars themselves are pretty nice, they have a cheap little digital camera attached to them so you can take pictures.  Granted, the camera is absolute crap– it takes extremely low-resolution, less-than-a-megapixel pictures– but hey, out of 62 shots, I got THREE halfway-decent ones.  And for what it’s worth, they’re not so bad.  After all, I didn’t want anyone confiscating my regular digital camera… because with my luck, they’d have done just that.  So here they are:

Kathy Griffin

The best of all 62 shots.  At least you can KIND OF make out a face…

Kathy Griffin

Another shot… you can totally see her saying “OMIGOD you guys… I have another story to tell you…”

Kathy Griffin

This one’s pretty good too.  The rest of them were all blurry and awful.  I guess I can’t complain too much– three out of 62 ain’t bad!

It was a late night.  The show didn’t start until 11:00 or so and we didn’t leave until 12:30.  That’s 1 1/2 hours of good, hearty laughter and lots of clapping.  And she had to do it twice in a row that night.

OMIGOD YOU GUYS!  I forgot to tell you… they were filming!  So I’m, like, totally going to be on Bravo!

OK… I won’t be on Bravo… but you’ll certainly see bits from that night.  I hope.

Yeah… that’s why I’m comfortably ensconced on the “P” list.  Sigh.

Anyway… if you get a chance to see her, do it.  She’s worth every penny.