The front-page article in this weekend's New York Times Magazine looked at the twenty-something married couples sprouting up after Massachusetts made it legal for gays and lesbians to wed.
The author talks about a conversation he had with other young gay Bostonians in 2004.
In the end, most of us agreed that we would like to be married — just not yet. We still had a lot of living, and growing up, to do. While many of our heterosexual peers undoubtedly did as well, we were immune from the pressure some of them felt to marry. No one — not our friends, not our families, not the gay community — expected us to wed.
By that time, my partner and I had been "married" for two years and were in our mid-20s. I put the word in quotation marks because, as I'm sure I don't have to tell you, our relationship is not recognized by the State of South Carolina.
The story is an interesting read in showing the ways that we've come a long way (the lesbian-Uhaul joke has been passed on to the world) and in the ways we haven't (one groom-to-be doesn't talk to his family about his sexuality). The way our families responded (and in one case, didn't respond) to the news of our wedding plans was one of the more emotional aspects of the whole event.
This paragraph from the NYT story sums it all up.
But most of the young married men I spent time with insisted their marriages weren’t a “reaction” to anything. They valued their connection to modern gay culture, and they weren’t interested in choosing between being a married man and a young gay man. They could be both, and they could make it work.
I found the story less about marriage as much as it was about young gay couples. The nervous excitement about the wedding day was the same for Shane and I in the backyard of our friends house in Columbia as it seemed for these couples on the courthouse steps in Boston. There were only a few words peppered in the story that sounded different: alimony, shared last names, marriage license.
That said, we're still quite the oddity in our social circle. A few weeks back, we ran into another couple at the gay bar and excitedly chatted amongst ourselves. And gay guys we meet do look at us with shock when we tell them we've been together eight years. But, of course, that's the "bar crowd." I know there are suburban couples who make it out to the club on rare occasions, but are happy to live out of that scene.
In this week's Cuisine section, The City Paper has a story on one Dining with Friends event.
Parties are going on all over town each year when Dining with Friends rolls around. Now in its 16th year, this mega-fund-raiser is easily one of the most recognizable events on the social calendar. Expect 80-plus parties on and around May 3 this year, with themes ranging from black tie to backyard barbecue, enough to exhaust even the most ambitious party crawler.
Didn't think it would hurt if we threw the information out here as well:
Dining with Friends
For info on participating:
Lowcountry AIDS Services
(843) 747-2273 ext. 206
Soulforce, the group that has targeted schools with policies that hurt LGBT students, sent us a flier about a new effort called The American Family Outing, with gay and gay-friendly families visiting six mega-churches around the nation. The closest to Charleston is New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., on May 30 and June 1.
From the postcard:
We visit these churches because we recognize the enormous influences each has within Christianity and the larger culture, through ministries, radio and television programs, and books that reach millions. We believe these churches have the potential to be a positive force in ending the physical and spiritual violence perpetuated by some religious voices against LGBT people and their families. Some of these churches have exercised inspirational leadership on social issues such as poverty and AIDS, and we believe they can exercise comparable, courageous leadership in ending spiritual and physical violence against LGBT people.
Those looking to participate or donate can apply for the visit at www.soulforce.org.
It's a busy busy busy Thursday in Charleston April 3.
Linda Ketner's campaign for the 1st Congressional House Seat will kick off at 10 a.m. at Cannon Park on Calhoun (at the intersection with Rutledge). The word is that Mayor Joe Riley also will be there.
Three local rabbis discuss the issue:
There has been a dramatic change in norms governing sexual behavior in America. As a result, issues about sexuality and homosexuality have been a recurring theme, and often a divisive one, for every religious denomination in America, including the various branches of Judaism. This semester the rabbis will discuss what they think Jewish law has to say about sexuality, both within and outside marriage, and how it should inform our thinking about homosexuality in particular. In so doing, they will reflect on the nature and scope of Jewish law.
The event is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Stern Student Center. It's free and open to the public.
Hat tip to AFFA for the heads up.