13 November 2008

The Dreaded Number 8

After Obama's scintillating victory, we can only hope that California does the right thing about gay marriage - it's all rather trying when a glimpse of equality peeks its head over the horizon only to be grabbed away by a group of dull-headed Mormons. My dear Michael Kearns has written an excellently breathless (suitably so - nothing says drama like a gay Spanish wedding) article about the recent nuptials of our hot-rod friends Jimmy and Sergio in Madrid. A thrilling moment for various generations of gay men as they kissed on the balcony in the Plaza Mayor. (Yes, I'll admit to a tear - but just the one - and I squeezed it back in). But MK says it better here:

How To Be The Best Man At A Gay Wedding by Michael Kearns:

Accept an invitation to the marriage of Jimmy Shaw and Sergio Sanchez, to be held in Madrid on Oct. 17.
Think back to the year they met, 2005, the very year that same-sex marriage was legalized in Spain.
Recall that heart-pumping love-at-first-sight moment: Sergio standing on the balcony of his apartment as Jimmy is en route to a rehearsal for the Spanish premiere of Dream Man.
Arrive in Madrid the day before the wedding, just in time to help run errands with Jimmy: pick up the grooms' Hugo Boss wedding suits at the tailor's, help Jimmy try on at least 10 white shirts before finding the right one, buy hot underpants for Sergio.
Celebrate the grooms' final night as single muchachos with a few dozen of the wedding guests, gathered from all over the planet, on a rooftop restaurant with a glistening view of the city.
Exchange breathless phone calls with Jimmy on the morning of the wedding, including one reminding me to bring Sergio's tweezers to the hotel where they are staying (in separate rooms, of course).
Take a cab to the hotel, tweezers in tow.
Burst into Jimmy's room where he stands, in his underpants, crying.
Be a diligent best man and iron “Bridezilla's” white shirt.
Walk Jimmy to the Plaza Mayor—careful not to run into Sergio on the way—along with Darren, also a groomsman, and Andrew, his twentysomething comrade who had flown in from Scotland hours earlier.
Pin the boutonnière/corsage on Jimmy's jacket.
Understand virtually every word delivered by openly gay councilman Pedro Zerolo (even though it's spoken entirely in Spanish) because the impassioned cadences are so clearly emotional, politically and spiritually.
Hold Andrew's hand.
Cry.
Wonder—had he been alive to see you marry a man—if your father would, as Sergio's does, lovingly caress your face in his hands, as the ceremony concludes.
Miss your daughter.
Remember the support from your mother when you married Philip in 1992, weeks before he died of AIDS, in a bittersweet ceremony that was symbolic but not legal.
Observe the sea of people, unrelated to the newlyweds, who have assembled in the plaza to offer their congratulations by applauding and shouting wildly, looking up at the dazzlingly handsome couple, standing on the balcony of the Casa de la Panaderia.
Hop on a chartered bus for a two-hour ride to Palacio de Hoyuelos, a 16th Century Renaissance palace in Provincia de Segovia, where the spiritual ceremony will take place, and where a couple dozen of us will luxuriate for the entire weekend.
Perform the evening's first piece of layman theater, after the minister's stirring invocation, incorporating the über-romantic words of Romeo and Juliet.
Dine on lamb, as melt-in-your-mouth delicious as sherbet.
Toast—to the husbands!
Toast—to the family!
Toast—to the friends!
Observe—with a tinge of voyeurism—as the couple take to the dance floor, sensually entwined in each other's sinewy bodies.
Party like it's Studio 54, circa 1977.
Make love—really make love, not merely have sex—to a young man in the early hours of the morning after the curtain came down on the post-nuptial festivities.
Laugh hysterically when he says, “You aren't going to have a heart attack—are you, old man?”
Sleep until 4 p.m. or so on Saturday.
Make artistic comparisons at every turn: Cezanne-like landscapes, Almovodarian trysts, Shakespearean balconies, Cowardesque repartee.
Create a game, utilizing the grandiose staircase of the castle (approximately 30 feet in length and 10 feet wide) in which each player descends the stairs portraying a famous personage, fictional or not.
Stumble down the stairs like Elizabeth Taylor playing Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
Laugh until it hurts.
Think that you might have a heart attack, old man.
Debrief with Jimmy on the train ride from Segovia to Madrid, determined not to forget a single juicy detail of the prior 48 hours.
Return to Los Angeles, jolted by the very notion that something as noxious as Proposition 8, depriving people who love each other of the human right to be married, could be passed.

I worked with MK on the seminal gay play "Dream Man" (which he is currently editing the film version of) and his activism is something we could all learn from, especially as he is, as I write, screaming down the Mormons in an LA he helped shape. Some people will see my worries as being of little significance, but I am not a marriage supporter, merely a supporter of hope, and if Jimmy and Sergio can take that step then there is no reason why other shouldn't be allowed to. It is mind-boggling, quite frankly.

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