Mary! Jesus!

When I saw that there was going to be a demonstration in downtown Boston for marriage rights this past Saturday, I thought maybe we could go. We didn’t have the boys this weekend, which is always a heartbreak, but it does allow for us to sometimes have a little adult time.

My Beau was agin it, at least at first. “Why does there always have to be something to do?” she moaned, wanting nothing more than to have a puttery weekend, set out the bird feeder, vacuum, like that. I’ve been in the house non-stop, and it hasn’t been easy to get any work done, either, what with the electricians doing their thing (we’re getting the house rewired). I wanted out, she wanted in – we went back and forth and finally, bless her heart, she pushed herself and away we went.

And how nice it was! We both agreed. See, we’re both pretty hermit-like, but it is good to get out amongst people. Especially queer people. We strolled through Chinatown, had some Vietnamese food (she’s still raving about that hot and sour catfish soup), then made it over to City Hall and the demonstration. Hundreds of queers! Funny signs! Riveting speakers! We stood holding each other and enjoying being among our people. One’s people, of course, never being perfect, always offering challenges.

One woman held a sign that said, “Gay is the New Black.” Well, that’s catchy, but it’s a flawed and ignorant statement. All these comparisons of the struggle of queers for equal rights to the struggle of blacks for equal rights make me extremely uneasy. It is a really bad idea to get in a pissing contest about whose persecution is worse, and will almost certainly result in passion and anger being directed in less-than-useful directions (i.e., at each other). Ignorance of history, lack of an understanding of the bigger picture, and just plain wrong-headed impulsiveness and mouthing off are an unfortunate part of every human group. Sometimes comparisons are useful – I do think it’s useful to look at how anti-miscegenation laws were overturned, for example – but, golly, people. Gay is so NOT the new Black! Gay is gay. Honestly.

And another woman had a sign that said something like, “We’re not gay – she’s just my sister wife!” Ok, it is a wee tad bit hard to resist knocking the Mormons on this, but polygamy is hardly a tenant of the Mormon church anymore, and again, where are you putting your energy? In poking fun at/attacking whoever it is you see as opposing you? Not such a good plan. Mormons, practicing and not, are a huge, diverse group of people with all kinds of beliefs – it’s silly to lump them all together and pee on them. Won’t get us very far.

I did like the sign that had a nice color picture of the Statue of Liberty deep kissing a swooning Lady Justice, and the one that said something amusingly Cambridge-y like, “My relationship was deconstructed using the hetero-normative dyad and all I got was this lousy marriage ban!”

Inbetween speakers, we were encouraged to chant. This is not my Beau’s favorite activity, but she hung in there. So we shouted in merry spirits, “Fired up! Ready to go!” and the like. There was one I was really puzzled by, though, and I refused to join in, since I’m an atheist. It went, “Gay! Straight! Black! White! Mary! Jesus! Equal rights!” What the heck? What are those two doing in there? My Beau asked why I wasn’t chanting and I told her. Would you believe she laughed at me? Turns out they were saying, “Marriage is an equal right!” Huh. Anyway, now we’re going around using that as our expression of disgust, dismay, or awe, totally cracking ourselves up. As in, earlier today before I’d had my breakfast, “Mary! Jesus! The electricians are here already!” Or my Beau, “This is an amazing cup of coffee. Equal rights!”

I thought about my boys when we were at the demonstration. One couple, the first gay couple to get married in MA, had their son with them on stage – he left quickly, after being introduced. I could never imagine Seth accompanying us on such an occasion, although Owen might. Seth so hates that we’re gay, that we’re different from the parents of most of his friends. We do tell him that we can legally get married in MA, but he knows it’s kind of a fake – senses it somehow, although he doesn’t know the particulars. What if we could tell him it was legal everywhere in the U.S.? In Canada? In Mexico? In Chile, where my dearest childhood friend lives? In the WORLD? What if we could show him queer families from every walk of life, from every country, of every gender, every color, and they were accepted right into the fabric of society – maybe not in the majority, but certainly nothing odd, nothing bad, just a normal variation in the human expression. What if we could do that? Well, I’m not going to fool myself – he’d still be 12 and he’d still be rabidly pre-adolescent. But still, how cool would it be to actually fit in to the pack? Man, you’d hear me saying it then! Say it with me now, just for fun:

Mary! Jesus! EQUAL RIGHTS!!!!

Published in: on November 17, 2008 at 7:56 PM  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Mary! Jesus! Wonderful post!

  2. […] your hard-working, suburban queers and the gender binary reared its ugly head hither and yon. And Jesus, Mary, Equal Rights, did the world continue going to hell! I know I’m not the only one waking up in the night utterly […]

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