In case you've been living in a well-stocked bomb shelter for the past few weeks, you've most likely heard that the California Supreme Court voted 4-3 to legalize same-sex marriages.
Well, hooray and all that, but it's got me a bit troubled. I'm not so much bothered about those clowns at Save California and their terribly irritating November ballot measure because, for some extraordinary reason, I've recently been instilled with an unreasonable amount of faith in the majority of California voters. For now.
No, what troubles me is this--
What on earth does one feed a banquet hall full of homosexuals? That's a dilemma that would strike any sane wedding planner apoplectic. Individually, a gay man might respond to foodstuffs in a manner similar to that of a straight man, but get five or more in a room together and watch out. Have you ever baked a birthday cake for a gay man's birthday party, only to find thirty or so other gay men moaning about carbohydrates, telling you that while the dessert you've just put your heart and soul into looks great, they'll just have to pass on it, while patting their stomach? Well, I have, and what I have since learned is this: Guzzling vodka = good carbs, eating a tiny sliver of polenta cake= It-will-make-me-fat-and-then-no-one-will-love me-or-think-I'm-hot bad.
No, cake is out of the question. Perhaps a wedding protein shake would be more fitting. Of course, there's the problem of slicing.
How does one approach a gay reception? For one couple I know, I imagine there would be a chilled Ketel One fountain splashing about. Would others prefer a Teddy Bear Picnic motif? I think the traditional menus might need a going over. Instead of fish or chicken, the invitations should request a preference for either no-carb or sauce on the side.
And what on earth do you feed a roomful of lesbians? There is only so much quinoa to be had in any given season, you know.
Entertainment? If Melissa Etheridge is too busy with her own wedding or too highly priced to perform at yours, will gym teacher-turned-songbird Ann Murray do? I don't know for certain if she is a lesbian, but she's Canadian and not as busy as she used to be, and that often works in a pinch.
If you are planning a wedding and you want it gay-officiated, gay photographed, and gay-catered (I'm going to assume you'd be picking a gay deejay anyway), one resource with possibilities I've found is the Golden Gate Business Association. Hound them. While there is so far no specific section of their website dedicated to gay wedding needs, I think it would be wise for them to throw one together. Like now.
Of course, chances are, your wedding planner might be a gay man with some inside channels, one might hope. And then there's the gay florists and caterers, who tend to be busy in the June wedding season anyway. Citizen Cake, for example, has been flooded with wedding cake orders this month-- gay and straight.
Hypothesizing same-sex wedding scenarios is time well spent, but this is what really bothers me…
When I contacted the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Center of San Francisco for information, I was told by the gentleman who assisted me that the Center was "so overwhelmed with Pride" at the moment to do anything about same-sex weddings. So overwhelmed with Pride. It's as busy and as gay a month as anyone can imagine. And so emotional, apparently.
The Big Gay resource centers do not yet have a handle on this new marriage business. I can't say I don't understand, since it was all rather unexpected and came at a time when everyone was already too excited by the selection of Charo as our Gay Pride Grand Marshall to think of anything else. But time's a-wasting. The weddings start happening on June 17th. Or, as rumor has it, the evening of the 16th.
The fact of the gay wedding matter is our selection of go-to wedding assistance is very limited. There's always GayWeddings.com. Its a good starting point, certainly, but theyre Washington-based. What we need is something local. So you'll just have to go through the traditionally straight channels to plan that day you've always dreamed about but never thought would actually happen.
And that's a big, crying shame. The fact that the Gay BLT Center or whatever it's called is too "overwhelmed" with, um, Pride tells me that they really don't have their priorities, um straight. From an historic point of view, this is a big, big, BIG moment for San Francisco's Lesbians and Gays. From a financial point of view, same-sex weddings are a booming business. Tens of thousands of gay couples will be flocking to our state-- and our city-- to get married to the tune of nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars over the next couple of years. Sure, parades are fun-- wave a flag, wear some hot pants, and shake your ass on a corporate-sponsored float all you want-- it's a damned parade, for Christ's sake. I just don't want us to miss the real parade that might be passing us by.
Or the gravy train.
Of course we won't really miss it. Businesses will pop up like so many mushrooms: gay wedding planners, gay photographers, gay divorce lawyers. Perhaps The Midnight Sun will rent itself out for receptions. I just hope that, after the drunken haze of Pride Season clears, we can focus on what should really make us proud (Sorry, Charo, it isn't you)-- that we are finally equal under California State law. We can have our own weddings and, even better, attend those of our straight friends and families without that sad, nagging "I can never have this" feeling-- whether you want your own wedding or not.
Until November, anyway, when we'll have to fight again.
You know why I'm fighting? Because the next time a guy introduces his "hus-bear" to me, I can ask to see the rings as proof of their wedded bliss. I only hope to God they show me the ones on their fingers.