My City, Once the Gay Mecca of the World, is Back on Top

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 10:59
Submitted by Lawrence Lanoff

I cried at breakfast this morning, in a restaurant. I was glancing up at the TV when it happened. The waitress came over and asked me if everything was OK. I nodded yes, wiping my tears with my wadded up napkin.

“They’re tears of joy,” I choked out. She nodded as if she understood. I looked back up at the TV. CNN was showing people dancing and applauding because the Governor of New York just signed a bill allowing same sex marriages in my great state.

I’m not really sure why I cried so suddenly, except that I felt a sense of joy and relief. My city, once the gay mecca of the world, is back on top - in touch with the changing times.

Sadly, CNN was showing over-the-top images of half naked queens celebrating in masks and tutus - images intended to shock Saturday morning viewers out of their sleepy haze - but having the unintended consequence of causing the rest of conservative America to gag on their margarine slathered toast.

One guy I overheard looked up and said, “that’s disgusting.”

But me, I felt proud and sad. I thought of all of the friends who didn’t live to see this day. Hundreds and hundreds in fact, all lost in the 80’s to a tsunami called AIDS.

I remembered some of the all night parties with Keith Haring, Grace Jones, "Andy" and a fabulous collection of artsy people. We danced till the sun came up and the Hudson River flickered orange and blue flames of light. There was a sense of hope in the city before Reagan, before AIDS. Yes, I was a kid, but history was unfolding - and I was right in the middle of it all. It seemed back then - anything was possible.

It's hard to believe that we’ve gone so far the other way in terms of our cultural conservatism. Perhaps that’s why I cried. I thought of the Archbishop response to the possible passing of this legislation. “The passage by the Legislature of a bill to alter radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage leaves us deeply disappointed and troubled.”

That’s strange. This passage of this bill leaves me deeply hopeful. My city has finally added its voice to the song of equality and freedom for all.

Resident President of Pleasure. Buster of myths.

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To the Bishop I say FUCK YOU

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 19:11

To the Bishop I say FUCK YOU ASSHOLE!!!

How do you really feel?

Lawrence Lanoff's picture
Sat, 06/25/2011 - 19:23

You just let that out Jake! Wew hew!!!

It took me a while to

Betty Dodson's picture
Sun, 06/26/2011 - 10:00

It took me a while to understand why gay marriage was so important. Why would we want the right to be as miserable as most straight married couples? And go through the nightmare of getting a divorce? But I finally understood it was about social acceptance and inheritance. I didn't cry with joy but I did go to bed happy knowing we'd crossed another social barrier to becoming more sexually open and healthy. I love NY

Polyamory

Marias Chaos's picture
Sun, 06/26/2011 - 13:53

Your post Betty reminds me of a thought I have been having.

I agree. I don't believe in what society/religion has created marriage to
mean and be about. But equality is equality.

I believe another minority and social barrier that needs to be addressed is
the attitude against polyamory.

Too bad that our world has grown to embrace and instill (really it's
brainwashing) the idea that monogamy is the only acceptable behavior.
Regardless of truth and honesty. People have been conditioned to accept and
believe that you have to fall in love and commit yourself to one person
FOREVER!

I don't CRAVE or feel the NEED to have multiple
"loves/lovers/relationships", but I do think it is normal and natural
to want to enjoy more than one persons company at a time or in a lifetime. I
wish to not be limited or bound to one person at a time. I am not SPECIFICALLY
LOOKING to create a triad or have multiple lovers going. Nor am I opposed to
either. I just want to live and let life happen. Whatever happens,
happens.
I accept that a person wants and/or needs change.

I don’t see how anyone can realistically make promises of forever in
regards to our feelings.

So there is my tangent…
We all need to support open tolerance and understanding for peoples different choices and ways of living life.
Equal rights and opportunity for all.

I <3 New York Too!!!

Lawrence Lanoff's picture
Sun, 06/26/2011 - 14:55

that's the strange thing... for me, fighting for principals is often so much more important than the mundane nuts and bolts realities of daily living... there is something about being witnessed, heard, understood - the feeling of "I deserve to take up space in my culture, in my society... I deserve to stand tall in my own skin...I deserve to be acknowledged for who I am."

Marriage needed to be redefined for gays and straights alike

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 05:11

I know marriage as an institution has basically been the trading of women as property up until very recently. In ancient Greece the marriage vows were between father of the bride and groom and were "I give you this women for the ploughing of legitimate children" ...well, if nothing else at least they were painfully honest about what it was all about. This is what marriage was for most people for millennia.  
Marriages don't resemble that anymore and are no longer considered forever now because divorce is socially acceptable. To me high divorce rates are not a sign of social decline but social progress. Marriage is an institution in flux and still more changes are necessary as marriage needs to include the polyamorous also. I say don't throw the baby out with the bath water yet marriage could and is becoming a protean thing shaped uniquely by each couple. I am getting married to my partner here in Amsterdam in August. We will be committed to each other and she will become the legal guardian of my daughter but we will be in an open marriage.

The Netherlands has had marriage equality for 10 years this year. It's not just about marriage. Equal civil rights under the law filters down and an epidemic of gay teen suicides are not happening here at all.   Marriage is what each couple makes of it and I think the patriarchal hegemonic heterosexual dogma of what marriage is, is being destroyed as it desperately needed to be.  

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