Category Archives: gay marriage

Outside of the Celebration

The morning was about stuffing my face with my dim sum buddies.  We go a few times a year. We used to be a writing group.  Now we just eat dumplings together.

While we were stuffing our faces, many of my gay colleagues (as the gays call each other in Costa Rica) were tying the knot, legally, for the first time in my state.  It is a big day for the big gays.

I’ve never been one to rush to be the first to do anything.  And though I admittedly enjoy the limelight from time to time, I felt no rush to the altar today.  We haven’t had our wedding yet. We were waiting for it to be legal in NY.  And I’ll be damned if I’m going to plan my one and only wedding in 30 days!

But I did want to go down there and get caught up in the excitement.  One of my friends had wanted to go down and serenade people as they exited the office building.  I said I’d join her, but of course, with the kids, the timing was all wrong and I went at the one time when she couldn’t make it.  My fiancee is not interested in the limelight, ever.  So she stayed home with the kids.  And there I was.  By the time I got there, it was 3 pm.  There were more photographers than any other people.  There was one couple getting ready to go in.  A few people around the couple were dressed up, but obviously not the center of attention.  There was a man and woman passing out yellow flowers to onlookers.  I felt a little invisible.  And hot.  I felt hot.  I stood there holding my yellow flower.  Wondering what to do.  There was no hullabulloo.  Just a little fuss.  Then, a couple of women rode up on bikes.  One woman was wearing a rainbow flag as a cape.  All of the reporters ran up to them.  Are you getting married?  Where do you live?  How old are you? No, they aren’t getting married until DOMA is repealed. They are 24 and 25.  I was standing next to them thinking, I’m getting married.  I’ve been with my partner for 12 years.  I just turned 40! I have two little boys. I was just standing there with my yellow flower.

Then it happened.

The moment I had actually gone there for, the reason I left my honey alone with two cranky boys: the couple who was actually getting married stood together.  Their friends stood behind them.  In a procession. And they walked into the City Clerk’s office.  That was it.

I burst into tears.

I had no tissues.  I didn’t know the couple.

But they were walking in to get married. Married!  In New York!

I guess it didn’t feel real until I saw that.  I wiped my eyes, quietly, and walked to the subway.

[Mazel tov to my friends who are newlyweds today: the L & C and M & A!  And, of course, to any other friends who may have been hitched?! I was trolling the wedding photo sites for any familiar faces.  All I saw was a possible ex-gf.]

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Married? I Know About Married.

My four-year-old knows everything, by the way.  If he asks you a question and you tell him the answer, it is usually followed up with a “I KNOW that, Mommy.”

Which is why it threw me off guard when he asked me one of those questions I had been dreading:

Mommy?  If you love Mama, why aren’t you married?

All of my possible responses came flooding into my head:

I would love to marry her, but I can’t? No.

Some people don’t think we should be allowed to do that? Uh-uh.

Why don’t you ask these schmucks? Nope.

I don’t know!  I don’t know!  It isn’t fair.  I hate the world.  [Kicks and beats floor with fists. Melts into a pile of clothing like the Wicked Witch of the West.] Not a great idea.

Oh, I plan to marry her just as soon as I can, sweet boy. That’s a possibility…

I didn’t have an answer for him.  It may have been the very first time he asked me a serious question and I did not have a good answer for him.

Then he looked at me with his big brown eyes and said, “Can I watch my icey penguin movie?”

Yes.  Yes, you can.

At least I had an answer for something.

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Ambivalent Activist

I just spent a good ten minutes looking at someone-I-don’t-know’s wedding pictures on Facebook.  My brother was in some of them, so that’s how I could see them.  I was fascinated because the photography was so good.  He made each shot look like a movie set by that director who did that Steve Zizou movie.  And everyone looked hip.  And he made the cheesy place where they had the wedding look very chic.  Which made me think how sad I am that I couldn’t fly this guy out from California to shoot my wedding.  And how even sadder I am that my friend, Joannie, who I had always assumed would take the pictures at my wedding, has passed away.

All of that mindless wondering lead me to this thought: why am I planning my wedding?  I probably won’t get to have one.

My honey only wants to get married if we can do it legally in New York.  Because why get married in every state, and possibly have our rights taken away anyway like our friends in California?  My state has gone loco en la cabeza, with a coup and whatnot.  The Empire State Pride Agenda — or at least Tom Duane —  appears to be sleeping with the enemy.  And what is my real goal here?  I want rights like any married straight couple.  But those rights wouldn’t be equal even if I could get legally married in New York because it wouldn’t count everywhere.  Because of DOMA,  it wouldn’t count on our federal taxes.   Because of DOMA, we still couldn’t receive each others’ social security benefits.  If we visit A’s mother in South Carolina, we’d be suddenly unmarried.  It almost seems like getting married would make me more, rather than less frustrated.  Speaking of taxes, there is actually a hefty benefit to being an unwed mother.  There are two of us here in this house.

So why do I want to get married?  I really want nice towels and a big party in which I get to feed my closest friends good food.  I want to buy a really nice dress and tell everyone how much I love my honey.  I want a honeymoon.  Yes, I want rights.  But not a bone tossed from the table of civil marriage.  I want the whole beast.  If I can’t have it, I can have all that comes after (with additional lawyer fees, which by-the-way, because of DOMA I’d still have to pay)  kids, a house, a happy life together, babies on beaches with fists full of sand, dinners at the table together, bills, cupcakes, covering our ears for the fireworks.  That I can have.  I do have.

Until DOMA is overturned, I don’t know why I’m bothering to fight or fret.  Until DOMA is overturned, it is all pretend… pretend-ish.  I don’t want to void or belittle anyone’s vows.  I’m just saying.  I don’t buy the bull.  But I do want the towels.

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2 Good 2 B 4 Gotten

I miss you people and this blog.  I’ve been sucked into a vacuum of sleeplessness and general lack of brain cells.  I have enough wherewithall to play a game on facebook that involves clicking once amidst a bunch of little flying balls and watching them all bump into each other. I’m a little embarrassed because nice folks keep linking to me and I have nothing witty or entertaining to say.

I’ve been preoccupied with a few folks and their journeys to fertility.

A very close friend is trying to freeze her eggs for future use.  This is tough because it is more like trying to try to conceive, if that makes any sense.  There’s neither BFP nor BFN at the end of a cycle.  Just lots of needles and tests. I wish I could give her even more support, but I just keep calling and asking how today went.

Another friend of a friend — single mom by choice —  just got a BFP.  Yay!  I love those three letters.

I’m awaiting the arrival of L and H babypants’ little pant-wearer.  I thought for sure he or she had already arrived, until I read this today. Ugh.  My heart goes out to them for the unbearable past-the-due-date wait.  On the other hand, it will be over soon. Yay!  (Do you see how braindead I am?  I keep saying “yay!” like an over-enthusiastic cheerleader on red bull.)

And EVA!  Over at eggdrop?  High-stakes IVF.  It is taking every ounce of my being to not call her.  Maybe I should call her.  I just worry that on the off chance she’s actually not thinking about it for five seconds, I might upset her temporary sanity.  God I hope she’s pregnant.  Can we impregnate her with our thoughts please?

Umm errr uhh.  Oh!  And today I found out that I will teach a new grade next year.  I’m finally moving up to third grade from second.  I’ve been teaching second grade for 8 years, so this is a bit of a big deal.  I was hoping to loop with my class, to have all the same kids next year, but that’s not in the cards for me.

What else? This Prop 8 is just another lame misstep on the way to equality.  Evolution takes time.  I think we’re pretty much still primates in much of the country.

And… I’ve been thinking of putting some pictures of Trucker up here.  This blog is not so pretty to look at.  And he is so much so.  In fact, every single day someone tells me how pretty my daughter is.  🙂

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Mother-Baby Movie w/ bonus, since I haven’t posted in a long time (for me)

Akilah and The Bee

Pirates of the Carribean –The Annoying One With the Dumb Ending

Knocked Up

Dreamgirls

Sex In the City

Rachel Getting Married

MILK

Yes.  I can count on my fingers the movies I’ve seen since Cake was born. Some, obviously, were seen when there was not much selection in movies to be had.

Crash. Mad Hot Ballroom.  Those were the two I saw right before my honey gave birth.  I like movies.  But when one lives several states away from the kids’ grandparents, and babysitting ends up costing $100 a night, movies are harder to come by.  (That said, I have seen more plays than usual in the past three years, the reasoning being that if we’re spending that much on the babysitter, we may as well shell out some more for the entertainment.)

I was secretly jealous of my honey, I may have mentioned before, during her seven months home with baby Cakie way back when.  One thing I envied was the time she could spend sitting in cafes with friends and little babies.  Another was that she could go to movies.  In New York, a few years back, it was all the rage for movie theatres to reserve one showing of a matinee, maybe once a week for babies and their caretakers to be welcomed and not have to feel like they are imposing on other movie-goers: the mother-baby movie.  Now that I’m home, I can’t find them anywhere on line.  Please help me out, quick (!) if you have any evidence to the contrary as close to Brooklyn as possible.

Since I have one whole freakin’ week of time at home with my baby left, I decided to throw caution to the wind and go to a movie I wanted to see regardless of the state of the welcome my little friend in the Ergo would receive.  I chose the movie I wanted to see most: MILK.  Hoping for an empty theatre, I was a bit bummed to see the theatre half-full.  Damn New Yorkers and their flexible schedules.  Artsy-fartsy freelancing matinee crashers!  I chose a seat near the door, way in the back.  There were people in front, behind, and to the left of me.  The people to my left were young.  Too young.  Rabblerousers.  I don’t know what movie they thought they were going to see, one about cows perhaps?  Every gay kiss, these teens felt the need to giggle. Loudly.  They were extremely annoying.  And yet… they made Trucker seem kind of quiet and unobtrusive.  So I didn’t even shush them.

I loved the movie– what I saw of it.  Yet, it was the kind of movie you want to be fully-engrossed in so you can cry really hard at the hard parts, etc.  That didn’t happen.  Especially for a long stretch in the middle during which Trucker would make I’m-about-to-cry noises, until I walked into the lobby.  Then he’d stop.  Then if I went back inside, he’d make the I’m-about-to-cry-take-me-back-to-that-pretty-lobby noises. Repeat.  Finally, I stood in the back for some time rocking him gently and watching the gays on the big screen.  He fell asleep.  And proceeded to snore. Loudly. But I didn’t care.  At least I could sit down and I didn’t have to go into the lobby and I wasn’t snickering loudly like the teens who should have been in school, dagnabit.  The movie ended and I cried, yadda yadda.  I couldn’t help but feel like a missed out on the movie anyway.  I walked up to a woman who had been sitting in the last row, right where I kept having to stand and sway with the baby.  I apologized for  any distraction I may have been.  She said it was no problem.

When I got outside and I was trying to put up my umbrella, the woman from the back walked up to me again and said, “You really should get a babysitter next time.  You’ll enjoy the movie a lot more.  Trust me.”  Perhaps she saw the look on my face I get when given unsolicited advice from strangers on the street.  She pointed to her pregnant belly (I hadn’t noticed before) and said, “I have an older son.  Really.” I paused.  She was right.  I would have totally enjoyed the movie more if I’d had a sitter.  Perhaps even $100 more.

Upon further thought, I realized that maybe the very best way to have fun while home with a baby is to have fun with the baby at home.

Bonus — My favorite sign from the No On 8 march … Sad Rainbow.

img_1517

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Filed under gay marriage, LGBT, my second son, NYC What is it about you?, Trucker

Family with a Capital F

There’s this list of legal stuff gay moms have to do when they have a baby.  Ummm.  Yeah.  That.  Well, let’s just say we haven’t even really gotten started on the list yet.  Unless you consider “Give birth,” to be an item on the list.

We should:

  • Get second-parent adoption started, say, while you’re pregnant
  • Update wills
  • Make sure entire family is covered by somebody’s health insurance
  • Get life insurance
  • Sign new baby up for college savings plan

I’m sure there’s more.  And, yes, I guess I did one thing on the list.  So, I was looking through the brochure for the New York State 529 College Savings Plan, and I came across a part about how you can roll-over part or all of the savings from one person to a “Member of the Family.”  The quotes are there because those words are actually capitalized.  Then I found myself leafing through the book, looking for a definition of a Member of the Family.  Did they actually have a definition of “Family?”  What could it be?  I was horrified that perhaps by New York State definition, my family was not actually a Family with a capital F.  I’ll copy the list that I eventually found for you here:

Member of the Family

A “Member of the Family” of the Beneficiary is currently defined for purposes of section 529 as any person related to the Beneficiary as follows:

  • Father, Mother, or an ancestor of either;
  • Son, daughter, or a descendant of either;
  • Stepfather or Stepmother;
  • Stepson or stepdaughter;
  • Brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, or half-sister;
  • Brother or sister of the father or mother
  • Brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, or mother-in-law;
  • Son or daughter of a brother or sister;
  • Spouse of the Beneficiary or any of the individuals mentioned above; or
  • First cousin

Ugh.  That’s a whole lot of “steps” and “in-laws” to type.  On this list there is so much to do with legal marriage (“step” or “in-law”) and blood relationships (“half”).  Right now, in the eyes of the law, I am Trucker’s only legal parent.  So could I roll over any of Cakie’s vast fortune into Trucker’s account?  (He’s got about enough in there right now to buy him one credit at  community college.)  There was one more line at the bottom that made all the difference to me: A legally adopted child of an individual is to be treated as the child of such individual by blood. So, yes, since Cakie was legally adopted by me, that makes Cake and Trucker legal brothers in the eyes of the 529 College Savings Plan.

I ask you this, who else needs to go looking through any brochure to see if their family deserves a capital F?

And if I were to live in a state in which second-parent adoption is not legal for gay folks, well — here I’m getting flustered, because all I want to do is scream THAT’S NOT FUCKING FAIR!

In New York State, my honey and I are registered Domestic Partners.  This means we get five — yes a whopping five — rights as partners, as opposed to the over 700 rights legally-married folks like Britney Spears and that guy she married in Las Vegas get.  Four of them have nothing to do with us.  We can have those sex visits if one of us gets incarcerated.  We can stay on the lease if we live in the projects and one of us passes away, etc.  The reason we bothered to do it at all was so we could be on each other’s insurance.  I am grateful that both of our jobs recognize domestic partnerships for health insurance.  BUT, we have to pay income tax on the money we use to buy that insurance.  I call it the gay tax.  There is so much more that isn’t fair.  And we live in a state that is fairly kind to its gay citizens, at least in comparison to some other states.

My honey and I agreed a long time ago that we would get married when it becomes legal in New York.  Even though our neighbors to the east, MA and CT are more on the gay marriage up and up, we are waiting.  Which is why I had to go  to the march.

img_1515 I hope you were able to attend as well.  If not this one, maybe I’ll see you at the next one?

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one hand clapping

hi kids!

i haven’t been posting as much.  typing with one hand is tricky.  in the other hand i have the fruits of my ttc labor, asleep with a pacifier in his mouth.

i guess i have also exactly too much and too little to say.

i want to tell you about “when babies attack: the great face-eating trucker.”  I guess that’s self-explanatory.  my youngest son kisses like an inexperienced high school boy — while grabbing your hair.  thank god he doesn’t have teeth yet.  is that a whole post?  nah.

i want to drool over our upcoming president and stomp over prop 8.  neither is very original.  i think we’re all on the same page here.

am i starting to freak out about going back to work? (not for another month and a half, but still…)  yes.  yes I am.

i am just getting in a groove with being home.  i’ve just started to take those long walks through the park up to my old neighborhood that i’d envisioned myself taking all along.  i’ve just begun to hang out in cafes with other moms, eating over-priced criossants and debating about sleep training.  there isn’t even one little ounce of me that wishes i were teaching.  does that make me a bad teacher? nah.  it makes me a good mom.

so that’s it, folks: the sound of one hand clapping.

thanks for stopping by, anyway.

let me know if you have any post requests.  i’d love to cater to your reading needs.  what do you want to know about big city gay mom life with a newborn and a three-year-old?

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Filed under blogitty blog blog, gay marriage, my second son, NYC What is it about you?, Trucker