I couldn’t help myself.
As I entered the quad at San Francisco State University today, I happened to notice a small fracas underway directly in front of the student union. As I got closer, I could tell that there was man, maybe two or more, and they were standing beneath a red banner with black lettering on it.
The closer I got I noticed that the banner said something about sin and homosexuality and something about morals and the bible…you can guess the rest. I even stopped looking closely to tell the truth because I knew the score. Another bible bleater found his way onto campus to lecture the kiddies about hell and values. He wasn’t the first snake oil salesman to appear on campus.
I have read about these reformers making appearances before and I did witness one previously (the guy was standing on a platform and yelling out of an open book while scores of students ignored him). This was the first time I saw a proselytizer this close to the union, let alone one that actually attracted a crowd.
It wasn’t a crowd of adoring fans, fortunately. There were 20-30 hipster types heckling him and taking pictures of him and his sign with their cell phones. Not in the mood to put up with this intrusion, I pushed my way through the crowd, put my overflowing canvas tote bag down in the clearing and got down on one knee.
I looked up at the man, who wouldn’t look down at me, and said, “Hey fucker, will you marry me?”
As he continued to look up – over my head and over the heads of the now laughing crowd of twenty somethings – he said, “I’m already married.”
Still on my knee, I said, “As a citizen of the state of California, I am getting married to a man and you can’t stop me.” The crowd broke into applause. I said, “Now, I have to go take two exams.” I picked up my tote bag and after thanking a few guys for congratulating me, I headed off to my exams, no longer concerned about what grade I would get. My work there is done, I figure.
In four days, this Saturday, I graduate from college. Gavin Newsom is speaking at commencement. When he opened up City Hall to me and my husband four years ago, I made the decision to stop working at a job I hated and instead get an education to help me understand more about what it means to be an American citizen. It was a big gamble. I borrowed money. I had to find part time work while being a full time student and a middle aged homo. I’ve been busy for four years.
I can’t say that I have thoroughly completed that education, but I am incredibly grateful for the experience I have had…and I am indebted to Mayor Newsom for giving me the inspiration, the courage, and the purpose to finish. It’s quite fitting that I end my college career one week after the CA Supreme Court decision and with an address by the man who started the ball rolling.
At this point my husband and I are planning on getting married in August. Again.