Monday, December 14, 2009
Our Love, 2007, New Jersey, photo by Morgan Gwenwald
I came across this shining image when I was going through my 2007 correspondence, but that is another story. La Professeressa and myself have aged in the past three years, the glow of good health is not as strong as it was here, but what sang out to me about this image of two women was the joy of being in each other's arms--and I thought about the gay marriage struggle, and why I do not want the State to have control over the context of this joy, the legitimizing of this joy, over making sure our human rights are sharable yes, that these smiles do not need the blessing of a god or a law I rejoice in. Here we hold in our mutual grasp the possibilities of intimate bodies, beyond the judgement of the small minded or the frightened, the devotedly convinced or the whims of pragmatic politicians, beyond the kindnesses of well meaning others who grow larger in their own eyes by letting us in to the magic circle of law blessed unions. I have many dear friends who want to marry, have married in the few states that permit it, who will fight with all their breath for the time when gay people can walk down any aisle they want and end up at the alter of blessings of their love. I will stand beside them as the voices of hate pour over their dreams, I will fight homophobia in all its forms, but somewhere under the wounds of deprivation that it engenders--so many clamor for what is denied, let us fight in the military, let us be priests and rabbis, let us be married--I embrace this un-Stated joy; we are frailer women now, but once we stood in the sunlight, attending the gay marriage of two women friends in a Temple in a small town in New Jersey--dressed for fun in our red lipstick, power to power. Let me be a 70 year old for a moment--or perhaps I am always an "alta cocker," and say to younger gay people--do not let not being allowed to do something the State needs you to do, like serving in the military, seduce you into not thinking about what kind of State you want to a part of, after gratitude, think about what it means that the State can give and with hold the legitimizing of love, about what it means to serve religious institutions that often restrict the definitions of who is fully human. What I mean to say is, in honor of the young people sitting handcuffed in the streets of Copenhagen or marching in the streets of Tehran, let us find new ways of creating a more joyous human world.