My friend Becky, a very dear girl and all around general badass, lived in Macau and then Shanghai the years Lindsey and I lived in China. While in Shanghai, her girlfriend was one of the head gays around town, writing the gay column for English-language mags, organizing drag shows and bar outings, keeping up on the general queer Shanghai pulse. She also became a lead organizer of Shanghai Pride 上海骄傲节 2009, mainland China’s first ever official Pride.
Part of the Pride party on Saturday was a group marriage. Two Chinese couples (two boys and two girls) and two American couples (two girls and two girls) all got up on stage and excahnged vows and plastic rings. The ceremony was mock, but the congratulations afterwards were not. People really loved it. The photos of it were terrific too. I don’t have any since I was one of those on the stage, but there were several printed online on the BBC, China Daily, etc. Lindsey just this morning sent me some more she happened to find. Look! Aww, cute.
A very nice reminder a few days before the wedding, that we’ve already had a dress rehearsal.
Hey guys, I’m getting married this week! Excited!
P.S. In case you were wondering, two weeks is the time frame when you start freaking out a little.
P.P.S. Also, I cut my hair off. This is unrelated to the previous post script.
So awhile back on this blog I went to Springfield to lobby for Civil Unions. You’ll notice in the post that my argument for CU was largely “it changes the map”. And look! Look at the map! Now Illinois also gets to be shaded in (lightly).
Same-Sex Marriage Laws U.S.
Yep, the Illinois law takes effect June 1, which totally coincidentally and not on purpose means that our marriage gets recognized as a civil union in Illinois. We don’t have to file any extra paperwork or register or anything. Just as Illinois automatically understands that straight marriages performed elsewhere are marriages, now they’ll grant that gay marriages performed elsewhere (and civil unions performed in other civil-uniony states) are civil unions.
There’s mixed reaction to this news. On the whole, it’s a positive step. Politically, it changes the map. Practically, it offers a lot more security for couples and families. Personally, it helps me get better health insurance!
On the other hand, it is a newly invented classification to keep same-sex couples out of traditional marriage. It offers an equivalent system of legal rights and benefits under a big sign that says “You’re Still Too Different From Us”. So, if Lindsey and I weren’t getting married in Iowa, we probs wouldn’t be getting civil unioned in Illinois*. We don’t have shared property or frail health or children or much else to make the incentives of civil unions worth the annoyance of them existing. Not too mention civil unions are sooo five years ago. Marriage equality is in this spring.
*Btw, you can read about our and other couples’ feelings on this matter in the June 9 issue of TimeOut Chicago. They’re doing a story on just this topic.
As always, you can help change this! If you’re in Chicago, you should come to the Rally to Repeal DOMA on Saturday June 11. It’s in Boystown, so you can support some community engagement before going out for different community engagement. Also, slim chance I might be speaking at the rally. So it might also be an excellent chance to see me be really, really nervous.
And if you’re not in Chicago, people do this everywhere. Find them and get involved.
Oooh yay. So, I’ve been putting off telling you all about our photographers because they were laboring over a new website. It’s launched! Joshua Ford Photography is run by Josh and Aimee and they are two awesome cats. Like, shark-cats awesome. They also happen to be good pals with Lindsey’s brother and sister-in-law, which is how we met them. They also happen to have one of the cutest little dudes on Earth.
They also happen to have gotten married at the Figge in January, and shot other events there, so they know what’s good in that space. Lindsey and I have a lot of misgivings about photographers. Too much looking cute and coordinated… The Fords’ style (lots of portraits, lots of geometry, lots of Photoshop coloring and technique) gives us something to look at without worrying about whether everyone nailed the correct Charlie’s Angel pose assigned them. I have fond nostalgic memories of high school friends dragging too-big (still film!) Nikons to local punk and rock shows, and I feel pretty comfortable that this is going to be kind of a grown-up version of that.
Check out their Facebook page too, tons more images there. Congrats on the site Josh, it looks sweet.