Tag Archives: china

Comrades

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.

A story I told recently

Did I ever tell you this story of how one time I saved Lindsey’s life?

Desert excursion, July 2009

(Responding to concerns about this blog’s lack of romance! and adventure! which our real lives do not lack in the slightest.)

Here is a moral tale for you, kids:

We were riding our camels into the desert, which was great, and it was really hot and beautiful and not as stark as you would think. True, there was scarcely a plant as far as you could see, but the sand was every hue of gold and the dunes were, um, luscious? Seriously.

So our camel guide, Li, goes, Here, I’ll take your camels and you go climb that big dune. Perfect! We’ll climb a big dune and watch the sunset and he will set up some tents and boil water for our ramen.

Here is the trouble with climbing big dunes: it’s hard. Like, it’s really tall and steep and walking in sand requires twice as much effort at least as walking on, say, concrete. So we are a good three-quarters of the way up when Lindsey has an asthma attack. We sit a minute to see if it will clear up (the way asthma attacks never do) and it gets worse. Dear reader, her inhaler was in her backpack. Attached to a camel. Off at the campsite with Li.

Faced with a suffocating girlfriend, I ran down the dune (fun!), over to the campsite (less fun), back to the dune, and then back *up* the dune (not fun at all). My legs gave out twice on the way back up and I thought my heart might explode. It hurt. But the day, and Lindsey’s bronchial tubes, were saved by inhalable steroids, and we made it the rest of the way up. The sunset was magical.

Desert Sunset 2009

Moral of the story: if you are asthmatic, do not leave your inhaler with your camel while you undertake strenuous activity.

The middle of the story.

April 3rd 2009 was a Friday. Lindsey and I were in our apartment in Panyu, a suburb of megalopolis Guangzhou, China. The results of Varnum v. Brien hadn’t broken by the time we went to bed. We had to get up early the next morning; we were going to Hong Kong.

As soon as I got up Saturday morning, I checked the internet. “Lindsey!” I called out. She came into the room really quickly, because the tone of my voice made it sound as though I had hurt myself or discovered some horrible news. “What?!” “We can get married in Iowa.”

The Iowa Supreme Court had ruled, “We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective… Iowa Code section 595.2 [defining marriage as male-female only] denies gay and lesbian people the equal protection of the law promised by the Iowa Constitution.”

This is perhaps not the most romantic engagement story you’ve ever heard.

Don’t worry, we have other engagement stories. We’ve been getting engaged since at least 2006. We didn’t really expect to be able to get married so soon. But that’s one more thing: we don’t necessarily get to the pick the time and place we’d like to be married. The earliest possible challenge to the Court ruling is 2012. Iowa, fortunately, is where we fell in love and a place we hold dearly. 2011, fortunately, is a good amount of time away for us to be thinking about getting married (and conveniently a year and a half after Lindsey’s brother’s wedding and a year after my sister’s wedding). We are fortunate to be in love and young in a time of change. Iowa is just a small answer to the question “Why can’t we get married?”, but I’m so happy it’s Iowa.

It’s a beautiful spring day today.

You can read the Iowa Supreme Court ruling here. I highly recommend it.