Tag Archives: same-sex marriage

Lame Adventure 371: Marriage Lame Adventures-style

When I launched Lame Adventures in January 2010, I saw my site as an outlet for sharing tales set in New York City from the perspective of a hapless minion of modest means. At first, it was fine with me if only my close circle of friends and my sister, Dovima, read my blog. I am by nature an anti-social networker. Eventually, bloggers began to discover me, and I realized that was okay, too. I now enjoy reading several fellow bloggers and I have gotten to know members of my cyberspace posse quite well. On more than one occasion I have even been fortunate enough to meet fellow bloggers when they’ve visited New York City.

The most rewarding experience I’ve had thus far with meeting a fellow blogger occurred last Thursday when I met one of my earliest followers, Kathy McCullogh over at Reinventing the Event Horizon. Instead of doing the usual, hanging out at a pub, Kathy emailed me and asked if I would serve as witness to the City Hall nuptials between she and Sara Coppler, her partner of seven years. On May 1, they would move to Cuenca, Ecuador. That was an offer I couldn’t refuse. My co-witness, Jackie over at Jackie Cangro, was on board to attend, too. I have since learned that Jackie is both an excellent sherpa and writer.

This year, Kathy and Sara’s lives have been in such a whirlwind I almost need a nap before I explain what’s been happening. They’ve sold their house in Kentucky and have been in the process of completely liquidating their life in the U.S. ever since. They chose to relocate to Ecuador for many reasons. Ecuador is on the East Coast’s time zone (except during daylight savings time), it’s a three and a half hour flight from Florida, the currency is the U.S. dollar, the price of oil is cheap ($1.48 a gallon), health care and housing are affordable, the overall cost of living is low, and the perpetual spring-like climate is a perfect compromise for both of them. Kathy hates heat and Sara hates cold. Gee, maybe Milton and I should stuff ourselves into their carry-on bags.

Before making this move, Kathy and Sara were advised that because marriage equality is on the rise in South America, it would behoove them to travel to a state in the U.S. where same sex marriage is legal. Getting married stateside before moving overseas would give their union more legitimacy in their adopted homeland. Hence, they chose New York to officially tie the knot.

As honored as I was to be included in this historic event in their lives, for a moment, a flash of terror shot through my entire being from the soles of my feet to the roots of my hair. No, this terror had nothing to do with my lifelong fear of commitment, but the thought of having to dress up twice in one week. They were marrying three days after Milton and I attended a black tie gala at Lincoln Center for Barbra Streisand! Kathy reassured me that it was going to be very casual.

For anyone considering getting married in New York’s City Hall, the ceremonies are actually held in the City Clerk’s office at 141 Worth Street in lower Manhattan. There is a 24-hour waiting period after a couple purchases a license, possibly to prevent couples from impulsively entering boneheaded unions, such as when Britney Spears got married in Las Vegas to, if I recall his name correctly, That Schmuck.

First thing first, fees.

First thing first, fees.

Kathy and Sara have been ready to make it legal for years, but like so many committed same sex couples, they were waiting for the laws to change.

Kathy and Sara in their final moments of waiting to wed.

Kathy (left) and Sara in their final moments of patiently waiting to wed.

On wedding day proper, April 25, the four of us agreed to meet at 9 a.m., but we all arrived at 8:45. Even though I am not an early riser nor am I a morning person at all, no way was I going to be The Jerk That Arrives Late for this special occasion.

New York City’s Marriage Bureau is a place where the vibe is warm and welcoming. All a couple has to do is show up and wait their turn. The bureau has flowers, a gift shop, even a backdrop with a photograph of the actual City Hall for brides and grooms to pose before. It’s run very efficiently. Check it out.

Flower selections.

Flower selections.

Cake toppers and ducks.

Cake toppers and ducks.

Reading material neither Kathy nor Sara needed during the 24-hour waiting period.

Reading material neither Kathy nor Sara needed during the 24-hour waiting period.

Camera-ready City Hall mural backdrop.

Camera-ready City Hall mural backdrop.

Kathy and Sara's ceremony number.

Kathy and Sara’s ceremony number.

Kathy and Sara filling out forms.

Kathy and Sara filling out forms.

Exchanging vows a.k.a. this is happening for real!

Exchanging vows a.k.a. this is happening for real!

Double ring ceremony.

Double ring ceremony.

Missed money shot due to delay in my camera's shutter speed.

Missed money shot due to delay in my camera’s shutter speed.

Just married! Finally!

Just married! Finally!

Backdrop looks complete now.

Backdrop looking complete now.

Kathy and Sara entered lawful wedded bliss by 9:59 a.m. When we stepped outside, we encountered a photographer named Braulio Cuenca. Apparently, he’s been a fixture outside the City Clerk’s office since 1994. If you’d like to read his story in the New York Times click this link. Coincidentally, Braulio is Ecuadorian and from — where else? Cuenca! He shot Kathy and Sara’s official wedding photo. We saw that as a good omen.

First step outside as spouse and spouse.

First step outside as a lawfully wedded couple.

Braulio showing Kathy official wedding photo.

Braulio showing Kathy official wedding photo.

Afterward, Jackie and I accompanied the brides on a few errands before heading over to Chinatown for a celebratory dim sum lunch at Ping’s on Mott Street. Our next stop was Ferrara’s in Little Italy for dessert Italian-style. Then, we parted ways. Jackie returned home to Brooklyn. I headed uptown. Kathy and Sara, caught a cab in the Big Apple detour in their journey.

Jubilant Kathy and Sara in taxi heading toward the next leg in their life together.

Jubilant Kathy and Sara in taxi heading toward the next leg in their life together.

Upon reflection, I realized that were it not for the blogosphere, I never would have met this very cool, very loving couple and made a new writer-friend in Brooklyn. This is an adventure that was far more lucky than it was lame. The Lame Adventures will return should this city slicker ever visit them in Ecuador.

Lame Adventure 214: Wedding(s) Crasher

The brides.

Today is a lovely 91 degree day in the city – hot but not humid, and a perfect day to get same-sex married in one of the two pop-up chapels near Columbus Circle at the Merchant’s Gate entrance to Central Park.  The area seemed equally divided with well wishing onlookers as well as police and wedding staff.

Well wishing onlookers.

The crowd was behaved although one onlooker’s father, a grumpy tourist who was more hungry for his lunch than storybook-New-York-City-style-romance, continually groused to his wedding-loving-daughter:

Grumpy Dad:  C’mon, we’ve watched enough of this!  Let’s get lunch!

Wedding-Loving-Daughter:  You get lunch.  I wanna watch!

Grumpy Dad:  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Wedding-Loving-Daughter was adorable, and a thought occurred to me:

Me:  People meet at weddings all the time.  Give her your Lame Adventures card.

Then a second thought occurred to me:

Me: She’s at least thirty years younger than you.  You’re older than her dad.  And, hello, you’re not a cougar!

I kept my card and returned my focus to the festivities.

This event offered free weddings including officiating, photography, champagne, witnesses, and of most importance to every New Yorker, cupcakes, to 24 first come, first serve couples that responded to the Pop-Up Chapel web site.  The weddings are co-sponsored by an on-line wedding planning site called the Knot.  The number 24 was selected because June 24th was the date that the bill was passed to legalize same-sex marriage in New York.

The two chapels were selected from 56 design entries.  Two of the stipulations were that these chapels had the capacity to be constructed within two hours on the morning of the event, and they measure no more than eight by eight feet.  The winners were Kiss by Z-A Studio and a cube of rainbow ribbons by the design firm ICRAVE.  What I liked most about Kiss, aside from the simple elegance of the design, was that when separated, the two pieces could not stand alone.  Gee, if I was the sappy type, I might have popped a tear when I wrote that.

Here are some pictures of the two chapels of love Gotham City-style and some of the loving couples.  Click on this loving couples to link to learn a little about fourteen of the couples that were wed today.  They’ve been together between three and thirty-seven years or according to my abacus, an average of eleven years.

Sign and Keeper of the Sign

The Knot's staff.

ICRAVE's rainbow ribbons chapel.

Jay & John, together almost 37 years, exchanging vows.

Z-A Studio's empty Kiss waiting for next couple.

Deb & Jazell (in traditional dress), together five years after meeting over a cantaloupe, exchanging vows.

Congratulations!

Deb and Jazell mingling post-nuptials.

Next couple preparing to exchange vows.

Cameracrew recording ceremony.

Exchanging I do's.

Post-kiss under Kiss (missed kiss due to snail slow shutter speed).

Just married Tom & Scott after almost 30 years together.

Lame Adventure 203: New York City 2011 Gay Pride Euphoria!

We were somewhere under this rainbow.

Between the two of us, Milton and I have attended many Pride celebrations through the years, but following Friday night’s historic same-sex marriage vote by the New York State Senate, neither of us had ever experienced a celebration quite like the glorious one we witnessed from the sidelines on Sunday.  The gratitude expressed to Governor Andrew Cuomo for completing the work that his predecessor, former Governor David Patterson, had started to legalize same-sex marriage in the Empire State, was expressed throughout.  Andrew Cuomo is a hero who has earned the vote of every LGBT New Yorker forever.

Gratitude.

Milton and I met at our usual undisclosed meeting place in the West Village.  Everything seemed to be going according to plan until we were pounding the pavement en route to staking out a good picture-taking spot.   I stepped off a curb and one of my gunboats landed in a fetid puddle of garbage soup.  I was generously splashed with toxic stink but fortunately my attire was not stained.  I simply smelled like I was wearing a fragrance that could have been called Vomit by Chanel.

This year, the turnout seemed much larger than in earlier years.  There was more of everyone in both the ultra inclusive crowd and the march itself.  There were gay people, straight people, oldsters, youngsters, drag queens, butch and femme types of both genders, punt dogs, families with children and couples of all persuasions.  The lovely warm weather was the perfect compliment to the celebrating.  We never once felt like we might collapse from heat prostration.

There was also an unseen heroine at Sunday’s march who was there in spirit.  She’s Lady Gaga and her anthem, Born This Way, blasted triumphantly from so many of the floats.  Milton hailed:

Milton (hailing): That’s the song of a generation!

I pondered his assessment and groaned.

Me (groaning):  We had Material Girl for ours.

Clearly, the country is moving in a progressive direction.  Posted below are some of the over 1,200 pictures Milton and I shot of this year’s victory march.  Enjoy!

Waiting for the march to start.

The traditional kickoff featuring Dykes on Bikes leading the way.

Throng of jubilant marriage equality supporters marching, including one wearing her pet snake as a scarf.

Victorious marriage equality float.

Grand Marshalls, It Gets Better Project creators, Dan Savage & Terry Miller.

Gay man's burden.

Jubilation!

Flag bearer.

Grumpy the Care Bear.

Senator Chuck Schumer

NYPD marching band.

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly

Easy riders.

Hand in hand in awe of the crowd.

FDNY couple.

New mother pride.

Five decades ready to make it legal.

Super soaker boys.

Boxers with a fighting chance.

Milton's dreamboat financial advisors.

Can your financial advisor do this?

Hand in hand.

Fitness king.

Rainbow attire.

Uber rainbow attire.

Rainbow diva.

Naked Cowgirl and Friends.

Asian pride boys.

Asian pride girls.

What Milton and I will wear to 2012 Pride.

Handsome scooter kid.

Topless joy.

Leg up on pride.

Got it and flaunting it.

If anyone's missing feathers, they're over here.

Nice hats.

Nice boots.

Winged victory.

Dominique Strauss Kahn's nemesis*, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr.

*Not anymore!

Great view.

New York State Senator Tom Duane and his spouse Louis Webre.

Rainbow flag bearer.

Thanks for sharing.

Modern family.

Dads and daughter.

Pedal power.

Milton and I have tried to do this at home with me peddling and he pole dancing. He told me his concussion wasn't that bad.

The reliably lovely Juno.

Marching with the Yorkie.

Marching with the Dachshund.

Punk Batman.

Princess Bear.

Showing off their little girl side.

Banner says all.

Leatherman and friend.

Latin women marching.

Latin guys marching.

Evita's here!

Ready to be wed.

Super ready to be wed.

Hey sailor!

Together at last, blue bikini undies and white chiffon.

Say cheesecake!

Happy dance.

Daughter of Divine: Miss Liberty with attitude!

News to us.

Happy face.

Pretty dudes.

Dignity

Good question.

Good observation.

Shake it.

Michael Lucas of Lucas Entertainment waving Israel's flag.

Blue masked man.

Living color.

Lamba Legal.

Lesbian action heroines.

Bears.

Quakers marching.

Affection.

Hedda Redda.

Whistle blower.

Shirtless smile. Yes, that is a penismobile in the backgound.

Superhero pride.

Turkey baster son with his lesbian mom.

Daughter proud to have a lesbian mom.

Hula hoopster.

Sandwich board pride.

Interesting concept: sobriety.

Viking man.

Viking woman.

Stonewall law students.

Silver Surfer's spawn.

Euphoria!

Subtle signage.

As the saying goes, little flag, big smile.

Nice glasses.

Big wheels.

Big stilts.

Out and proud journalist Jane Velez Mitchell.

Dancing duet of joy.

Muscle Beach Fabio.

Pride and joy.

Post pride water canons in the Hudson at sunset.

Big bang fireworks over Hudson.

Lame Adventure 202: We Love New York!

Empire State Building glowing with same-sex marriage pride.

Milton and I were in the East Village attending an excellent off-Broadway play called Unnatural Acts currently on the boards at one of our favorite theaters, Classic Stage Company, when the historic vote for marriage equality was taking place in the New York State Senate.  This play, based on the true story about a group of persecuted gay male college students attending Harvard in 1920, is a disturbing episode that Harvard kept secret for over eighty years.  As tough as it was to watch at moments, and the food coma I suffered thanks to the Pad Thai washed down with a Passion Fruit Mojito I had for dinner didn’t help, after seeing this tragedy we reflected on how far this country has come in its attitude about homosexuality 91 years later.  Certainly, what happened tonight in Albany was remarkable.  Neither Milton nor I ever dreamed that same-sex marriage would be legal in our lifetime, but three years ago, we never imagined this country would ever elect an African American president, or that we’d ever find Osama bin Laden.  We continue to feel wonderful about being wrong.

Eagle-eyed Lame Adventure contributor, Coco, while stiletto-pounding the pavement in her lower Manhattan neighborhood earlier this week, snapped these photos in the windows of a Levi’s store in anticipation of this historic vote.

She ain't heavy she's my spouse.

Hat off, arm in arm!

Possibly, I’m prejudiced but the just married boys strike me as a bit shy with their backs turned when paired with the jubilant in your face butch/femme girls.  Coco opined that the girl-on-girl display was much more fun.

Friday evening, while Milton and I were taking a pre-play stroll down University Place, we momentarily took a break from bickering about his insistence that The Killing of Sister George is the best lesbian themed film ever, when we noticed these eye-catching Ralph Lauren Rugby store windows.

Beautiful brides.

Beautiful (but headless!) grooms.

We were so bothered by why the chaps were missing their heads, we went inside to ask what that was about.  The adorable clerk explained that in the haste to pull this window display together, Ralph’s Visual Management department did not have male mannequins with heads available, but soon, the guys will have their heads.  Milton told me that he’s going to keep an eye on those windows.