For years I worked as a videographer and I shot A-Lot of weddings. I saw bride-zillas, drunken uncles, inconsiderate grooms who really could give a shit about the wedding that they were willing to participate in because it's what their partner and society at large expected of them. I saw waste and snootiness and occasionally I saw something beautiful that I'd want to be a part of. Unfortunately the later was a rarity.
I haven't filmed many weddings in the last couple of years, but when my friend Tina told me that she was finally gettin' hitched, well I wouldn't have missed it for the world. No, really, never mind that I totally owe Tina for all the design work she's done for me.
So, I showed up at Capitol Park on Saturday morning, hoping that the rain would wait until after I'd gotten my camera packed safely away, and I witnessed some of the most beautiful nuptials ever. Tina and her partner Kate had their sisters officiate.
Yes, Kate is a woman's name. This wedding wasn't in fact a wedding but rather a commitment ceremony, as our Governor has vetoed the legislation that would have let it be a wedding.
The community of people brought together for this event were so happy and full of love, it was easy to let go of the politics that might've hung over the proceedings. I was pulled back for just a moment though during the kiss when someone from the Russian wedding that had just finished rehearsing in the park spotted the two women kissing, "OH MY GOD!" they yelped. It was perfect and I hoped my microphone picked it up.
After the ceremony was lunch where long term couples, most of them gay, took turns giving their advice for Tina and Kate. All these happy, successful couples sharing and well wishing, it was most inspiring.
Things started up again that night with a party at Kate and Tina's home where I was moved by the toasting, moved to tears. Friend after friend shared their stories of triumph over adversity. There was the woman who thanked Tina for her help and sense of humor in dealing with breast cancer (Tina sweetly made her a book of black and white nude photos taken a week before the women was to undergo surgery. Tina mischievously titled the book Thanks For The Mammaries.) There was the couple from Texas who found Tina by googling "Sacramento Lesbian." They deemed her Queen Lesbian and moved to Sacramento after the Queen gave them such a wonderful introduction to our lovely town and it's wonderful inhabitants. There were many, many more.
When Tina, who is not actually a Queen but more of a King, a Drag King, sported a goatee and lip-synced a love song to Kate, an exuberant young women couldn't help rushing the stage, dragging friends with her, and an impromptu ring of dancers circled the couple. It was beautiful.
I filled three hours of tape, cried several times, laughed harder than I have in ages. "So this is gay marriage?" I thought to myself. "This is that thing that so many people are so violently afraid of?" Well no wonder. Who wants to have to live up to this high standard? Who has the energy?