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One Little Word "Married" Why It Means So Much To Us Gays

Updated on July 15, 2007


For some reason lately, the song from the Kander and Ebb musical Cabaret has been running through my mind a lot. It's a song that didn't make it into the film version of Cabaret. You know how that is when a song keeps running through your head, yes?

Here are some of the lyrics...

How the world can change.

It can change like that.

Due to one little word: "Married"

See a palace rise from a two room flat,

Due to one little word: "Married"

And the world despair that was often there,

Suddenly ceases to be.

For you wake one day, look around and say;

"Somebody wonderful married me."

If I'm completely honest, I know exactly why these words have been going through my head as of late. August will be nineteen years that Michael and I have been together. It doesn't seem possible sometimes when you look around in the media and amongst your friends (gay or straight) to think that you've been with the same person for nineteen years. Although I don't judge anyone else in their relationships, I feel honored to say that we've been completely monogamous over these years, have never "broken up" and having his hand in mine is still one of the best feelings in the world.

I guess that the closer I get to our anniversary the more I always think about the whole marriage debate and what it really means to those of us who have been together for so long and yet the law won't recognize us. I'd like to think we're the Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell of the gay world and we don't need to be married but then I think about the fact that if Goldie was sick, Kurt would most likely get in the hospital room whereas I would have to rely on the kindness of the nurse in charge (and pray that they're a gay too). Although I would dare anyone to try and keep me out of his hospital room if God forbid he was ill, just the thought that they have the law on their side does make it another thing to be added to my list of worries. (Especially a professional Jewish worrier like me) That list also includes, never being a 28 inch waist again, scared that parachute pants will come back in when I've gotten rid of all mine and general concern that I'm going to have to continue to see Paris Hilton every day on the news as she is not news but there you have it.

The thing is that for me, I don't really want the whole ceremony with matching tuxes or anything (although the whole gift thing definitely appeals to me) and by the same token I don't want to have an attorney draw up papers like we're going into a partnership to open a falafel stand. I don't know what you call it exactly if it isn't a marriage. And yet, I don't want to call him my husband, my "lovah" or my boyfriend. He is my life mate I suppose and even that sounds like a judicial sentence more than a marriage. So what do you call one another? And what do you call the union of two people who love one another when so many straight people are afraid of letting us use the word, "marriage?" You would think that with all my kvetching I would have some answers but unfortunately I don't. I just have more and more questions as time marches on.

What I do know is that there are certain things that tell me the bond we have is one that will not be put asunder by any man or law that men make. I can only speak for myself but what amazes me is how much wonder there can be after all these years. Like when he says something I would never expect him to say. When he comes in to watch me sleep and kisses me gently and though I'm awake I never let on. When you discover as I did a couple of weeks ago, we were both reading the same book at the same time. I guess that's what really brought all this to mind for me. We both had bookmarks in the same book and were reading it when the other wasn't and as silly as it may sound, sharing something that goes unspoken like that can be very powerful.

We've shared a lot over the years and though I know some people will say that we don't deserve to be married or have the rights of straight couples, I hope that we will all continue to fight for equality. I think that perhaps the reason the word "married" is so important to all of us is that it's really the only word to describe what we feel and if we're told we aren't good enough or have the right to have that word associated with us then for some it makes us feel less than the other human beings with whom we share this planet. And while that isn't a great feeling, for me specifically, just being able to look up at night and see him there is an awful lot and I'm grateful for it, very grateful.

Like Golde says to Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof (paraphrased by me), "For nineteen years I've lived with him, fought with him, starved with him. Nineteen years my bed is his, if that's not love, what is? TEVYE: Then you love me? GOLDE: I suppose I do. TEVYE: And I suppose I love you too. BOTH: It doesn't change a thing but even so, after nineteen years, it's nice to know."

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    • profile image

      Carol 10 years ago

      Congratulations to you and Michael for so many years together. Your Jodie wedding stories were hilarious, but no big surprise there. You just make all your stories funny and I seem to devour all your words. Definitely, a great talent for story telling, Scott, and I'm so glad I found you.

    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      We recently went to a commitment ceremony for family friends. Although, unfortunately, it wasn't "official", it was an amazing ceremony and celebration. It was so amazing to see their loved ones' and friends' acceptance and excitement for them. (Plus, they got some great gifts!) I think it's a shame that our society looks down on same-sex unions with a "family values" eye, yet doesn't seem too bothered by the quick marriages like that of Britney Spears. What a hypocrisy. Congratulations on 19 years! I wish you many more happy years together.

    • An Again profile image

      An Again 10 years ago from Boston

      Some of us reject the idea that you "aren't good enough" and will continue to sign names to petitions and put our votes where our mouths are. The world IS changing, we just have to keep working at it.