As I said in my previous post, I was unable to attend this year's Collingswood Book Festival (which was moved from outdoors to inside the local high school due to weather). Instead, my wife and I attended our first gay wedding yesterday (October 11th), and what a wonderful time it was. The wedding party was large, including siblings, young nieces and nephews, good friends of the two grooms, and their sisters who co-officiated the ceremony. It was outdoors at a friend's house, under a big tent, and the festivities were terrific: a pre- and post-ceremony cocktail hour, a big Italian family-style dinner, homemade desserts, and non-stop music from a super DJ. But the most important thing was the whole vibe of the affair: the warmth, the emphasis on family, and the sheer joy of it all. Congrats to the happy couple as you embark on your life together.
Several years ago, I wrote this poem on my feelings about the gay culture. They have evolved a bit since then:
Gay Pride Parade
I am returning from lunch in the city,
when the parade crosses my path.
Led by a row of butch Harleys,
they march down
rainbow flags snapping in a stiff June breeze.
Drag majorettes lead a rousing drum corps,
setting the rhythm and the pace.
Following them, a group of alternative families –
two mothers pushing their stroller,
a six-year-old boy riding the shoulders
of one of his dads. Then the float
with the bearded beauty queens
waving to a cheering crowd.
I think, good for them,
but the old fart in me finds it hard
to leap from “tolerate” to “celebrate”.
Still, I half-expect to see you marching by,
proud of your new identity.
And if I saw you, I would wave.
So I wave anyway, as if I have.
Yesterday, I learned to celebrate.