I was invited to one of the loveliest weddings I have ever been to this weekend. My friends Pete and Kevin, who have been together for over ten years had a ceremony to celebrate their wedding. (They actually got married last year while it was still legal, which turned out to be a wise move on their part since the right was soon taken away by the voters in their infinite lack of wisdom.) I have known Pete for close to 15 years, since the days when we were working together at Apple. We have been through a lot together and were roommates for a time when I came back to San Francisco from Paris in 1999. I was there the night Pete and Kevin met, in a SOMA club in San Francisco in July 1999. Over the years, I have watched their relationship go through many twists and turns, and have marveled at the warmth and love they have grown into with each other. We have shared many experiences, from the ridiculous to the scary to the loving to the peaceful to the mundane. Although I moved away from San Francisco many years ago, I come back often and spend time with them. They are the kind of people I will always want in my life, filled with generosity and warmth and humor. I was really thinking a lot this weekend about weddings and public commitment ceremonies, and what they mean and why they are important. As we form communities around our friends and families, we interweave all of our lives and life stories with one another. Each piece and part adds to the whole, and these connections are a big part of what gives meaning to our existence. When we celebrate a wedding or a public commitment, we are reinforcing these bonds, and recognizing their importance in our lives. I was honored to be present to witness Pete and Kevin declare their love and support for one another, and the ceremony and their words to each other in front of all of us made me all teary eyed. As I looked around the assembly, I remembered fondly so many people and so many stories that have made me, made all of us, what and who we are today. To be able to share these disparate threads, and to bring them together in a cloth that wraps around all of us and gives us warmth was a special gift. I may be a wanderer, but there are some places and contexts that will always have a hold over me, and that give me great strength. These people and this part of my life is such a context. I will always feel connected to it and to them, and no matter how far away from here, always feel at home somehow when I am in their company.
This photo, from a couple of years ago at a wedding in the Punjab, always cracks me up for some reason.
It has been really warm in LA the last few days. HOT, actually. And it was nearing 100 yesterday as I attended the outdoor wedding of my friend Cristina in Pasadena. We were all schvitzing like crazy in our formal attire, but the celebration was great. I have to admit to being really touched by their vows and the ceremony. They made a point of mentioning how happy they were to be getting married at a time when gay marriage was also possible for the first time. Their wedding vows contained references to activism and their mutal responsibility to make the world a better place, not just for their immediate family, but for everyone. The big mystery for most of Cristina’s friends before the wedding was that none of them really knew much about her husband to be, Andrew. The first time most of us had a chance to meet him was at the wedding, and I think everyone was slightly suspicious. But at the point he read his vows to Cristina, there was so much obvious affection in his eyes and so much sincerity in his voice, that he won me over anyway.