Redheaded Stepchild: Waiting In Line For Love
A blogumn by Redheaded Stepchild
Hallo, Fierce and Nerdy community!
I’m Redheaded Stepchild, a 30 year-old queer singer/actor living in Brooklyn. The fabulous Ernessa invited me to blog here bi-weekly about the rigors and joys of planning a wedding/commitment ceremony, as I’ll be getting hitched to my ladylove, BabyPowerDyke (note: she’s not a baby; she’s a Power-Dyke-in-training) sometime in the fall of 2010. (Cause we’re broke actor-types, y’all, and can’t get it together to throw the party that we want for a little bit.)
Posts will range from wedding logistics to the hypnotic awfulness of Bridezillas to the concept of legal marriage versus emotional commitment. I hope you’ll chime in with your own wedding/commitment ceremony/Big Ol’ Love Party stories and tell me what other wedding cake shows I need to be watching, because Amazing Wedding Cakes is now in my DVR. Bizarre. But true.
Let’s start with the Brooklyn Municipal Building, shall we? On Wednesday, the ladyfriend and I went to everyone’s favorite drab bureaucracy and got ourselves legally recognized. On our 4-year anniversary, no less. BPD recently got a job that offers her health insurance (hallelujah!) and will offer me health insurance as soon as they get a copy of our domestic partnership certificate (double hallelujah!), so rather than waiting for our ceremony in 2010, we got our paperwork done in favor of healthcare for both of us (triple hallelujah!).
We had been cautioned not to let the administrative hoo-ha interfere with the significance of the event, and boy do I owe that cautioner a beer. Going down to City Hall to fill out paperwork is the least romantical thing I can imagine. First we stood in line to get an application, then we stood in line to get the application processed, then we went back to the original line to get the certificate but whoops just kidding, we had to wait for a notary because the usual notary was out sick today. All told, it took about two hours.
We were the only same-gendered couple in the joint, which felt odd. While I loved the cross-section of heterosexual Brooklyn on display — the black Muslim couple, the Spanish-speaking couple with a translator, the smiling, excited youngish couple – I could have done without small children running about and hitting one another.
It was an unpleasant two hours. And yet, despite the fighting children, bored citizens and testy workers, in that ugly, impersonal place, I felt…moved. Unexpectedly. The love of my life was next to me, and we were being counted. It’s not marriage, true. And ideologically, I tend to be anti-state involvement, but in practice, it felt important. It felt powerful. I can see my love in the hospital now. We are noted as a unit, as a team, by our local government (not our federal government, but screw them).
Bureaucracy is gross, but our love makes our lives better. If standing in line for two hours is what I need to do to for Bureaucracy to recognize us, so be it.