IKEA and gay marriage

22 Jun

Death attends a rally

WHEN I WAS STRAIGHT, I didn’t want to get married. Always the hopeless romantic, I chased boys like crazy, daydreamed about finding true love, and watched Sixteen Candles over and over again on VHS until I could recite every line with the cast. But if someone used the word “should” in a sentence, I dug in my heels. The idea of buying into a state-approved, religion-supported institution like marriage sent me running.

Now I want what I can’t have. For fifteen years, my girlfriend and I have danced the Electric Slide at other people’s weddings. (Or more accurately, I danced the Electric Slide and Leah laughed at me.) Each celebration reminds us that we can’t legally have our own wedding in New York State.

“Go to Massachusetts (Vermont, Canada) to get married,” I hear from friends on a regular basis. But I don’t think exercising our civil rights should require a road trip.

It’s like shopping at IKEA. Now that I’m a domesticated creature, I can spend most of a day blissfully perusing the Glimma, Regolit, and Fartyg in this wondrous Scandanavian heaven. However, I have to drive four hours at a minimum before I can exercise my right to hipster shopping. Why can’t I have an IKEA in my town? When will the Senate vote on this gross inequality? We need to organize a rally.

As a kid, when I whined about injustices, my dad always said, “Life’s not fair, Amy.” (Yes, my parents called me ‘Amy.’ Don’t tell anyone.) Like almost everything, Pop is right. Bad things happen to good people. Everybody dies.

But some inequalities can be fixed, and I’m going to keep whining until I get my way. I want the right to charge a big fat wedding to my high interest credit card; to buy a fancy white dress that I wear once and then nostalgically stash in the back of the closet; to dance the Electric Slide, the Macarena, and The Chicken Dance Polka at my own cheeseball wedding; to check the “married” box on state and federal tax forms.

Let’s hope that the New York State Senate votes to approve gay marriage, because I’m ready to celebrate my love. And hopefully they’ll write a “Bring IKEA to Ithaca” clause into the bill, because I’m also ready to shop.

-Amelia Sauter

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4 Responses to “IKEA and gay marriage”

  1. Laurie G. June 22, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Hey, Amelia!

    I just read your essay in _Dear John, I Love Jane_. As a queer girl living in Elmira, NY, I’m very aware of the current status of marriage equality in NY. After reading your essay, I felt compelled to write and share the excitement and hope I have (hopefully not naively…) that this time, we’re finally going to have equal rights in our home state! Here’s to the possibility that you and Leah will be tying the knot, legally, later this year, with a celebration so fierce and fun that your sister will regret *only* getting a cake knife. 😉

    BTW, I highly respect your decision to respect your straight past. I embrace queer or bisexual as labels because I do find men attractive, even though it’s a very rare thing for me. I think that the more people embrace the lack of binaries in our lives, the more comfortable everyone will feel to express their real selves instead of trying to fit into boxes.

  2. leslie June 23, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    We’re crossing our fingers for New York’s approval down here in North Carolina. I’m hopeful I will be dancing the Electric Slide at your wedding, laughing hysterically, joyously and trying very, very hard not to pee in my panties.

  3. Nosila Eyellit June 26, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    YAY!!! CONGRATS!!!
    Like Laurie G, I just happened to re-read your DJILJ essay, and had to look you up.
    “It’s a celebration, to last throughout the years”
    : )

  4. Laurie G. June 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    Amelia, you and Leah were some of the ones that ran through my head when I heard the news this weekend. I’m so thrilled for you and look forward to hearing about the gorgeous new cocktail that’s created just for your WEDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats! ❤

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