Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Illegal" Lesbian Wedding Dress

This woman was buying a dress for her wedding. And when asked for the groom's name, she crossed out 'groom', and wrote 'partner', and then her girlfriend's name.

They called back and told her they wouldn't sell her the dress.

So how weird it must have been to get a call on Tuesday from Donna (she wouldn't tell you her last name, and she wouldn't tell me, either, when I spoke with her yesterday), and to have a conversation so different from the one you had with her on Saturday.

Apparently, Donna was stunned to learn, after reviewing your customer-information sheet, that you're a lesbian. On the paperwork, you'd crossed out the word "groom" and written "partner" instead, and then inserted your fiancée's name.

"She said she wouldn't work with me because I'm gay," you recalled. "She also said that I came from a nice Jewish family, and that it was a shame I was gay. She said, 'There's right, and there's wrong. And this is wrong.' "

She also said - and you have the voicemail to prove it - that what you were planning was "illegal" and that "we do not participate in any illegal actions."

"I was devastated," you told me. "I was crying. I called her a bigot; I told her, 'I am a happy person and you are a miserable person.' Then she hung up on me."

You admit to using some choice words when you called her back. But trust me, whatever you said was probably poetry compared with what I believe most decent people would've spewed at her on your behalf.

You know what's strange? When I called Donna yesterday to get her side of the story, she both confirmed your version of events and accused you of "stirring up drama." She said that your writing the word "partner" was basically a provocation, evidence of a need "to show that she's different."

"They get that way," she told me.

By "they," she meant women who were fed up with men because "men can be difficult," and so now they "experiment" with female relationships because they're tired of having men boss them around.

She told me about a friend whose wife left him for another woman. And about a young family member who was molested by a same-sex adult male. And about a gay man who once plunged a knife into a chair in the restaurant where she worked. And - she finally lost me here - something about the Navy SEALs.

"It's a lot of drama," she said.

She also found you "aggressive," didn't appreciate your cursing and thought I should speak with your father before writing this column, as she "sensed" his disappointment in your decision to marry a woman.

Yeah. Seriously.

It sounds like this woman is going to be okay. Her family is supportive, which is so important. Some bitchy store clerk is not going to bring her down. She'll have a great wedding. But wow. Just wow.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Tragedy in Norway: The queer angle

From the Envoy

"As Norway continues to grapple with the attacks by a home-grown extremist that killed 77 people last month, one couple, who moved to help young people fleeing from gunman Anders Breivik, is getting a bit of belated recognition.

Hege Dalen and her wife, Toril Hansen, were eating dinner on July 22nd on the other shore from Utoya island when they heard screaming, the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sannomat reported. After bombing government buildings in Oslo, Breivik had come to the island dressed as a policeman and went on to shoot more than 100 young people attending a Labour party camp there.

"We were eating," Dalen told the newspaper. "Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake."
The couple took off in their boat for the island, picking up shocked victims from the water and transporting them to the mainland. They made four runs in all, helping rescue some 40 of Breivik's victims, the paper reported.

"Between runs they saw that the bullets had hit the right side of the boat," the paper wrote.

Some lesbian-gay news sites and blogs have picked up the account in recent days, noting the same-sex married heroes of the story haven't gotten much attention in the Western press."