Let’s Go To England

Let’s go to England and get married. It’s legal there, and it isn’t about special privileges, it is about the fact that they recognize same sex partnerships there as real relationships, and not perverse oddities, as we are viewed by some here in the United States.

I am in fact quite in favor of going to the UK because people are smart there, and even nice in the most unexpected ways. I was walking with a friend in Liverpool, and it was hot and strangely steamy, the way the north can be in late summer, and we were complaining loudly about how thirsty we were, and this little girl turned around and offered me her orange soda. I said thank you, but no thank you, and she smiled and walked further on ahead. It was a special kind of niceness that really doesn’t happen every day in America. We are so used to ignoring people who ask for money in the streets, selling newspapers about the homeless or colorful pieces of glazed clay baked into pipes for smoking pot.

Bruce and I were in Houston, after being threatened by a right wing extremist youth group. We staged a protest outside of the club we were playing in.

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Seated on the floor, we had lit candles and a sign with our intention of silent protest of the violence and rage we faced by merely expressing ourselves and therefore utilizing free speech. No one gave us a look. They just walked by. I think it was because we were sitting on the floor, and when you are sitting on the floor, people do not give a shit about you. There could be nothing happening above hip level all that interesting to see, but they will keep their eyes above you, because if you sit on the floor, you must be no good. You are not even up to no good. You are down to no good. So there we were, no good in the neighborhood, and watching the line of people walking in to see us, paying $36 at the window and going right into the showroom. They didn’t give us a chance, give peace a chance, but they were paying all that money to see us in half an hour.

This is no Houston related complaint. It is my favorite American city, besides San Francisco and New York. I have a lot of love for Texas, but this particular Americanism, or trait that is Made in the USA, ignoring the uncomfortable, no matter what it is, made our protest more of an enlightening experience more than anything else. When confronted with something which is unseemly, unpretty, inelegant, affected, obnoxious – or real, needy, helpless, worrisome – the proper etiquette here is to merely turn your head. If that is what we are doing with same sex marriage in this country, then it is never going to work. Avoidance is not going to solve the issue. A fetus has more rights than a gay or lesbian American, who is here, is queer, and deserving of equality. We cannot ignore inequality anymore. If England gets it, why can’t we?

Why is everything better there? Chocolates are superb, music is innovative, fashion is really cutting edge, the television is good and who doesn’t love a good costume drama? With same sex marriage finally on the Parliament floor, they are tipping the scales as greatest country in the world right now. “Let’s Make Love in London,” an obscure documentary done on Carnaby Street in the Swinging Sixties, cinema verite Julie Christie shows the British at their best, and it is a good suggestion for gay couples wanting to do just that.

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