blogitto ergo sum

June 19, 2011

#189 – I Take You [Part I]

I’m going to say something unpopular.  Gays, for all intents and purposes, are a minority. Not an ethnic one, not a socio-economic one, yet a minority.  I have a friend who, while intellectually he is all for equal rights to all in all aspects of life, is extremely uncomfortable in gays’ presence, let alone engaging in a conversation.  I had a Chinese friend that until his late 30s had never met anyone who was openly gay.  I have some [males, of another minority] friends who, terrified, refused to join me for a Silicon Valley Gay Men’s Chorus performance.  Discomfort, prejudice, ignorance & lack of education, fear of interacting with a minority – all are present.  It sucks, it’s sad and it’s a reality I hope will change; correction: SHOULD change.

Are we clear?  Good.

My feelings about big fat weddings are no secret.  The same goes for attending them.  I don’t.  This goes way back, to #87-weddings beware through “skipping” my little brother, Guy’s wedding, to #128 – The year of the ring to the 180° turn of producing a wedding[ #151 – You May Kiss the Bride [part I] and #152 – You May Kiss the Bride [part II]] in my own backyard.

When I told my friends that I’m going to NYC to attend close friends’ [gay] wedding, almost everyone asked if I’d blog about it, tell them how it was…  “Of course,” I said, “it is indeed a blog material.”  And yet, it had taken me 2.5 years to get here.  In a funny way it was the gay thing.  The expectation that a gay wedding must be different, funny and/or weird created an expectation for a cool sensational story.  I don’t do expectations; I aim for doing the right thing.  At times, it’s not the same.

on a recent trip to Israel

Howie and David’s wedding was an amazing experience by any standard.  It was a very classic event; more classic than all the formal weddings I attended in Toronto, Philly, or NY when I was still attending weddings.  Their wedding got mentioned in the NYT wedding section [see below].  Yet for me, more than anything else, it was sharing dear friends’ very happy, very special moment.

Over the years, Howie and I shared boyfriend stories.  My mythological X stories are the kind that if turned into a telenovela would cause viewers to scream at the screen in frustration “how can you be so dumb?! Walk away!”  Howie’s stories were more of the typical kind of “a guy meets a guy, they date, incompatibility issues come up, they split and move on, the end.”  Until David arrived.  After spending some time with the happy couple, I not only liked David very much, but also loved seeing how happy they were together.  This is when, over one dinner, while discussing my not going to a friend’s daughter’s wedding, I promised, “if you guys ever get married, I’ll make the exception and attend your wedding.”  and I meant it too.

happy couple ride

And so, on an October 2008 day, I boarded a flight to New York.  First was an informal dinner for the immediate family and close friends.  Some of them I knew, some of them I met for the first time.  As always, it was delicious, in style and in Café Centro.  Some of the relatives gave me the “who are you and why are you here” look.  Others engaged in interesting conversations.

The happiness radiating from Howie and David was contagious.  John, Robin and I were so excited for Howie and David that we couldn’t just go home after dinner.  We went to further celebrate their union over drinks.  Given that it was Halloween Friday, we ended up in the village.  The late-night crowd was still very much in Halloween mode and it just felt right.

A day later, on Saturday, November 1st, 2008, we met again at the wedding.

__________________________________________________________________________

New York Times, Weddings/Celebrations

Published online on October 31, 2008, appeared in print on November 2, 2008

Howard Marc Sendrovitz and David Clifford Sinclair celebrated their partnership with a commitment ceremony Saturday evening at the Pegasus Suite of the Rainbow Room in New York. The Rev. Robert Brashear, a Presbyterian minister, and Rabbi Michael E. Feinberg led the ceremony.

Mr. Sendrovitz, 40, works in Jersey City as an executive director in the legal and compliance division of Morgan Stanley; he provides compliance support on issues of registration and employee trading and activities. He graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton and received his law degree from the University of Michigan. He is also the chairman of Risa Jaroslow & Dancers, a New York dance company, and is a son of Evelyn Sendrovitz of Plainview, N.Y., and the late Melvin Sendrovitz.

Mr. Sinclair, 39, is the vice president for organization development at Entertainment Cruises, a Chicago company that operates the Spirit and Bateaux harbor excursions in New York and similar cruises in other cities. He is a son of Ellen Sinclair and Robert E. Sinclair of Vienna, Va.

Mr. and Mr. David Sinclair and Howard Sendrovitz

“What with the wedding,” you may ask.  I say “Part II.”

Clipart: http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/rde2067l.jpg

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8 Comments »

  1. Hi Yael, Nice and interesting posting. We have discussed some of the gay-related issues also a few times. Somebody’s personal approach to gays (and also to weddings) is also a personal thing – the important is to respect other people’s rights and avoid to hurt their feelings. IMHO. Interestingly I somehow missed or do not remember having read #128. Are we the Israelis mentioned there to have ‘used multi-method “attacks”, spamming all my email addresses’? Maybe not. I hope not, as I have not ever intentionally spammed. In any case if I did not say I say it now – we immensely appreciated you coming to Israel to share the happiness of Sivan and Liviu. Even more such because I also hate the ‘public events’ and the common thing and I try to avoid them as much as you do 🙂

    Comment by Dan Romascanu — June 19, 2011 @ 21:47 | Reply

  2. Yael,
    Thanks for the interesting post. Gays are a minority insofar as we are a small part of the population – even in Tel Aviv. I would like to hear about the wedding as someone who also does not like large events.

    Comment by Gregory — June 20, 2011 @ 04:37 | Reply

    • and you will :-). i plan to complete part II in two weeks. already started working on it.
      re gays as a minority, i wish that the attitudes i observe were related to gays being a small part of the population. i have no issue with that. when people broadcast discomfort around gays, when people have opinions and judgments about who one is that got nothing to do with one’s sexual orientation, when they avoid one based on their own ignorance, discomfort about such orientation that’s the part that being a minority that I’d love to see changing.
      one of the draft for this post included a whole section about the saying “some of my best friends are gay”. main point was the implied judgment, and racism that are embedded into such a sentence and how it is meant to make the speaker feel anything but racist. i deleted it in later versions. this is, first and foremost about Howie and David’s wedding.

      Comment by yael [ya-el] wagner — June 20, 2011 @ 07:16 | Reply

  3. Good post, Yael. Anyone of Chinese or Asian descent living in America needs to correct their discomfort, prejudice, and fear of interacting with a minority, any minority in the U.S. including gays, since it was not very long ago (from 1905 to 1948) that the same type of discomfort, prejudice, and fear of interacting with those who are different, led to laws in the U.S. and California specifically that banned marriages based on people’s prejudices (just like the anti-gay laws popping up now across the states). For example the Anti-Miscegenation Marriage Law in California:

    http://asianweek.com/112097/voices.html

    “Thirty years later, after large numbers of Chinese men immigrated to California in search of work, the state Legislature passed a law prohibiting the issuance of a marriage license to any white person who wanted to marry a ‘Mongolian’ (the term then used by the California Legislature to characterize people of Chinese descent). In 1905, the California Legislature expanded the state’s anti-miscegenation law, declaring ‘illegal and void’ all marriages between whites and ‘Mongolians.'”

    The same type of prejudice and fear against gays is the same type of prejudice and fear that can be directed against any of us, as evidenced in the recent past.

    Hinkmond

    Comment by Hinkmond Wong — June 20, 2011 @ 13:02 | Reply

    • Hinkmod, thank you!!! i knew nothing of this. thank you for sharing. i am embarrassed to admit that my exposure to the way Chinese were treated here is limited to John Steinbeck’s amazing novel East of Eden, specifically, the biography and observations of Lee, their very wise Cantonese cook, and a heart breaking visit to a cemetery for Chinese laborers who built the train tracks in Victoria, BC.
      thank you.

      Comment by yael [ya-el] wagner — June 20, 2011 @ 13:31 | Reply

  4. Just went through my brother’s (second) wedding and I can now say I’m not very in to weddings either. However, your description of the grooms and the positive energy they radiated because of this event is very heartwarming. In the end, the point of a wedding is less about all the trappings (getting dressed up, watching the participants exchange rings and kiss, eating, dancing, etc), than about the commitment and love that have lead up to the event. Though I agree that a good party makes it all the better. Looking forward to part II.

    Comment by Jeff — June 23, 2011 @ 15:13 | Reply

    • thank you. part II is worked on. WRT weddings, i wish there was a “back to the basics” movement; show love; not show off…

      Comment by yael [ya-el] wagner — June 24, 2011 @ 02:53 | Reply


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