June 08, 2006
My Emergency Contact!
Gregory Bryce Edwards. Our address. His cell phone number. I did not include his email address. And then, the most crucial element of the questionnaire, our relationship. I typed the word slowly, feeling the weight of it with each keystroke.
Ick. I hate that word. It feels sterile and corporate. As though we closed the deal with a firm handshake instead of the sloppy kisses which led to his Long Island City bedroom and then here, nearly a year and a half later.
Partner. It’s more fun to pronounce it with a Texan drawl. Pard’ner removes some of the clinical coldness from the word. Regrettably doing so harkens back to last year’s national obsession with the gay cowboy persona. And gay cowboys are still too fresh to be kitsch. I couldn’t exactly write pard’ner on my passport renewal.
What the hell is going on? I’m a 31 year old gay man. I am born on National Coming Out Day! I have a gay website. I eat, breathe and poop gay. Friend of Dorothy? I line up the bitch's pills!
And suddenly I’m finding myself too nervous to list Bryce as my partner on my Department of State Form DS-82 for passport renewal so I can traipse to Canada, stay at a gay bed and breakfast and partake of drunken orgies with the hottest gay lumberjacks Montreal has to offer, with my partner, of course. There's also some sort of jazz festival.
Eww there’s that word again, partner.
I admit I’m spooked by the Senate’s recent gay marriage ban sideshow.. The last few days have genuinely stressed me out. It’s not that Bryce and I have any forthcoming plans for marriage. Nor am I renewing my passport so we can jet off to Namibia for a baby or two (see above Canadian orgy commitment).
In middle school I did a report on the Constitution. I was dressed as Thomas Jefferson. We were a poor family so all I found as a costume was my Aunt Sue’s wig tied into a Revolutionary pigtail.
So there little Gayest Neil was. Decked out in a Panama Jack t-shirt and Aunt Sue’s wig regaling my fellow Cedar Hill sixth graders about the greatest document of our country and how this simple piece of paper gives us more freedom than anything else on the planet. And this week, bigotry could have been written into it.
All the little boys who wore their auntie’s wigs (you know you did) may have had their dreams of a big, garish, gay wedding snuffed out right there.
Yeah, I know there are many other steps involved: House approval, State approval, etc… but still, the very potential has me on edge.
Which is ironic, because we’re living in a very gay America. I suppose I can thank the gay cowboy and Jay Manuel for that. But still, I’m fearful the rubber band is going to snap back with dreadful consequences.
In order to enjoy my Montreal vacation (and the eight bear hot tub at Big Boys Guest House), I first must have my passport renewed. Stupid Amtrak and their rules.
So at the last minute I dashed to my mail bin. I retrieved my renewal package containing my Department of State Form DS-82, and I deleted all of my sweet partner’s emergency contact info. I erased my partner. I took no chances.
I resubmitted my form with nothing. Aunt Sue’s wig is gone.