I had such a gay marriage advocacy moment last night. While others were celebrating Pride in nearby Northampton, Mani and I were in the ER. Her ongoing, intense pain landed us there, not in any kind of life-threatening way but more as a preventative and ultimately reassuring call, to have her get more labs and do what we could to rule out causes other than mast cell issues.
As she got changed into a Johnny, I was offered paperwork to verify and complete. My relationship to the patient? Her wife. The one who could sign on her behalf. The one who carries our family’s health insurance.
As we sat for hours and hours, watching a parade of people leaving in tears from a nearby room where it was clear someone had passed away, listening to the young woman just down the hall moaning on a stretcher, her fever close to 104 while they tested her for sepsis, no one there at her side, holding her hand, which instead gripped the cold metal (I was relieved when her boyfriend showed up), as we read, cracked each other up, sat in silence, played Candy Soda Crush, and intermittently answered doctors’ questions–through all of this, I imagined living in a state or country where she’d have been there alone, perhaps uninsured, with me in the waiting room wondering what was happening.
Gay marriage is a lot like the gay agenda, in that it’s a construct designed by and dependent on biases and fear. And I don’t spend a whole lot of waking hours feeling like my life is a political act or statement of any special importance beyond what makes all of our lives special and important.
But last night, not leaving her side as the pain ebbed and then came on strong again, I cringed thinking of all the couples who don’t have the legal right to rise to those vows, to stay, on hard nights, to throw overnight things in a bag just in case. Just to sit there, next to their beloved, through the not knowing.
I don’t assume that because you are my friend of Facebook or read my blog, you support marriage equality. And if posting this changes or opens one mind, one heart, it will be worth it to me.