Saturday, April 25, 2015

Out In Public View

Picture description: The word 'out' in capital letters surrounded by a purple bacground.
I feel a responsibility, both as a disabled guy and a gay guy, to be 'out.' Publicly, up front, out. I had a discussion with someone at work the other day about being out and open about who you are makes everything you do a political statement. We were waiting downstairs yesterday morning for WheelTrans when another older fellow in the building came down and sat on a couch opposite Joe, I was in my wheelchair.

He talked about the fact that he was going to the doctor that morning. WheelTrans pulled up and I got on. Joe came back into the building and he asked Joe where I was going so early in the morning. Joe told him that I was going to work, that I liked to get an early start in my office. Joe told me that he was shocked, flat out shocked. We don't know where he expected that I was going but 'to work' was not the answer that he anticipated. 'Out' ... being 'out' is about that.

So we decided to meet the wedding organizer from the church in a public place. Timothy's, which was the place where I changed my mind about getting married, which is always bustling with activity. The tables were all full when we got there, so as I zipped ahead to scout for any possible movement, a table came available back where Joe and the planner were standing. Great.

This guy finds a date, goes over the service, asks questions about music and about the organization of the day. Joe and I had already planned a lot of what we wanted to happen so we filled him in and he jotted down notes. We drank tea, he drank coffee, and we worked through what needed to be done. When we chose the date, he said, '2016' and we said, 'No, this year' we thought he was going to fall over. Apparently most people take a little longer to plan the event. We're taking a few weeks.

But, and here's the point of the post, as we talked and worlds like 'wedding' and 'marriage' and 'church' and 'ceremony' wafted from our table to others at other tables and others walking by, they looked and saw who was there.

Two men.

Two older men.

One fat, disabled guy.

One guy who, they think, could do better.

Let me be clear that we just held the meeting there, like people hold meetings there all the time. We've held many other meetings in this place. We did not put on a show in any way. We just held a meeting about our marriage ceremony there, in public.

Because being out.

Changes or challenges people.

And that's part of our job as people who are different and who advocate for a world that welcomes, not fears, difference.


Louise said...


Yesterday I went on a long walk through London. I was delighted to see how much more common it's becoming for gay couples to be openly affectionate with each other.

CapriUni said...

"When we chose the date, he said, '2016' and we said, 'No, this year' we thought he was going to fall over."

Awww... He's likely going to need a nap when this is all over, bless him. ;-)

Kris S. said...


clairesmum said...

And it is a hard job, being OUT in the way that you and Joe are, but a job very much worth doing. Weddings are wonderful occasions, and I am happy you and Joe will be celebrating yours soon....

Kristin said...

Dave, I've been away from a lot of blogging for a while but I can't think of better news to come back to...huge congratulations on your upcoming nuptials.

Mel Baggs said...

Congratulations. I had no idea you weren't married but am thrilled that you're getting married!