« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Jessica Runck, Published July 11 2013

Homegrown Hollywood: Attending my first gay wedding

This weekend I went to a gay wedding.

I don’t mean it was excessively happy – although it was, especially in light of the recent Supreme Court decision.

I mean it was between two dudes.

If my grandfather were alive he would have just rolled his eyes, taken a sip of his Folgers coffee and said, “Sometimes I just don’t understand you young people.”

And I would have taken a sip of my $12 soy latte and said, “That’s OK, Grandpa. Sometimes I don’t understand you old people either.”

Then I would have told him this story anyway.

My college friend Jeremy and his partner Darren were getting married in Oakland, Calif.

In the weeks leading up to the big event, people would ask me if I had any Fourth of July plans, and I would shout at them “GAY WEDDING” so loudly they’d duck and cover like I was warning them one was flying at their head.

It was my first so I was excited.

Being a woman who attended a liberal arts college and majored in theater, I have a lot of gay friends. But until now, none of these friends had ever gotten married.

So it was with great anticipation that I packed my bags and headed up the coast.

I had planned my trip so I could attend the double bachelor party being held a few days before the wedding, partly because I wanted to support my friend but mostly because it was being held at a “gender illusionist” bar.

Over the loud music and the multiple cocktails, my friends and I agreed, even though this was our first gay bachelor party, it was the best gay bachelor party we’d ever been to.

The day of the wedding dawned, and after a few ibuprofens and a lot of coffee, I was ready.

It was a gorgeous California day, and the ceremony was held at a rooftop garden in downtown Oakland. Armed with sunglasses and fresh-squeezed lemonade that was provided for the guests, I found my seat.

Surrounded by trees and flowers, the wedding began like any other wedding I’ve been to. But when the pastors made a special note to welcome us to the legal marriage of Jeremy and Darren, someone started to clap.

And then someone else.

And soon everyone was cheering and shouting

I felt shivers run up my arm as I clapped louder. “I am a part of something here,” I thought. “I am witnessing history.”

I thanked God for my sunglasses because the tears in my eyes did not go well with my eyeliner.

Someday, it won’t matter whether it’s a marriage between two men, two women or a man and a woman. But for me, for all of us sitting there on that rooftop, this felt monumental.

I felt so privileged to be there – so proud of my adopted state, a state that would allow my friends to have something I’ve taken for granted my whole life.

I took a sip of my lemonade and tried to compose myself.

As the ceremony continued and I watched my friends promise to love each other for eternity, I started to think about their future. And I realized when Jeremy and Darren tell their children about this day, it won’t be a story about a “gay” wedding.

It will just be a story about a wedding.

Just a wedding with love, and friends, and some damn good lemonade.

And that is something to celebrate.

This column was written exclusively for The Forum

Runck, who grew up in Wimbledon, N.D., and graduated from Concordia College, is a writer and actor living in Los Angeles.