06.20.04

Activism is boring, part 2

Posted in Gay rights at 5:55 pm by ducky

Three thousand, seven hundred and forty-eight. That’s a really tiny number in some contexts, like in the number of stars in the sky, the number of fish in the sea, or the number of people born in the world. In the context of the number of postcards that I just had to design, get printed, get cut, make address labels for, affix address labels to, and put postage stamps on, it is quite a large number.

These cards went out to all the same-sex couples in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington who got married in February and March 2004 at San Francisco City Hall. The cards invited them to march with Marriage Equality California in the upcoming San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Pride Parade.

While I had some help (particularly from my beloved husband), I probably affixed three thousand labels and stamps myself over the course of this weekend. This activity supports my thesis that activism is boring.

However, it was uplifting as well. Every address label represented one more happy couple. Carl and James. Ruth and Janet. Joseph and Eric. “Happy couple, happy couple, happy couple”, I said to myself as I stickered, remembering the joy I’d seen at the city hall weddings. Bernheisel and Winters. Stockton and Minns. Curry and Medina. Happy couple, happy couple, happy couple.

Some of the names looked like they could be straight couples: Paul and Lisa, Leslie and Stephen, Drew and Laurens. I presume they got married in San Francisco during the period when same-sex couples were marrying, and got included in the list purely by proximity. I wondered how they felt about getting gay-themed mail.

There were a quite a few couples with the same first name: Maria and Maria, Barbara and Barbara, Michael and Michael. Many couples already had the same last name: Crabtree-Ireland and Crabtree-Ireland, Disney and Disney, Dick-Endrizzi and Dick-Endrizzi. Happy couple, happy couple, happy couple.

Over and over and over again, for three, five, seven, eight hours, I stickered. Forty-two Amys. Fifty Elizabeths. One hundred and thirty-two Davids. Happy couple, happy couple, happy couple.

Seeing so many couples whose lives had been changed by Newsom’s act of civil disobedience was a visceral reminder that marriage equality is something worth fighting for. If somehow these stickerings make even one more happy couple, I’m happy to do it. So Suzanne and Susannah, Michelle and Susan, Zackary and Steven, thanks for the inspiration!

(Here is the postcard design as a 1.3M PDF.)

Comments »

  1. Best Webfoot Forward » San Francisco Gay Pride Parade 2004 (Activism is boring, part 3) said,

    June 7, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    […] I sent out 3,748 postcards to couples who got married during the great San Francisco Marriages of 2004. I really didn’t know how many couples would show up. I thought probably around one hundred, though I wouldn’t have been surprised at forty couples, either. […]

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