Just Married! (After 64 Years)
We are L-O-V-I-N-G New York Magazine’s story today about two gay veterans that finally were able to marry after 64 years together!
John is 94, recovering from a broken hip but otherwise as hale and handsome as Lou, 88, says he always was. One snapshot shows the pair on a beach in Beirut in 1952. Lou looks like Tony Curtis, glossy and pompadoured. John looks like JFK except, as his mother used to complain when people compared their families, “we have chins.”
Both served in the Navy in World War II, but on different oceans, as in a way they were from different worlds on land. John, who still speaks in the accent of the turn-of-the-twentieth-century elite, worked as an economist. Lou, of Hungarian-immigrant stock, cut hair for decades at the Westbury Hotel. He wears rings and bright colors; John emphatically doesn’t.
But being gay was a great equalizer then. And being married is a great equalizer now. “People say, ‘So if you’re married, where’s the certificate?’ ” Lou explains. “Now we have it.” The pair ignored domestic partnership when it came along (“A halfway step,” says John), and since they had already invested in the complicated legal work-arounds—trusts, powers of attorney—needed to protect one another, they didn’t see the point of claiming marriage rights in, say, Iowa. But when the law passed here in June, they knew they would take the step. “Just to see it in black and white,” says Lou. For John, “it was more like finishing something.”
The small ceremony, with a minister and three witnesses, was held in their Village apartment on November 11, a date they chose because they have for years noticed the time 11:11 on the clock by the bed. They did not exchange rings and got no gifts, “except bourbon!” Lou says. “But he”—he waves at John—“started to cry.”
“Did I?” John wonders.
Congratulations to the happy, handsome couple. I can only hope that my partner and I look this good (and have this much hair left on our heads) when were are in our 90′s. If anyone is wondering, Nick will be the one crying on our wedding day. Stiff upper lip on this one.