Commentary: It Is Worth Celebrating

Rochester Pride 2012 13
Photo by Randy Stern

It is June…the month where one of my cultural identities get to celebrate.

With every June, I find it time to take inventory on the balance between a "gay writer on the subject of automobiles" and an "automotive writer who just happens to be gay." It is repetitious and should never have to resort to self-analysis every year.

But, I talk about this. In a sense, I have to. Is it cultural obligation, perhaps? It could be, but then again, it really should not be.

My local Pride Celebration – Twin Cities Pride – is on the final weekend of this month. I already committed to doing two things: Work the North Country Bears booth (do I have to explain subcultural identity again?) on Saturday (possibly Sunday – depending on my mood) and photographing the pre-parade lineup on Sunday.

I will say that Twin Cities Pride will be insane. Consider what happened last month – Minnesota became the twelfth state in the USA to legalize same-gender marriage. Is it a big deal? It will be, come August 1 when the gates are open for all human couples to say "I do" without recourse from the government.

It will also become an economic boom for the state of Minnesota.

If you ever planned a wedding before, you know what goes into one. Wedding planners are hired to set the stage for something that is both magnificent and awkward. If you do not hire a wedding planner, then you are responsible for the caterers, bakers, decorators, entertainment and transportation for the biggest moment of your lives.

The transportation piece is where I come in. I can see that various companies, offering limousines and other hired driver services, will reap some of the rewards after August 1. In fact, it is encouraged when planning a wedding that requires that "special touch" to come up with an entrance and exit worthy of weddings we may have attended in the past.

You can use your imagination upon the idea of "entrance and exit."

Perhaps I could suggest taking some cues from the BBC's "Top Gear." Two vignettes come to mind. First, in the sixth season of the "new" series had Richard Hammond set up a wedding scene where the big attraction is a limousine jump. As with anything involving "caravans" (That is British for camper/trailer), it simply went wrong.

The second related vignette involved the comparison of three very expensive executive sedans – the Aston Martin Rapide, the now-last generation Maserati Quattroporte and the Porsche Panamera. The three hosts were given an assignment to drive the wedding party from one venue to another. One could imagine what transpired when you have Jezza, Hamster and Captain Slow involved in such a task.

One tip from this: If you are a driver taking a wedding party from the church to the reception, do not use gaffer's tape to cover up your jeans. Ask Jeremy Clarkson about that one…

But, would it be cool to roll up in your wedding in an Aston, Maser or Porsche? One story I had in mind was to source a vehicle for a "wedding story," where a selected couple would be ferried to the courthouse for the dramatic occasion on August 1. The context would be if the couple were to celebrate the legalization of their relationship in grand style. Sadly, the vehicles I had in mind were already scheduled prior to that magical date in Minnesota.

But, hey, I was going to do it for free!

If you must get to the courthouse on time, call a transportation company (i.e. limousines, party buses, etc.) and I am certain they will do it up better than I can.

There is a lot of money to be spent on these weddings. The most nominal fee is paid at the courthouse – the license.

Forgive the temper is this commentary. I am not making a mockery of the institution of marriage. Truthfully, I am happy that my friends are finally getting recognized by law of their want to solidify their lives as a couple. However, I believe we need to celebrate this moment by looking at what we accomplished and seeing what light we can bring to it. To see that we, in Minnesota, can now relate to the greater society by legally saying "I do" to each other.

My only advice is this: Choose how you would get to the ceremony, go from the ceremony to the reception, and your exit together wisely. Just like everyone else who went through the ritual of marriage – we got one shot at doing this right.

And, have some fun, for Pete's sake!

See you at Loring Park in Minneapolis on June 29th!

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