On the last day of February this year, Carrie Stone and Elisia Ross began a 3,100-mile bicycle journey from Florida to California to promote partner rights for queers. Now I will grant that 3,000 miles is a long way even in a car, but given they aren't so much as riding a tandem, it's hard to see the connection to queer partner rights. Could the saying 'A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle' have something to do with their choice of message bearing?
Any correlation I could make seemed nebulous and/or weird, so in the end I gave up on their idea and thought up one of my own: a 'bed-in,' à la John Lennon and Yoko Ono at the Amsterdam Hilton in 1969. For one thing, two women in bed together practically screams 'lesbian.' And the timing couldn't be more perfect given that their goal had been to promote peace: we could kill two birds with one stone (although that's maybe not the best choice of words when talking about peace). I would be less than honest, too, if I didn't admit that staying in bed for a week with my best gal was more appealing than being saddle sore for two or three months.
Of course, there are a few practical matters that need to be considered before plunging into this. First and foremost, what site would we choose for our bed-in? If we did it at home, who would notice? That's probably why our predecessors instituted an open-door policy at a swanky hotel. But Katie Couric could care less if Kathy and I check into a hotel room and invite her for a visit; even reporters from the National Inquirer have grown blasé about lesbian subjects—unless, of course, I were to ditch Kathy for my bed-in and replace her with, say, Oprah Winfrey. Now that would be news. (Eat your heart out, Stedman. Or Gayle. Oh wait: now I'm confused.) Of course, swapping out Kathy does play a little fast and loose with the whole committed relationship thing that's kind of at the core of partner rights.
No, what's needed is a bed where everyone could simply see us. I first thought of someplace like a park or plaza, but Chicago weather—well, awhile back it featured, in the course of a few days, bright sun, drenching rain, freezing temps, and meteorites. A storefront window, maybe? Bed Bath and Beyond comes right to mind, but I think Kathy and I are beyond even their Beyond. My own personal choice would be a Krispy Kreme Doughnut Shop or Starbucks. That, however, would be like having a wolf sleep in a box of bunnies. Then I had one of those head-smacking, 'I could've had a V-8' moments: our local feminist bookstore. Pedestrians stopping to ogle the snoring lesbians would be reminded they'd been meaning to buy a copy of Dykes to Watch Out For—everybody wins!
But then, even in such seemingly perfect matches, doubts begin to creep in. After a week in bed, wouldn't we be a little ... gamy? And what about food? We could order in, but I sometimes have trouble getting food to my mouth when I'm seated at a nice steady table, so you can understand my concerns about trying to balance a meal on my lap while leaning back on a pillow. I am not what you'd call a cleanliness fanatic, but I do draw the line at sharing my sheets with Fannie May, Little Debbie, and Aunt Jemima for a week.
Setting those issues aside momentarily, I realized that another thing John and Yoko had going for them was their ballad. I tried just cramming some new lyrics into it, but I don't know—does this sound too clunky to you? 'All we are saying is give peace—and same-sex relationship rights—a chance.' Okay—so that needs some work, too. But I think what we really all need to ask ourselves is, Isn't there enough suffering in the world right now without everyone having to see my bed head for a week? What do you think gave Kathy her 15 gray hairs?
Read more story below....
Time to dust off the old Schwinn, I guess.
© 2003 by Yvonne Zipter.