Friday, June 01, 2007

Thea & Edith Update: Subject of a Movie, More Coverage, Nudging NY for Gay Marriage

My Irish-American gay brother Brendan Fay sends lots of good words from NYC on our dear lesbian mothers Thea Spyer and Edith Windsor, and a short report on a number of his activities.
Always nice to hear from this kindred spirit. Brendan has also alerted me to a terrific write up in the Toronto Globe and Mail this week about the girls. Not only that, but the paper also the picture above to illustrate the story, and I think the women are true wonders of human love to behold.
Needless to say, I feel all goose-pimply knowing I've made Thea and Edith smile over my original posting on them, and helped bring some extra attention.
Oh, and Thea and Edith, some best wishes to you both and a personal thanks for sharing a small part of your lives with the world, and for making those phone calls. From one nudge to two others: Keep nudging 'em!

Brendan's comments come first, then my favorite parts of the Globe story.
Michael -
Sweet man!
Greetings from Astoria! Good to hear from you. Every now and then I check in with your blog. Thank you for being the community nudge and challenge you always were/are.
I read your comments to Edie ... you brought tears of joy to her! Yes they are lesbians of means - but they continue to be generous and supportive of many community groups committed to liberation and equality, from Lesbian Herstory Archives to SAGE, etc.
They have been fighters for decades. Yesterday - both were working the phones calling politicians in the NY Assembly & Senate whose votes are necessary to ensure passage of a bill to finally end marriage discrimination in NY State.
Nobody in the gay media/blogosphere has picked up on their story yet - other than your good self!
From the Globe and Mail story I got a couple of calls from couples around the US want help with getting married in Canada. Our focus is Toronto - that's the whole idea. Whether rich or poor - immigrant or native - I work voluntarily to help couple get to Canada by bus or plane ... for those without means, I have friends who host in Toronto, a officiating Judge who does the perfect marriage (without fees - saving couples from those on both sides of the borders cashing in ...) and a Canadian filmmaker who generously films ( freely ) each wedding as a gift!
Tell people to call us: Brendan Fay / Jesus Lebron, Civil Marriage Trail Project : 718-721-2780.
On the film end of things, "The Saint of 9/11" has done well. I get emails every week . I am now finishing a collection of stories about Mychal Judge.
I am also working now ... on a short film on Edie and Thea.
Jesus sends his best - he is busy working at the HIV clinic at Mount Sinai ... Kindred soul and spirit Andy Humm is being honored this Sunday as one of the grand marshals of the Queens parade!
Cheers and hugs-
Brendan Fay
May they never tame you ...
Thanks so much, Brendan, for your wrods of praise, and all your years of advocacy and assistance for our extended gay family, both here and in your homeland of Ireland.

From the Globe and Mail article:
Forty years ago, Thea Spyer bent down on one knee in a Manhattan street, pulled out a diamond pin and asked Edie Windsor to marry her.
Tuesday of last week, a friend gently lifted her arm so that the 75-year-old, now confined to a wheelchair by multiple sclerosis, could finally wed the love of her life in a ceremony at a Toronto hotel ...
"On one occasion recently it looked like it was going to be very close to the end," Ms. Windsor, 76, said from their Fifth Avenue home this week. "We just said, 'We're running out of time.' " ...
Ms. Windsor and Dr. Spyer's wedding was organized by Brendan Fay, founder of the New York-based Civil Marriage Trail project, which has helped same-sex couples get married since its inception in 2003.
"We've had a number of elderly couples who have decided to go to Canada in their final years," he said ...
Their very private romance progressed even as the two women made great strides in their professional lives. Ms. Windsor was senior systems programmer at IBM, while Dr. Spyer, who is a psychologist, worked at a number of Manhattan hospitals and later as the director of a psychiatric clinic.
She was diagnosed with MS in her 40s, and over recent years the couple have adjusted their lives to deal with the illness that has now rendered her quadriplegic.
When Dr. Spyer lost movement in her arms two years ago, leaving her unable to read a book or lift a newspaper, Ms. Windsor - who has herself undergone open-heart surgery - rigged a TV to her laptop and began downloading eBooks ...
The couple flew to Toronto with a group of six friends, including Dr. Spyer's physician, each of whom had a task from assembling her wheelchair to helping with the exchange of rings.
In a hotel conference room decorated as a chapel, Ms. Windsor perched on the arm of Dr. Spyer's wheelchair, modifying her vows by saying: "From this day forward, as in all our days past." ...
"We've both been trying to describe it, because what could be different if you've lived together as if married for 40 years?" she said. "There's something about the word marriage. There's a certain dignity." ...

1 comment:

Sara said...

I hope they had a prosperous life ahead in their marriage. They had an image of a wonderful couple. Best wishes.