The New York Times' “Making It Last” column profiles baby boomer couples who have been together 25 years or more. The latest entry looks at Angelenos Alan Acosta and Tom Gratz. Acosta is a former Los Angeles Times editor who now is the director of strategic initiatives at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center. They met in a Silver Lake bar in 1980 and were married in 2004 and again in 2008. Excerpt from the story:
Q: When did you finally make it legal?
Alan: In the summer of 2004, then San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom, was marrying same-sex couples and getting a lot of backlash, so we decided to do it for political reasons.
Tom: We took the morning off from work because we had an early appointment at City Hall. To be honest, neither of us thinks marriage is such a great thing – even for straight people – but this was more like adding our name to a petition. We had already been together for some 20 years at that point.
Alan: The state invalidated our marriage and everyone else’s. Then we got married again in 2008. Tom actually texted me the proposal.
Tom: Alan was always teasing me because I didn’t text. I say pick up the phone and have a conversation. So I thought it would be funny to text him, “Will you marry me?”
Alan: I was on the AIDS ride and as soon as I got it, I texted back, “YES!”
Q: How do you refer to each other?
Alan: “Husband,” but only ironically, like, “According to my husband ...”
Tom: If I think they won’t like hearing “husband” because they’re very conservative, I’ll use “other half” or “spouse.” I don’t want to offend someone.