The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Love
Stories: Suzanne Westenhoefer and Jennifer Houston

Love
            Stories: Suzanne Westenhoefer and Jennifer Houston

Married:
September 6, 2008 Together: 4 years

Fans knew
comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer was really in love when her
“girlfriend Jenn” started turning up in her
onstage monologues. Westenhoefer met marketing pro
Jennifer Houston four years ago, when both of them
were working on a women’s cruise. “I noticed
her swagger,” Westenhoefer says.
“It’s a limp,” Houston counters.
“Swagger,” Westenhoefer repeats.
“Limp,” Houston says. Sitting side by side in
the immaculate living room of their craftsman home,
these two banter in perfect sync. But on the subject
of marriage, they were out of step until this summer.

Westenhoefer,
who’s 47, chalks it up to the nine-year difference in
their ages. “I came out in ’81,”
the comic says. “That was [the decade of] AIDS,
ACT UP, fight back, Queer Nation. By the time Jenn
[who’s now 38] came out in ’92, k.d.
lang was on the cover of Vanity Fair.”

As for marriage,
“Jenn bugged me about it from the moment we got
together,” says Westenhoefer, with a show of
annoyance. “She’s very romantic, and
I’m old-school, like, ‘Hey, this is why
I’m queer -- no kids, no weddings, not all
these heterosexual trappings.’ ”

Still,
Westenhoefer surprised her romantic by arranging a
commitment ceremony two years ago at home in front of
family and friends. “I was like, OK,
we’re done with that,” Westenhoefer says.
“Then they legalized marriage, and I went,
‘Oh, no.’ ” Sure enough, Houston
popped the question, complete with a Tiffany solitaire
ring.

They recount the
events of their September 6 wedding day blow-by-blow,
including a distraught stranger at the door, “giant
athlete girls” arriving in workout clothes, the
police, a fire truck, and a final frenzied dash to the
chapel.

As they exchanged
vows this time, Westenhoefer, at last, saw the light.
“I’m telling you, when the woman said,
‘By the power vested in me by the state of
California,’ it was like, Oh, yeah!
she says. “I think maybe I was settling. Making
an excuse, like, ‘Oh, I’m above
marriage,’ is easy to say if you can’t
have it. It’s like saying, ‘I don’t
want to live in that beautiful palace that sits up on
top of the hill. Wouldn’t it be awful to take
care of that?’ ”

Tags: World, World

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