My other cake is a pie

Carli and Sarah.

Carli and Sarah.

Photo by Deidre Pike

So there I was, at the Bazaar Café on California Street in San Francisco, putting two First Communion girls on the carrot cake. The plastic cake figurines featured preteen girls holding Bibles, standing in front of stained-glass windows. A café customer walked by and read the words on the wedding confection: “My other cake is a pie.”

He chuckled.

When you marry a comedian, you get jokes on your cake. My friend, former RN&R Arts Editor Carli Cutchin, got married last week. Current Arts Editor Miranda Jesch and I spent the weekend celebrating in the Bay Area. Now we both have songs from Carli’s wedding CD stuck in our heads. Tuesday, we were singing the Violent Femmes’ “Jesus Walking on the Water.” Monday, it was the Sex Pistols’ refrain, “I wanna be anarchy.” And “Lola.”

We listened to the CD repeatedly while driving from Oakland to a bachelorette party Saturday night. Seven of us crammed into Carli’s spouse-to-be’s compact car. The Sex Pistols song started as we drove past a Black Muslim bakery, and our driver—now Carli’s wife-husband—pounded her-his fist in the air.

I realize there’s some confusing language in that last sentence. But it was hard to use the name “Sarah” and the pronoun “she” to refer to the guy I was introduced to eight months ago—and whom you may know—as Will Franken, a comedian who’s performed at the Zephyr in Reno and who regularly performs in California. That Sarah was sporting smooth, shaved legs and comfy Mary Janes made it slightly easier.

Carli and Sarah don’t say “cross-dresser.” They say “transgender.” To me, this means that the 6-foot-something guy I knew as Will deeply wanted to be a woman. When given permission by the love of his life—and who can blame him for falling head over high heels for the wonderful, sensitive, open-minded, Jesus-loving Carli?—he became Sarah. Or is becoming Sarah.

The two weren’t married until 7 p.m. Sunday, so the morning after the bachelorette party we packed back into Sarah’s car to attend a Methodist church where kind Christians have warmed to the two. In between hymns and a short sermon, “Who builds the house?"—a rhetorical question to which the answer is God—a microphone was passed around for the sharing of “joys and concerns.” Sarah, dressed in a tasteful skirt with just a hint of make-up and hair by Carli, invited everyone to the wedding. They clapped enthusiastically, and Sarah said, “I love this church. You guys are a trip.”

The wedding ceremony was performed by Ruth Hanusa of the Campus Christian Association at UNR. It was lovely, a traditional Methodist ceremony with a bit of word-tweaking. After the wedding, the two danced to the Velvet Underground’s version of “Pale Blue Eyes,” which begins with a moody, “Sometimes I feel so happy, sometimes I feel so sad. Sometimes I feel so happy, but mostly you just make me mad.” And even those who didn’t get the cake joke laughed at that last line.

Congratulations, Carli and Sarah.