I've been slow at posting because of work and the problems of our new house (and boy does it have problems). We had a significant leak in the bathroom and the Drying Contractors brought in blowers and dehumidifiers and filter units, they ripped out much of the tile in the shower, and we lived inside what felt like a turbojet for several days. (Now we are living without a master bathroom till the renovation contractors can put it back together... we know we are lucky to have #firstworldproblems but it's still frustrating!)
The workman who came to remove the fans etc. is a big burly man with a beard. I had to sign some paperwork that BP had filled out originally. I told Big Guy that I had to add my name to the form because my wife had signed it before.
Every time I say the word "wife" to a new person, there's a little hesitation. Stereotypically, one might expect Big Guy might not be friendly. Stereotypically, one might worry that a blue-collar white dude might be pretty uncomfortable with Teh Gay. But one would be wrong.
"Oh," he said in a cheerful, conversational tone, "when did you get married?"
"Right before Prop 8," I said.
"So did my sister!" he said. "She and her partner have been together over 20 years!"
Over and over again BP and I have found that people (upon hearing us use "wife"), will put forth their credentials of friendliness by citing their sibling/cousin/best friend who is gay. I've had students tell me about their older brother, as a way of saying "see, I'm friendly too!" BP had a conversation with our mortgage officer who asked her to explain how DOMA affects us.
Average straight people, from a diversity of backgrounds and age and education and experience, take pains to explain that they are on our side, using the proxy of "my sister".
They don't see us as a threat. They see us as their families, friends, and co-workers, whom they love.
And that is why we will win.