Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 25 / 22 June 2017
 

Peace and love promised this Saturday

NEWS


z.szymanski@ebar.com

Bob Student, left, and Barbara Baumeister Super will tie the knot Saturday after being together for 25 years. Photo: Courtesy Bob Student
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Pack the keg and peace pipe, and bring the kids: in what promises to be an "only in San Francisco" event, the gayest straight wedding ever takes place this Saturday, September 23 in the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater of McLaren Park. All who bring a dish or beverage are welcome to attend.

"It's a potluck," groom-to-be Bob Student told the Bay Area Reporter. "If people want to come it's okay, at least the first couple hundred of them."

Student, who is "pushing 60" will marry Barbara Baumeister Super, 69, his girlfriend of 25 years, at noon (doors open at 10 a.m.).

Included in the large wedding party is best man Chris Meier-Windes, Student's roommate since 1974 and a founder of the gay swim team Tsunami. The two own a house together in the Bayview.

There's also Student's lesbian sister Dawn Davis, a bridesmaid, and her partner Sharon, plus Super's lesbian niece, another bridesmaid in the party. There will be some straight people in the wedding, including Dr. and Mrs. David Smith, the founder of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic, who will serve as the couple's honorary parents.

Then there's bridesmaid Christine Beatty, Super's transgender daughter, who has known Student since the days when both of them were men.

"I was surprised when I first found out. It was back in 1985, when you heard a lot less about it," said Student of Christine's late-1980s sex change. "In 1983 [Christine] had a straight wedding and married Greta. They were the picture-perfect couple. Then a few years later, Christine was looking better in Greta's clothes than she was."

Student and Super's love story begins with Student selling marijuana in the Haight while attending San Francisco State University. Super was the girlfriend of one of his customers, and it "took a couple years for me to steal her heart away." Student was a volunteer for the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic for several years; Super worked for Bill Graham Presents for about 30 years.

Meanwhile, Super's daughter Beatty transitioned to female and went on to be the "transsexual lead singer" in the rock band Glamazon, and Student worked as roadie for the band in the 1990s.

Who knows what prompted the proposal last year?

"I wanted to marry her before we hit 70," said Student. "The timing seemed right and five of my other girlfriends had passed away. Just kidding. I just figured it was time I make a serious commitment to let the world know how much I love her, and this would make it official."

Reached by phone, Super's daughter Beatty, 48, said she is traveling in for the wedding (she currently lives near Los Angeles) and is "very excited." She also still primarily dates women, she said, and is lesbian identified. But while gays and lesbians still cannot marry, Beatty said she harbors no bitterness about her mother's decision to marry Student.

"I think it's a wonderful way for two human beings to celebrate their relationship and profess a lifelong commitment. It's a shame our country is so rooted in this patriarchal backward religious-based bigotry, but in future generations that will change," said Beatty, who is "blissfully single" but is Ã’showing up hoping to sweep some hot woman off her feet."

Student, who said he "cried tears of joy" in February 2004 when Mayor Gavin Newsom began marrying same-sex couples, said his gay family members all have been supportive of him. He is excited for "all our friends to be together to meet each other and celebrate our love," he said. There will be special seating for his and Super's exes "and maybe they'll all hook up."

"I look around and I go, 'You know what? This is a normal extended family for San Francisco. Will the rest of the world ever catch up to us?'"

Saturday's wedding attire is casual. Bring a potluck item but no gifts. A succulent roasted pig and wedding cake will be served. For more information, visit www.bobstudent.com.






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