Monday, June 16, 2008

Gay People - We're Just Like You

Yesterday morning was beautiful in Washington, DC. We read the newspaper out on the back porch with the dogs lying in the grass. It would have been perfect if I had not become enraged at the cover story about gay and lesbian people and marriage in the New York Times.

Gay Couples Find Marriage Is a Mixed Bag

Published: June 15, 2008

BOSTON — Four years after Massachusetts became the first state to allow gay couples to marry, there have been blissful unions, painful divorces and everything in between. “There are no role models for gay marriage,” said Jacob Venter of Boston, right, with his husband of four years, Billy Boney.

Some same-sex couples say being married has made a big difference, and some say it has made no difference at all. There are devoted couples who have decided marriage is not for them, couples whose lawyers or accountants advised them against marrying, and couples in which one partner wants to marry but the other does not.

Read the rest of the article here.

I find it depressing that less than forty years after gay liberation with it’s vision for a different sort of sexual freedom and a new restructuring of family and community that we’re reduced to heterosexual mimicry in some of the worst ways. The article includes stories of couples who hesitate about marriage until one has “a profession,” people who speaking to a New York Times reporter use incorrect grammar (as bad as hearing President Bush in the UK talking about the ravishes (sic) of Afghanistan when presumable he meant the ravages of Afghanistan), and gay people saying that marriage makes them feel legitimate in the world. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

The one thing about the article that I did delight in is the couple talking about just living together and not marrying using Brad and Angelina as the justification for that. For those watching such things, the reproducing mimicry there is delightful because, of course, Brad and Angelina are not marrying until all people can marry including gay and lesbian couples. It was a moment of confirmation that Judith Butler has much insight into the world when you really sit down and think about it.

At any rate at 5:01 p.m. PST today, the state of California will be issuing marriage licenses. I am an old crabby dyke with a profound dislike for the institution of marriage, but I do have the good manners to say to all who will marry today or in the next days and months, Mazel Tov!


KATE EVANS said...

Annie and I are choosing to marry to have a great party, to publicly celebrate our 14 years of union, and to make a political statement.

However, I'm definitely ambivalent about the way marriage has dominated the queer agenda. In other words, I hear you here.

Julie R. Enszer said...

Yes, I have to say, EVERY gay couple I know in California has a marriage license in hand and is planning to marry or is married already. I think the great possibilities of it are irresistible - even for folks like me and you with ambivalence.

The NYTimes article was just so fascinating in how the gay people were portrayed. It reminded me of the Magazine article a few months ago with you married couples in Massachusetts that had the most bizarre, almost treacly, photos associated with it.

I'm interested to see how the availability of marriage is going to transform our identities and sense of how we define ourselves as a community.

Robin said...

Hooray for crabby old dykes. Amen.

I found your blog today, after writing something kinda sorta similar yesterday on my blog yesterday. In the scary-ish place that was left in the wake of a second coming out of sorts, I was looking to see what others have said, or maybe I was looking for kindred spirits.

I guess what I'm saying is..thanks.