Original LGBT Expo

Dr. Darcy defends the value of gay marriage

Ask A Mental Health Professional
Dear Dr. Darcy:

I’m writing less to seek advice than to seek a voice regarding the issue of gay marriage and our community’s relentless pursuit of this patriarchal right. At the micro-level, I find it unnecessary; at the macro-level, I feel it a poor use of lesbian resources. I wonder if the recent surge in number of lesbian femmes (thank you, L Word) has prompted a need for us to mime hetero relationships. After all, femmes have historically remained GUG (gay until [college] graduation), opting out of our lifestyle in lieu of the entitlements that accompany straight life. Do you think that poster women such as yourself unnecessarily promote a hetero agenda, and if so, would you rethink writing your monthly column for the greater lesbian good?

I respect that you don’t have a need to exercise the human right to marry your life partner. Similarly, I don’t have a need to exercise my right to undergo an abortion, though I’d fight tooth and nail to preserve that right for others who might find themselves in need of that procedure. 

I don’t think that the issue of gay marriage is any more femme-serving than it is butch or boi (or insert your preferred identity here) serving. I don’t think it mimes hetero relationships any more than fighting for the right to vote indicated a female’s desire to be male. I am hardly qualified to lecture on the subject of Constitutional Law (so I won’t), but I feel that your argument could have been used throughout history to justify acquiescing equality for many modern-day human rights. Whether we choose to engage in marriage once we win the right is a personal choice—but it needs to be a choice. We are not second-class citizens who can be pacified with domestic partnership, because it is a different term with different rights. Marriage is a human right and denying that right based on sexual orientation is akin to discriminating on the basis of race or gender, something we’ve determined is unconstitutional.

I hadn’t thought of myself as promoting any particular agenda(s), though I suppose that a certain amount of leverage and responsibility comes with being a columnist. In that vein, I think it behooves me to answer no. No, I don’t think that being a femme inherently promotes any agenda (beyond, presumably, liking shoes), and I would never dignify or validate any stereotypes thereof by rethinking my column.

Take care,

Email questions to dr.darcysmith@gmail.com or call 212-604-0144

Dr. Darcy Smith received her Masters degree from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from New York University. She has been a practicing social worker for over 10 years and is in private practice in both New York City and New Jersey.

*This column is not a consultation with a mental health professional and should in no way be construed as such or as a substitute for such consultation. Anyone with issues or concerns should seek the advice of her own therapist or counselor.
The Dinah 2015
Stop Drinking
Original LGBT Expo
160x300 Businesses
160x300 Half Skyscraper Events