Tagged under "equality" (2)
|The Queer Marriage Craze|
As a kid, I was never the typical little girl who dreamed of a white wedding and Prince Charming. I was always too busy making Barbie, Ken, and Skipper fuck their little plastic heads off in an all-night threesome inside a makeshift cardboard dream house. Now as a queer adult, I think about it even less- except when I am constantly reminded of it, like as of recent. Now that California lifted their ban on same-sex marriage and Massachusetts overturned the 1913 law and can wed –out-of-state same-sex couples, the queer marriage craze seems to be in full effect, and I am doing my damnest to understand it/cheer it on/not get sucked in.
I have always seen marriage as a patriarchal-established, social institution that joins (hetero) couples into a legally-binding contract. It is a business in the sense that two people unite to form a financial partnership where together they ascertain stability and prosperity. It is an institution in how it works to reinforce prescribed gender roles (like woman as domestic caretaker/man as bread-winner). Love doesn’t seem to have a thing to do with it…or does it? Now that lesbians are getting married left and right, I am starting to think otherwise. Could marriage really be a celebration of Sapphic love, with legal protection as a bonus? Could it help deconstruct the gender system established oh-so-long-ago by our misogynistic forefathers? Is it this notion of marriage as awesome and revolutionary that’s driving famous queer folks to get hitched all of a sudden?
Wedding bells are ringing loud for many a celesbian couple. Ellen and Portia are tying the knot soon in California, Heather Matarazzo and Caroline Murphy just announced their engagement, and Lindsey Lohan is rumored to be making “wedding plans” with her not-so-secret partner Samantha Ronson. Are these rich and famous ladies encouraging queer female common folk to take the plunge, or do they merely reflect a movement of dyke wives that seems to be happening? Since June, more than two thousand queer women have tied the knot in California. Massachusetts boasts thousands of lesbian marriages since 2004. Since more queers across the nation (famous and not) are expected to get marriage licenses, it seems like more gay women are willing to become Mrs. and Mrs.
It would be silly to think that jumping the broom is the new fad for queer women. Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon have waited several decades to be able to exchange vows, along with many queer women of past generations. The right to marry has always been denied our community, whether for political or religious (and always homophobic) reasons. Now that they can marry, how does this speak to our present state of queer life?
Hooking up the ball and chain is fine and dandy if you live in Massachusetts and California (and is recognized by New York). But what if your love life resides in states other than these three? How will being a married lesbian function in places like Iowa, Utah, and Texas? The one thousand federal rights and benefits that a marriage guarantees will not be considered valid in states that don’t recognize gay marriage. So after the honeymoon is over, are dykes to return to their home state with simply a wedding album and a hope that their state laws will change and that they can one day reap the full benefits of marriage? Will queer women who want to get married have to move to the west or east coasts to live a “real” married life? What will happen to queer women who refuse to move in order to marry? With a bit more luck, the fight for the gay marriage right will continue to progress from state to state, until ultimately we have achieved national equality.
Furthermore, what does this queer marriage craze mean for the queer girls who never plan to walk down the aisle? Will they be looked upon as lascivious women all their life? Queer women, especially lesbians, are stereotyped in extremes as either “U-Haulers” or promiscuous Amazons. After the “U-Haulers” have hauled, will there be expectations for all lesbian couples to get married in order to prove their commitment? Will it become the norm for lesbian women to eventually settle down monogamously, have 2.5 kids, and the proverbial white picket fence? I expect we will be continue to be stereotyped, even more so now that we can tie the knot. But just like the rest of the (straight) world, not everyone is cut out for marriage, and choosing to stay single the rest of your life doesn’t make you a whore.
I am a big believer in love, and in the fact that you don’t need the institution of marriage to prove to your partner that you are 100% committed. Like many queers, I don’t feel like you need a gold band, long white dress, and a flowery, canopied garden ceremony to declare your commitment to your significant other. After all the formalities, you ultimately go back to being what you were before (i.e. roommates, lovers, dog owners) living exactly as you did when you first moved in together. Marriage never protects against the fact that infidelity, death, financial problems, and other life circumstances can potentially break you up, and boy is divorce expensive nowadays. However, for those gals and their partners that do need nuptials to cement/celebrate their dedication to each other, I recognize and support this need 100%, especially living in a world where health insurance and owning a home are luxuries.
The gay marriage movement/craze raises so many questions, confounds so many people, and brings a sense of joy and completeness to so many queer women. All in all, I am super happy for my Sapphic sisters who are happily married or plan to be. We’ve waited too long to get this far, and still have such a long road ahead of us in terms of attaining marriage equality in the other 48 states. This queer girl, however, still has many roads to tread before she walks down the aisle (if ever). No matter what decision queer women make, the fact that marriage equality is progressing steadily is a victory in itself in the battle for our rights. Truth is, government belongs in the boardroom, not the bedroom. Let’s keep fighting to keep it that way, whether we are the bride or the bridesmaid.
Tagged on August 11, 2008
|Engaged To Equality|
Where we stand in the fight for same-sex marriage rights.
Tagged on July 9, 2008