THE QUEER ISSUE: Radical engaygement -- isn't that what Pride's all about?
So, OK, I just got engaged. Gay engaged. Engayged.
First, this may be the worst time ever to plan on jumping the lavender chuppah knot or whatever. As far as legality goes, California's up in the air until maybe the November 2010 elections and perhaps for a long time after that. Then there's the whole federal kerfuffle to go through. And Iowa might be tempting right now but gurl, I don't have enough something blues for three ceremonies. Iowa, then Cali, and then federal -- sheesh! Two is enough! At least when we were illegal, we only had to plan for one polka band. Miss you, "commitment ceremony."
Then there are the political equivocations. Plus or minus a few episodes of America's Next Top Model, I've considered myself near the front lines of radical queer resistance ever since my friends started dying of AIDS when I was 17. I'm all for ethical non-monogamy, get queasy at the thought of official state-sanctioned relationships, and definitely believe that marriage, with all its financial benefits, discriminates against people who haven't fallen in love. Or turns them into liars for money. Or makes them scream a lot during Sex and the City reruns.
Hunky Beau and I aren't really after the cash and perks, anyway. Hospital visitation rights and insurance discounts would be cool (and are available locally already), and who knows if we'll have kids who'll require federal protection. But I'm pretty sure we'll never need the legal right to "enlarge accommodation estimates for foreign dignitary missions" only available to married couples now. And as far as political statements go, there are a lot more things in my personal life that I'd like to see being used to help change the world for the better. Housing homeless queer kids and seniors and restoring the recent awful AIDS services cuts seems much more necessary right now as well. But this is the fight our community's in and whether it's because I was raised that way by two incredibly supportive parents, or because I get a real rash when my government says I can't do something other people can, or because within every loud-mouthed queen lives a hopelessly traditional romantic, I've got a dog in it. Not a chihuahua, mind you. More like golden retriever. Totally butch.
As some of our writers eloquently point out in this issue, same-sex marriage may be a boondoggle, sapping our community's strength to confront real issues of poverty and inequality. It's certainly not for everyone. But in a truly dark time in my life, when I thought the whole world was falling apart, I suddenly fell in deeply in love with someone almost annoyingly perfect for me in every way. To my continued astonishment, he seems to feel that way about me as well. We've been together a long time now and marriage seems, to us, the logical next step for whatever reason. It just feels right. Love is a crazy, crazy thing, full of diversity, surprise, and wonder. Isn't that what Pride's all about?