|Photo Description: Line drawing of a sneaker with the laces untied.|
Words. Sneaky, sneaky words.
When I wrote the blog announcing that Joe and I had decided to get married, I did so with some trepidation. I know that some people reading this blog read it primarily for the disability aspect of my writing and that they are not so comfortable with the gay aspects of the blog. I remember back in the second year of my writing this that someone threatened to organize a boycott of my blog unless I agreed to write about any aspect of my life, or of disability, with exception of the 'gay stuff.' Well, I'm glad to say, that the boycott went nowhere and the support of my blog readers remained strong.
I'm finding an interesting phenomenon though, with words and with how people use words when they write to me, or speak to either Joe or me, about our upcoming nuptials. The use of the word 'gay' as a qualifier when talking to me about the wedding is a relative constant. Let me say it clearly, we aren't having a 'gay wedding' we are getting married. And we are getting married at a wedding. That we are gay is irrelevant to what the ceremony is and what the ceremony means. Using a term like 'gay wedding' or 'gay marriage' may sound to you like acceptance but to me it just sounds like prejudice wearing sneakers.
"I hear you and Joe are going to have a gay wedding!"
This sounds, and I think it intends to mean what it sounds like, as if we are having a different kind of ceremony with a different kind of result. It's not like a straight wedding which leads to a real marriage.
Joe and I have lived together for 46 years. Our relationship is imperfect, which makes it both fun and a struggle at the same time, and we are still working to get things right. We can still be difficult with each other. While we aren't shouters (any more) we can certainly be creative in the ways that we can communicate disagreement and displeasure. It's just a normal relationship between two people. It's not a 'gay relationship.'
Our lives or our relationship.
Words can communicate so many things. And let me just say that sneaky bigotry is still bigotry. Sneaky prejudice is still prejudice and we notice.