|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.
The way I understand it, gay people have fought for the right to the same kind of messy union everyone else got to call 'marriage.'
There have always been commitment ceremonies, but they came without the legal advantages and disadvantages of marriage.
Of course you are getting married the same way I'm married (old heterosexual white woman here). And you should have the exact same privileges and obligations the rest of us have - and you should not have had to fight for the right.
And as I keep saying, it's a legal formality: you guys couldn't be more married.
People really say that? In 2015? Frequently enough for you to notice and write about it? That... disappoints me. Those comments sound like something I'd hear on a sitcom from the character who's hopelessly old and prejudiced, but trying in their own way. Not something I'd expect to hear in real life. Apparently I'm still a little naive...
Based on your internet presence alone, you and Joe are one of my favorite couples. No qualifiers. :)
Dave, I feel the same way about my "second marriage", and my "stepsons". It's as if they don't quite count in some way, although my husband and I had custody and raised all our boys from an early age. Attitudes change somehow for some people when they learn we are married for the second time, or ask which of the kids is "mine". It's getting wee bit old, considering we've been together for thirty-five years and married for thirty-one of those. You are Joe are married, the way that counts. That your marriage will afford you things it affords all married folks is good. I do wish people would get over themselves and realize that people are people, and love is love. Even for you and Joe, and for my husband and I and our four boys. It's the love part that is important. I'm delighted for you both! samm
To me - marriage is kind of a swear word. Not because there's something wrong with committed relationships, but because of what it's become.
When you think about it - it's a generic contract that the Government (i.e. State) holds exclusive rights to granting. And within that particular contract there are certain 'rights' and privileges that the State 'grants' to the couple. (Decision making, property, inheritance, care of offspring, tax 'benefits' - as if there were such a thing).
I don't really care for that kind of monopoly. It's funny - because when people talk about discrimination in who can get married - they think of Churches, but honestly, Churches have little to do with the civil reasons of the people getting married. In fact - when it comes to marriage 'discrimination' - the State holds sole guilt as the State is the entity that says who is or is not married.
I like the idea of folks doing their OWN contracts (validated by any third party witness) wherein informed, consenting adults can enter into their own agreements with their own stipulations on who can do what, have what, decide what within the confines of the contract. Allowing one contract and one contract only as issued by a monopolistic entity seems rather paternal in the most condescending sense.
OK - rant over.
I'm glad you and Joe practice love with each other so well and refresh your commitment daily (because a relationship ain't a "what I said once matters most" kinda deal - it's a moment to moment thing). In the end - it's love that saves us, regardless of whether it's a state sanctioned contract-ed love . . . .
It may not be a "gay" marriage ...
But I do expect you two to make merry when you marry (just be glad your husband's not named Murray)!
...Sorry... couldn't resist (though maybe I should have).
It would not occur to me to attempt to diminish you or Joe or your future wedding ceremony.
In point of fact, I assume that you already have a marriage, if you have managed to live together as a couple for 48 years. If you wish to have a marriage ceremony too - that is definitely your choice, your decision.
I hope that your wedding ceremony is everything that you want it to be. Best wishes, Dave and Joe!
Congratulations you two!!!!! What a celebration it will be!!!!
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