Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gay thoughts

Aside from the fact that I did gay park my car this morning, today feels different. I woke up this morning the first thing that occurred to me was, "This is the first morning of my life in which I live in a country where the President openly supports my right to get married." It's so easy to get tripped up on all the pessimism, political speculation, etc. I'm usually one of the first to do it. But I can't right now. Not yet. I'm going to enjoy this watershed political moment unencumbered by negativity and naysaying. We still have a way to go - a long way. But this is huge.

Additionally, I'll go ahead and be the fun police on one other point. Over the years I've heard a lot of straight people who support gay marriage say, "Gay people deserve to be just as miserable as the rest of us!" I totally get that this is meant as a show of support for equality while at the same time poking fun at the institution of marriage and its many failings. You're being funny, I know! But it's really not all that funny. First of all, because it's just such a tired joke. It's like when you meet a co-worker named Roxanne and your instinct is to start singing that song by the Police. As if she's never heard that before. And like she finds humor in being equated to a prostitute through an overplayed song that you probably can't even sing well. But because you have a weak humor filter, you make a scrunched up, eyes closed, sincere rocker face and sing, "Put on the red light!" and then you smile and look at her like, "Right? Get it?" Later you are surprised and confused to find out she thinks you are a total idiot. 

But also, it just seems a little smug to demean rights you take for granted. It's easy to be like, "Pshh. Marriage! No big deal!" when you can conceivably meet a woman at 7-11 today, stick a donut on her finger as a make-shift ring and go get married right then. And because you two have opposite private parts, the government will shower you with rights and privileges. Congrats! You're earned it! But then there is, for instance, two women who have been in a committed relationship for 10 years and built a life together. They don't have magical opposite-sex privates, so they can't "be as miserable as the rest of you!" Instead, they have to be miserable worrying that if one of them becomes terminally ill they won't be allowed to visit their spouse in the hospital. Because "only immediate family" are allowed and one partner's parents disapprove of the relationship and are willing to let their daughter die without her partner by her side to show they're good Christian people. Or any number of other things that you and your 7-11 bride won't have to worry about in your worst nightmares. 

See how it becomes less funny and kind of even makes you seem like a jerk? Good, thank you. If not, feel free to stop by Roxanne's desk to tell her she doesn't have to wear that dress tonight. You'll make her day.

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