A few people seem think I fell from the womb an angry crusader for queer politics. In fact nothing could be further from the truth. I started my big gay life as the biggest anti-queen you can imagine – my main mission was to try to convince people that gay people were basically identical to straight people, and that people who thought differently were basically stereotyping. I still believe that a lot of people who think gay people are different are basically stereotyping, but I’ve become increasingly comfortable with the idea of difference. Fair enough if you want to have a monogamous relationship with someone your entire life. Why call it marriage? Why make a contract out of it? Why do it in front of god? Why does it change your legal status? Your tax status?
Gay people have been hindered by a large number of legal and social restrictions over the last few decades. But along with this absence of rights came the necessity of figuring out how to do relationships between two men or two women that worked. For some people this meant a “butch” partner and a “femme” partner – in a fashion that directly aped heterosexual relationships of power of the time. For others it meant monogamous coupledom. For still others random sex and a tight-knit relationship with friends, multiple partners or no partners. But all of them felt less of a requirement to settle down, find the man/woman of their dreams and move into a house with a white-picket fence. In the past, we have been forced not to be complacent and this has provided some wonderful alternatives to “marriage”.
So it would certainly be my opinion that gay people shouldn’t get married in any legal sense of the word. Why revel in the sanctioning of your particular perversion? Why be legitimated while all the alternatives that have been developed over the last hundred years are still frowned upon? There’s just no need to sign a piece of paper. Instead, make a stand for difference and variety between communities, and between members of the same community. Have a relationship by all means. Move in. Stay with them forever. But don’t get married. And don’t do it for me…
One final thought takes us ten, twenty years down the line. When you’ve sucessfully separated the “good/married” gay people from the “bad/non-married/sex-crazed” gay people, what makes you think that the latter won’t be stigmatised again, like they were during the AIDS tensions of the eighties?