Warning: Coarse language.
I was at City Hall the other day with my boyfriend Tom. We were there to get married. I spent a stupid amount of money on my new favourite Gucci suit, and Tom was looking fine as hell in a tux. But he always looks beautiful. He has this way of just making me melt with a simple glance. His touch slays me. And his arms feel like the safest place in the world. I sometimes can’t believe how fortunate I am to know such a kind, loving man. And to be able to spend the rest of my life with him? It seems like a dream.
Then my alarm went off.
I hit snooze a couple of times, pleaded and begged the universe to roll the clock back a few hours. I finally relented and threw my feet over the edge of the bed. As I laid there slowly waking up, I realised that Tom was literally a figment of my imagination. Even so, I’m sure there’s a Tom out there somewhere.
So I grabbed my phone, turned off the other 18 alarms I had set, and checked out the news for the morning.
Plebiscite. Feb 11. Woo fucking hoo!
Apparently, it’s full steam ahead with the hate campaign, unless Labor can block it in the senate. So maybe it won’t happen. Maybe it will. Maybe they’ll vote. Maybe they won’t.
Either way, I’m over it. It’s probably safe to say that the whole bloody country is over it. So, here’s my (naturally offensive) thoughts on the matter.
It’s important to note that these opinions are my own, and they do not reflect the opinions of Brisbane Pride Festival… although they’re probably pretty close.
For years now, men in power have been deciding the fate and future of all minorities. This isn’t anything new.
I mean, the only time your race, gender, or sexuality isn’t called into question is when you’re a straight cis white man. Am I right?
That aside, there are still people out there who don’t understand what all the fuss is about.
“Oh look, the gays want marriage. I mean, that’s cute. But why not go with civil partnerships?”
Alright. Marriage equality. I’ll break this down for even the simplest of minds.
Argument: Gay marriage will deprive children of a mother or father.
Response: Ever heard of single parents?
Argument: Marriage is about coupling to produce children.
Response: Marriage, itself, has nothing to do with children. Many married couples have absolutely no desire to have children. Families, on the other hand, are about procreation or adoption or even surrogacy. Marriage is about love and commitment.
Argument: Allowing gay marriage will diminish the value and institution of marriage.
Response: Do you think heterosexual couples would love each other any less because of equality? Will their wedding and marriage mean less to them?
Argument: The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Response: Actually, it doesn’t. Anywhere. Additionally, many of the original texts of the Bible were written in Aramaic, and translators don’t always get things right. Also, the Bible is more than 2000 years old. Times have changed.
Argument: Bestiality will be next!
Response: As a result of evolution and hard-wiring, humans generally don’t eat the things that they fuck. They also don’t fuck the things they eat. Would you ever consider marrying someone (or in this instance something) that you wouldn’t want to fuck? Immigration weddings don’t count.
Argument: Marriage is sacred.
Response: Please explain to me how “Who wants to marry a midget?” or “The Bachelor” or “Married at First Sight” are sacred? Also, there’s that whole ‘divorce’ thing.
Now, the plebiscite…
Beyond the fact the word itself sounds like some form of fungus, it’s a nasty platform for vitriolic rhetoric.
I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to the next couple of months. I’m a pretty tough person. I can handle “faggot” and the other crap that gets thrown my way. I just wrap up my feelings in a smile and deliver a very sweet “go fuck yourself”. But to have an entire country have a say in my life. My future. I’m not quite sure how to handle that.
I woke up happy about my imaginary marriage. But then I started to feel less than. Less than myself, less than what is required, and less than what other people think I should be.
Even so, I can handle it. I’ve grown a pretty thick skin. But when I was 14 I wasn’t so tough.
I can’t imagine any gay teenager nowadays handling this negative discussion well. How can you accept the person you are when it feels like to the whole country is questioning who you are?
Now that, I can’t abide.
I mean really – what would marriage equality mean for cis heterosexual couples? Well, beyond seeing their LGBTI friends and family happy – fuck all.
Marriage is about love, commitment, and legal protections – not religion. It’s about the merging and protection of assets, and also of loved ones. You might think that de facto relationships offer some sort of protection – they don’t. Here’s an example of why.
As humans, we have basic needs. We need food, shelter, and water – that’s a given. But our emotional needs are just as important.
We all need to feel safe. We need to feel accepted. To be loved. To be equal. To feel understood. What happens when all of these needs are met? Happiness and self-actualisation. What does this make? Yep, that’s right. A stronger, more productive society. Who suffers because of it? Oh yeah, that’s right – no one!
While I’m not sure marriage is for me (at least in my waking hours beyond my imaginary husband Tom) I have many friends who continue to suffer because of this horseshit.
I would like to live in a country where the possibility of Tom is real. That I can wake up in the morning, look at the news, reflect on my all-too-real dreams and think, “Wow. That was nice. Maybe someday I will get married.”
When even the square states in the U.S. have marriage equality and we don’t, you know that we, as a country, have really fucked something up.
Come on, Australia. Cut the shit.