Note added June 24, 2009, on The Bilerico Project: Readers of this post are strongly advised to look closely at the date of publication.
As regular readers of Bilerico know, I’ve written a lot of posts critical of gay marriage. I’ve received a great deal of criticism for my views and my knee-jerk, pseudo-lefty, wanna-be-feminist knee-jerk response has always been to sneer at them in disdain.
But, recently, I’ve been rethinking my views on gay marriage. A lot of commenters have made excellent points. For instance, one reminded me that “there are also LGBT community members fighting for economic justice within their communities of color,” and that single fact blew me away. Even as a person of color, I had never thought about those connections. And yet another put it succinctly: “We are just as good as anyone else and deserve the same rights as all citizens.” Of course, I thought, we are as good as anyone else. Surely we too deserve marriage.
And thinking along those lines, I began to wonder: what was really keeping me from fighting for gay marriage? What was my resistance really about? I’ve spent the last few weeks mulling over those questions and the result has been a drastic shift in my perspective. I have decided to come out for gay marriage. But first, I wanted to share the reason for my prior resistance to marriage.
I’m single. And I hate it. I’ve never been able to admit that to anyone, but there it is. The fact is that everything about the single life is repulsive to me. All those meaningless one-night stands, all those days of networking and, no pun intended, single-minded focus on my career -- all of that was eating me up from the inside. But over the years, because I’ve found it so hard to find anyone to even date me, I’ve cast myself as someone who doesn’t care and who criticises what I insisted was society’s undue emphasis on coupledom. All the while, I have secretly longed to find and be with my one true love and leave this ugly life of singledom behind in the dark where it belongs.
But, of course, what would be the point of finding that love if society won’t recognise my newly exalted status? It’s not enough to have my love valued in the eyes of God (I’ve also found Christianity) and my friends. That relationship is nothing if it’s not valued by the State and if I can’t have the 1000+ benefits I deserve. Only marriage will provide that for me.
Marriage would also give me health care. I’ve been falsely trumpeting the benefits of universal health care but, let’s face it, that’s not coming any time soon. More importantly, universal health care is simply UN-AMERICAN. This is the land of free enterprise and we are rewarded for our hard work, for pulling ourselves up by our own shoelaces. Or putting on our own shoes. Whatever. You get my point. Only two kinds of people deserve health care: People who can demonstrate their commitment to each other, and hard-working people with jobs that give them health care.
I support gay marriage because marriage is the only way for a civilised society to recognise and reward those citizens who do the right thing: work hard, love with commitment, contribute to their communities, and make this country better and stronger with every passing day.
I support gay marriage because I cannot wait for the day when my love will be recognised by the power of the State. I have turned my back on the hideous, meaningless hedonism of single life and can only pray to my new-found God that all my single and so-called radical queer friends will also find their way to this blessed state. And on that note, I should also add that I no longer use the q-word: I am now simply and solely a lesbian.
I support gay marriage because I know marriage will make me a better person, a better citizen, more loving, more kind, more just, and a better and more productive member of my community. I haven’t yet found anyone to marry, but I know that my efforts to find the One Of My Dreams have been blocked by the negative energy I’ve carried around with me all these years. My quest to be whole is now unimpeded by my false anti-gay marriage politics. Eventually, I know, I will find Her: a sweet, loving lesbian who works for HRC, with excellent benefits, perfect teeth, and a shining, happy outlook on life. Together, we will adopt children from a third world country and give thanks each day for the joys of our union.