Just recently, I saw a video about Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and in the video two animated characters are talking about discrimination. The transsexual character questioned the non-transsexual character’s loyalty because she continued to go to the festival even though the festival discriminates against transsexual people. At some point, the non-transsexual character says “I believe that I can support you but also support people who hate you.” Basically, the video was meant to question how complicated moving within an oppressive structure can be and how in our own little ways we do things to both combat and support unjust people/structures. For me, the question of gay marriage has always been this complicated.
But that was early in the game, when I was still “bi-sexual.” Fast forward to today, only a few hours after Proposition 8, the law banning gay marriage, was overturned and you will find me, fully gay, and coupled–struggling to maintain my radical stance against gay marriage, and not because I don’t think gays should have the right to get married, but because I was hoping we’d go about this equality thing a different way. I was hoping maybe we’d put marriage on trial in the process and not just our right to be part of it. That maybe we’d question why this structure exists. But nope.
Today, I have the feeling of political exhaustion mixed with a strange wild excitement and a hint of sadness. Exhaustion because the older I get the more I feel a certain kind of defeat and laziness about being radical, about fighting the man. Who has the time? Uprooting things takes too damn long and most little gestures are stupid. Kind of like the friend who shaves their head in solidarity with a cancer-stricken friend–what difference does that make? The excitement part, is because my community is excited, and they will, one by one, begin to get married like my straight friends have at this point. I will be happy for them. I will send gifts. Another life-marker obtained, another notch on the belt. And here I will be in my relationship trying to convince my partner that I really, really do love her, all the while knowing there is still this other-worldy romantic-gesture, this contract that says maybe I don’t love her as much as I should. How fair is that?