Same-sex marriage isn't necessarily a new concept, but for the religious right, social conservatives and comfortably single gays, it's becoming a harsh reality.
Let's face it: Gay marriage is trending. State legislatures are treating it like their own personal "Harlem Shake," stopping at nothing to get their own version out there before the fad passes. In the last couple of weeks alone, Rhode Island, Delaware and Minnesota have joined this clusterfuck of marriage equality. All this on the heels of Maine, Maryland and Washington last fall (and don't even get me started on France, Uruguay and New Zealand). That leaves me, a single gay in Illinois, living in fear. My days of freedom from the shackles of societal expectations are numbered.
I'm not sure if I have a fear of commitment or of heteronormativity, but either way, I'm not looking to "settle down." At 33, I experience enough anxiety over the mere thought of planning my birthday party. A wedding seems like unnecessary self-torture. (With that being said, I have decided that if I were to get married, in lieu of traditional wedding parties, I would invite all my self-identified lady friends to wear all white so that there could be a seemingly never-ending procession of brides at my gay wedding. Do not steal this idea!)
And let's be honest: I love to travel, but a honeymoon is just a vacation where you have to limit the number of sexual partners you have to just one. At this rate, if I want to remain comfortably single without the pressures of a looming marriage proposal, I'll have to move to one of those shitty states. Next time I'm on Craigslist, I'm going have to forego the "Men Seeking Men" section so that I can peruse apartments in Biloxi.The thought of gay marriage on the horizon makes me question my own dating life:
- Why am I still single?
- Should I stop dating dudes with boyfriends?
- Should I stop sleeping with dudes with wives?
The self-questioning is endless, and I honestly don't have all the answers, just most of them.*
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all for equal rights, but I'm just a wee bit skeptical of marriage. Let me toss a hypothetical at you:
Say we're all spending the day at an amusement park together, and we're all brainwashed to think that we have to go on that one old-ass, rickety roller coaster on the edge of the park. You know the one I'm talking about: one of those old wooden roller coasters that has been around for fucking ever, the one that everyone wants to ride, even though you have to spend hours in line just to ride it once. You commit to the wait, because you're told that your trip to the park is worthless unless you ride that coaster. But once you're on it, you realize that it's fucking old and possibly not safe, and you end up getting tossed around, and you feel like you have whiplash by the time you're done. The assholes sitting in front actually have a decent time doing it, but most folks just sit there and take it because they feel that they have to. Then a friend of yours wants to ride it a second or third time, and you're shocked, because you know for a fact that this friend had an awful time the first go-around.
Now let's say that this death trap has a height requirement that excludes short people from partaking in this time-honored amusement park tradition, and for ever and ever, this has never stopped any of the tall people from subjecting themselves to this supposed "fun." Then, out of nowhere, everyone realizes that the height requirement is rather arbitrary, so people begin demanding that short people be allowed to ride that same ancient safety hazard that is the revered Ol' Wooden Roller Coaster. Fuck that. There are so many other rides that are really fucking fun, that short people can go on, that don't involve waiting in line, and that will most likely not end in regret.
With that being said, say that the park offered over 1,100 benefits for riding said coaster, like free refills on soda and discounted turkey legs. I guess I would consider riding it, provided I had some cool-ass furry dude to ride it with who also wouldn't mind if I occasionally went on other rides with other dudes.
(In the above hypothetical, the wooden roller coaster is a metaphor for traditional marriage, and the day at the park is a metaphor for life. Get it?)
Oh, in case you're curious, I'm a self-identified post-bear queer, and these opinions are mine, and mine alone. If you are queer and/or gay and/or lesbian and/or trans and/or bi and you can get married and you want to, please do. I might even want to come, because I like a good party, and chances are that you won't be able to have your ceremony in a church.
You see, the real issue at hand is that I spent most of my 20s being really fucking poor, and I skipped out on buying no fewer than two dozen wedding presents. My straight friends' liberal guilt has probably prevented them from saying anything to me, but if I can get married, I'm going to have to send out countless molcajetes from Crate & Barrel. I'd rather spend that money on my dogs and/or a trip to P-town.
*Answers: (1) because I'm emotionally unavailable; (2) probably; and (3) no.
This blog post originally appeared on secondcitynetwork.com.