Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Double Standards

I have generally tended to avoid arguments around same sex marriage, simply because everyone else is already talking about it. But during my prowling, and then with the snippet of Glee's episode tonight, I felt inclined to lend my two cents worth. 

It really sunk in as Magda spoke about the 'velvet oppression'. Without focussing too much on the increasingly and frightening trend of youth gay suicides at the moment, I couldn't help but find myself agreeing with sentiments about how homosexual people are often times forced to live in this 'sheltered' pretend view of their lives because of who they choose to love. She's right, gay people pay taxes like anyone else, they contribute to society just like everyone else does so why should they not be afforded the same opportunities and rights as anyone else? Why should the minority opinion be allowed to expect gay people to justify why they should be allowed to marry?

When I think about the things that Magda's raises in her brief visit to The Project, and when I consider the 'double standards' that are displayed on Glee I couldn't help but remember the very same double standards being applied to me as a young adult. My mother, whom I love and whom is now a very big advocate for my right to love whoever I choose, used to own a hair salon. The majority of her clients were pensioners so, because of the 'image' I presented to them and the impact it would have on her place of business, I was not allowed to show any affection to my female partner - someone I had bought a house with and was planning children with. Yet my brother was able to show the same, and even more escalated displays of affection, with his fiancee not only without causing any issues in the salon but also gaining some level of encouragement from people there. Yet, if I were dating a man, it wouldn't have been an issue.

Personally, I identify as sexually fluid. I don't really like to prescribe to labels such as 'gay' or 'bisexual'. I am attracted to people irrespective of their gender. It is the personality that truly engages me. If I find myself attracted to a woman then I am attracted to a woman. Equally, I may find myself attracted to a man. Now some people would look at that and go "Well that makes you bisexual" but in my mind, it does not, because their gender is largely irrelevant. It has very little, if anything at all, to do with my attraction to them. I have loved both men and women. I have been intimate with both men and women. Why should I have the ability to marry one person, if I happen to be attracted to them, simply because they have a penis, and not the other whom I might love just as much, because they don't?

Charlie was right on the money if you ask me - scrap the institution of marriage, or at least remove any legally binding elements to it and make it an entirely religious ceremony only. Make civil unions the only legally binding arrangement (or domestic partnership as it is sometimes termed). Then it doesn't really matter who you love and who you choose to bind yourself to in a legal sense. Religious people can have their marriage ceremonies, non religious people can have their commitment ceremonies and EVERYONE can have their legally binding civil unions.

I don't think this has really come across the way I wanted it to, but it is late and I am a little tired.

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