Husbands and Husbands
While chatting about the plans for this upcoming summer with my mom, I became aware that this is a summer of weddings. I guess we all come across them, at a certain age, or in certain economic climates, or whatever the variables are that lead people to throw the party and tie the knot. This year is one of those years for me.
The conversation sidetracked to talking about a friend of my mom's whose son is heading the prop 8 campaign out of LA. Him and his team are working to get gay marriage on the ballot in California for 2012. This will hopefully give them enough time to get people on board for returning the right to marry to all in California, since that was revoked with the passing of Prop 8. They had initially intended to have it go to ballot this year, but have it fail would shut it down for too long if not ever. The religious right has put some serious backing into "protecting marriage" and "family values" (see my post Walking home for my thoughts on family values) They have so much behind them that it will take 2 years for even such a celebrity backed campaign to have enough mass to confidently make it through the polls in California. It seems preposterous to me, cause this is a wedding year. And like every other wedding that I have attended in my adult life, and probably will, they are all queer.
The first wedding is 2 friends, who my mom described in this conversation, as probably the gayest couple she's ever met. Transfabulous fags, the wedding will be chock full of slutty femmes, genderfucked princesses of all genders and lots of unicorns. And their families. Their co-workers, their community, gay, straight and otherwise.
The second wedding is my sisters. My sister and her fiancee are another type of gay wedding. It had never crossed my sisters mind that her wedding couldn't just happen anywhere, or that any old preacher wouldn't perform the ceremony. My sister hardly thinks about her gayness. Doesn't have a rooted history or relationship with the queer community. She's just a "normal" guy marrying her young femme lover. At a sailor themed wedding, with my family, so again, very gay.
The third wedding I have on the books is another type all together. They may pass as straight, their wedding may even be "straight" in the sense that perhaps folks there, not knowing that the groom is trans will not see the queerness (except of course in the guest list). Even this wedding, with the couple that appears straight wouldn't be happening in California this summer. At least not for 2 or more years. When trans people are restricted the ability to change all of their legal documents they remain under marriage legislation that doesn't seem that it should have anything to do with them. And seriously, even if a wedding or relationship appears straight, when we get behind closed doors something about getting down with trans folks is always going to be queer.
(that's my take- and know that not all trans people agree, but really- straight men aren't gonna do me [unless wasted or not really straight], straight ladies aren't always too sure about it [although often convinced after]- I can't possibly imagine how (or why) I could ever have straight sex in this trans body.)
I don't know how I feel about having my relationships legitimized by the state. I imagine that it won't be something I will ever feel entirely included in, being poly as well as queer, but I would like to know that my friends and family can do it if they want to. When the groom in the 3rd wedding was hospitalized a couple of years ago, we were all seated in the waiting room all night, and into the morning. Not being able to get reports on the status of his condition, not being able to visit, because we weren't his "family". We were the ones who drove him there, checked him in, and slept in the emergency room waiting area all night until we could take him home, to care for him. We cooked for him, we drove him to his appointments. We looked after each other. That's my understanding of family. And if his getting married allows at least one of his chosen family the access to be there with him when he's ill then I think its a good thing. If my sister's wedding allows my sister in law a chance to have a family she lost when coming out and losing her own, I welcome her with open arms into mine. If my faggy tranny friends in the prairies can buy a home together, get a mortgage and legal ties around sharing their lives, then I think its a good thing. If you want or need state legitimization of your love, your family, then you should have it.