I'm Getting Married Regardless of What the Queers Think
Lesbian and gay people have been able to be civilly partnered in the UK since 2004 but for many including myself, it wasn't good enough. Civil partnerships allow all the same legal rights as marriage but the fact they are categorised differently, for me meant we hadn't been given true equality but a halfway house.
In July this year the Same Sex Marriage Act was passed after much public and political debate, enabling same sex partners to marry in England and Wales. David and his spin-doctors are now presenting the bill as a Conservative initiative even though almost half of them voted against it.
A few weeks ago whilst celebrating my 28th birthday in Paris, my partner of almost 10 years shoved a diamond ring in a yellow macaroon and asked me to marry him in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower - romantic right? Being a child of the digital revolution I instantly jumped on Facebook and shared the news with our nearest and dearest only to find out some of our friends weren't as over the moon as I was.
All our heterosexual friends have sent the obligatory text messages of congratulations but to date but all of the negative responses we've had have been from our own community - homosexuals.
Some people have called our decision hetronormative, which in layman's terms means to emulate heterosexual people. I find the term hetronormative uncomfortably loaded, its reeks of heterophobia and a strange ideology that as homosexuals we must have our own traditions, as those of 'the straights' are for them only. It also suggests that I have some sort of gay shame and I must be desperately trying to fit in by wanting to be married.
One friend on hearing our news simply said: "call me old fashioned but... " never to finish his grand statement, others have told me they are disappointed in my choice as they thought I was more 'radical' - this is a thought that is common amongst those who would consider themselves 'queer' but I think their view is a little dated.
I love the idea of subverting what marriage can and should be. I'm excited about being a part of the vanguard of couples who will publicly and politically change the institution of marriage, normalising the matrimony of husband and husband or wife and wife - surely this is queerer than queer?
I wonder if those who think it radical not to marry would prefer it if we didn't utilise our right or in fact if it wasn't there at all? It's strange to think that a large demographic of those who take umbrage with my decision were the ones fighting for equality throughout the 80s and 90s - do they find equality tough to swallow because without a cause to fight they lose their identity and in turn their queerness?
We are getting married because we want to have children, we want to buy a home, we want each other to be secure when one of us pops our clogs, we want it recorded in history that we loved each other, we want to see same sex marriages on the census but most importantly we want to make a public declaration of our love.
If you don't think it's radical enough to love another human being then please don't be offended if your invite is missing in the post.