I have always been a great believer in the fluidity of sexuality. You only have to look at the first person I ever remembered being attracted to to understand that…
Yeah, exactly. In all his gender bending glory, Jareth the Goblin King was my very first love. Perhaps it was the mind games, perhaps it was the ruffled cravat, perhaps it was his enormous, shiny blonde mullet – whichever it was, I remember falling madly in love with it when I was about six or seven. It was probably a fairly good sign that I was never going to settle for being all that conventional. And being six or seven, I thought I would automatically be entitled to whatever or whoever I chose.
Of course, turns out I am not actually entitled to a piece of David Bowie, which after many years I have come to accept, however I have maintained since then that people should be free to love and marry whosoever they choose. I am so grateful to have been lucky enough to have grown up with parents who have made it clear that my sister and I are free to be exactly who we want to be (though my mother’s vision of me did not include the tongue piercing I got a year ago, and incidentally removed 6 months later). So after years of believing that life and love are about freedom, imagine my disappointment in finding that the world continues to be incapable of fixing the archaic injustices that are inflicted on many people of the LGBTQ world.
I am not an overtly political animal - I don’t find myself in heated intellectual debates about the economy, I don’t read the news every week and I don’t have high brow discussions about foreign policy, the MP expenses scandal, or Milliband’s choice of tie. If it’s on Huffington Post, I might be aware of it. I might see the odd piece of political news on my way to Caitlin Moran’s column in The Times. I might even spot an article or two if it’s highly topical on Twitter, but I stress that I am not overly intellectual when it comes to political issues. However I have been following the gay marriage – or ‘marriage’ as I like to call it – journey for some time now, and all I can see is that my inner six year old is thoroughly disappointed.
While we in Britain have civil partnerships and a few of the states in the USA now allow marriage between same sex couples, it is hardly a great victory that a handful of places in the Western world offer LGBTQ people the chance to marry. The religious dimension of allowing gay people to marry is relevant but essentially redundant – the bible’s rules on life also insist shellfish is evil and that we reserve the right to kill disobedient teenagers. These arguments have been made a hundred times (the shellfish one is a personal favourite) and have had little impact on the religious types who uphold marriage as sanctity between men and women. But non religious heterosexuals marry all the time – so what’s to stop LBGTQ people who are actually religious from doing the same? My experience of religion is that it aims to teach a meaningful and positive way of life – and since when did ‘love thy neighbour’ come with an asterisk?
I don’t know how I am going to be able to look my children in the eye and explain to them how it took so long for the world to accept LGBTQ folks as equal citizens. I just don’t understand how a world as evolved as ours can be so backwards in so many ways. It’s a naïve standing point to say the least, but why can’t people just celebrate other people falling in love? Regardless of the politics, and the bullshit and the religious garbage, shouldn’t we be teaching our children to believe that everyone has the right to love and be loved by whoever makes them happy? And if marriage is the most popular way to express that love, why stop them? Oh and don’t even get started on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
So as Pride Month ends in the USA and Pride season kicks off in Blighty, lets hope the future generations of politicians the world over get a grip and give some of the finest people I know the chance to show the world how much they love their partners. And as for Pride itself, I will be up in the Northern version with a daiquiri in one hand and a big ass flag in the other.
Happy Pride everyone – show those political robots how fucking fabulous you are.
P.S. yes I totally stole the title of this post from The L Word. <3