Queer Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay Marriage!

I just read Resist the Gay Marriage Agenda!, the first (and so far, only) post on the new blog Queer Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay Marriage! (I think I saw it linked on Kate Bornstein‘s Twitter feed). It’s a great read. Two quotes that really jumped out at me:

What if, rather than donating to the HRC campaign, we pooled our wealth to create a community emergency fund for members of our community who face foreclosure, need expensive medical care or find themselves in any other economic emergency? As queers, we need to take our anger, our fear, and our hope and recognize the wealth of resources that we already have, in order to build alternative structures. We don’t need to assimilate when we have each other.

And, the one that really grabbed me (in both quotes, emphasis mine):

Equality California keeps on sending us videos of big, happy, gay families, and they’re making us sick: gay parents pushing kids on swings, gay parents making their kids’ lunches, the whole gay family safe inside the walls of their own homes. Wait a second, is it true? It’s as if they’ve found some sort of magical formula: once you have children, your life instantly transforms into a scene of domestic bliss, straight out of a 1950’s movie. The message is clear. Instead of dancing, instead of having casual sex, instead of rioting, all of the “responsible” gays have gone and had children. And now that they’ve had children, they won’t be bothering you at all anymore. There’s an implicit promise that once gays get their rights, they’ll disappear again. Once they can be at home with the kids, there’s no reason for them to be political, after all!

I think this is one of my biggest problems with the push for same sex marriage, though I’ve had trouble articulating it. Because what they’ve said here feels exactly right. The same sex marriage agenda seems to be to let us get married so we can be just like you — and, by extension, again become completely invisible to you. And I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in keeping our radical ways of building family and community, of loving and supporting each other, of seeing injustice and fighting it. I’m not interested in a movement that thinks equality means assimilation, losing everything about myself and my beloveds that I prize most. Oppression has shaped us this way, and I’m certainly interested in ending oppression, but I think our shapes are beautiful. I hope we keep them, keep what we’ve learned and take it with us even if we end up in some oppression-free utopia. If it’s free of oppression because everyone finally does things the same way, it’s not my utopia. And this movement isn’t trying to do end oppression, anyway. Just to help a few middle-class whites wiggle out from under it without realizing they’re then perpetuating it.

Sometime in the past few days, I saw someone say — again, I think, on Twitter (the problem with Twitter is that it’s hard to find things later in order to attribute them correctly) — that the LGBT rights movement seems to be fighting to get queers into America’s two most conservative institutions. I agree, and that’s just not my goal here. I have trouble allying myself with those for whom it’s the be-all and end-all.

5 Responses to “Queer Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay Marriage!”

  1. 14 October 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I see here some kind of confrontation between the kids of the queer, who claim their identity, and the queer children of the straights, who’re looking for normalization, and thus stopping been queer. I’m not a big fan of marriage in Civil Law countries–in the USA marriage is worse!–, and I find here one reasons more to deem conservative same-sex marriage seeking.

  2. 22 October 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Well, but presumably, the reason so many people are focused on marriage equality is precisely because a majority of LGBT people WANT to assimilate into the mainstream, and “disappear” – in the sense of being seen as just as normal and deserving of the same rights as everyone else. And assimilating on this level doesn’t have to mean handing over your political ideologies, however radical they may be, whichever direction they may lean. Why should my sexuality have anything to do with how I operate in any other area of my life? Why should it have to serve as some kind of political badge? Besides, there are queer people of all stripes and ideologies; the common assumption that queer = radical lefty activist simply isn’t true.

    Furthermore, I simply disagree that marriage is a “conservative institution”. Marriage has existed throughout human history in various forms, in all cultures and societies, as a means of publicly formalizing two people’s commitment to each other. As such, its significance far surpasses any one society’s unfortunate tendency to use it as a political tool or a means of oppression.

    Yes, proponents of marriage equality are trying to “sell” the general public on an image of cozy, complacent domestic bliss to make the idea more palatable, but please – straight people have casual sex, engage in scandalous affairs, go through messy divorces, exhibit all manner of irresponsible behaviour – do you really think anybody’s fooled into believing that all married gays are going to run perfect Leave it to Beaver households with two moms in pearl chokers and high heels? It’s an advertising tool, no more, no less. Images of straight marriage in movies and on TV are often no less laughably idealistic.

    With regards to the idea that there are more important issues at stake – there are ALWAYS more important issues at stake. Why should I worry about gay marriage when people are losing their houses? Well, why should I worry about people losing their houses when there are people still dying of AIDS? Why should I worry about people dying of AIDS when there are starving children being kidnapped to work as sex slaves in third-world countries? Why should I worry about my broken arm when there are people slaughtering each other in Africa? Why should I worry about being underpaid as a woman in the workforce when there are pregnant sweatshop workers in Taiwan sewing sneakers for ten cents a week, 16 hours a day? My point is that you can’t judge an issue by comparing it to other issues – it is valid in its own right.

    Finally, I think I’m going to spontaneously combust the next time I see or hear the phrase “the Gay Agenda”. It bugs the shit out of me when conservatives use it, and it bugs me no less when it’s used on a left-leaning queer-themed blog. Since when does asking to be treated fairly under the law equate with some kind of nefarious “agenda”? Please, please give me a break.

    (By the way, I love your blog – I really do. I’m in full agreement with most of the things you say, most of the time. I guess I just feel strongly about this issue, and had to say my piece.)

  3. 3 adissonlee
    31 October 2009 at 8:41 pm

    While I see both sides of it, I have a problem with the fact that this seems to be the ONLY thing the gay rights movement is going for at this point. There are so many other important things to push for; hate crime bills, anti discrimination laws, health care, blood donation, immigration. And while there are always more important issues to deal with, we have to pick our battles. We talked a bit about in on a recent episode of Kink On Tap ( http://kinkontap.com/?p=106 ) and how we agree that while gay marriage isn’t a bad idea, the whole institution of “marriage” as a governmental force is ridiculous. Sinclair made a really good point in that he hopes that soon Gay marriage will just be done and over with (as in passed) and then we can focus on the things the rest of us want.

    I hope this made sense, I’m a bit hungover, so it may not have been as eloquent as I had imagined initially.

  4. 4 Shiri
    16 November 2009 at 4:08 am

    *Poke poke*

    You have another email.

    Also: think it might be interesting to write about this? http://www.feministing.com/archives/018744.html


  5. 5 L.
    17 April 2010 at 5:52 am

    Sounds like you’re one of those queers who like to think of themselves as “enlightened”: http://gracethespot.com/?p=103

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