|Posted by Beck on July 23, 2016 at 12:25 AM|
After my parents’ divorce my Mom and Dad remained friends. I saw their future relationships stretch into decades, but no wedding bells rang. Common law seemed as binding as matrimony, and I grew to see their choices as rebellious and inspiring. As a teenager and then young adult – newly out as queer – I didn’t mourn the fact that I wouldn’t legally be able to marry my girlfriend. It was only in my mid-twenties that I realized the privilege of my choice and the unfairness and sometimes cruel reality of our discriminatory world. Sure, I didn’t care about weddings, but there were plenty of generations behind and before me that did. The activist in me fought passionately for marriage equality because of what it signified socially, and for the countless legal benefits and protections that had been withheld from so many devoted same sex couples in history. I was happy when the Supreme Court ruling legalized same sex marriage in the USA, but I was also relieved that I could finally “come out” as a person who actively dislikes the institution. Specifically the assumption that by not participating in the ritual you are a deviant or unlikely to share the same common values as someone who does. Not unlike new parents telling you they understand the world in a way that you – the childless – never could, I sometimes resent the notion that being married “changes EVERYTHING.” Of late I’ve resigned myself to accepting that even if marriage does “change EVERYTHING,” I’m happy to keep things just the way they are. Keep your name, keep your faith, it’s what made me love you in the first place.