They Will Certainly Change Their Name June 25, 2011Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.
I can remember growing up in the ’50’s, and asking adults to explain concepts as I heard about them. The worst one to ask was my father, who would always make a joke about it at my expense and make sure everyone heard it as he laughed at me. I learned about sex from a high school teacher in a classroom, avoiding my dad’s questions about it (“Do you have any questions?”). My mom was a great source for explanations, understanding first that, as a recent convert, her answers on ethics and morality were always biased in favor of the Catholic Church. The best source of explanations about the world was my Uncle Richard: no joking, always a careful listener, and he would explain the answer until he was sure I got it. And, when he didn’t know, he would say so, though he would sometimes add his opinion, and label it as his opinion.
One of the concepts I needed help on concerned gay people. The confusion was easily understood: literally, gay means happy. Homosexuality was a seven-syllable word which hadn’t made it into our fourth grade spelling bees, so there was no logical linkage between “gay” and “homo” or the sometimes used “queer.” And “happy” just didn’t seem to describe homosexuals and lesbians as I met them. It was a very confusing time.
Now, New York has joined five other states in legalizing gay marriage. Gay marriage is also legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire, and The District of Columbia.
Having experienced marriage as an enthusiastic but naive participant for many years, I have wondered why straight people want to restrict this arrangement only to themselves. Knowing what I now know, exclusivity seems to be sado-masochistic. Constructing a contract based on human standards and then asserting that it can obviously apply only to heterosexuals – when none of its characteristics are inherently sexual at all – is just absurd.
Why that community calls themselves “gay”, when very few of them seem to be even “happy” or “pleased”, has never made sense to me. Predominant Western tradition churches link procreation to marriage, so I don’t think gay activism will succeed in getting religious endorsement for gay marriage anytime soon. But if they want to marry each other in civil ceremonies, I say, great! But I don’t think they know what they are getting into.
For me, marriage has been the one constant, sure way to turn any gaiety whatsoever in my life into abject misery!
When married gay people experience what we married straight people have endured for generations, they will stop calling themselves “gay”.