The Meaning of Marriage

For many years, I didn’t believe that marriage was for me because of its conservative connotations. However, conservatives don’t own the joy of community celebration. Now I understand that marriage is about kindred spirits joining in the hope of a future together. I’m excited to be getting married soon!

What marriage means to conservatives:

The word “marriage” is loaded. Traditionally it implies a patriarchal exchange between men, with women as prized possessions. Because they are obsessed with sex, conservatives want to maintain that marriage implies the beginning of a sexually active relationship. Heterosexual marriage is the only kind of union they will recognize. Homophobia is the result of conservative obsession with sexual control. Marriage is a ceremony, but also a device of community control, because it represents everyone getting together to approve a sexual union.

Conservative ideology has forced gay and queer culture into the margins for centuries. Marriage between same-sex couples has only been legal for seven years in my country. Interracial marriage has only been legal for 55 years, and it is worth pointing out that conservatives opposed that, too, for a very long time. Trans rights are still under attack in a multitude of ways. Disabled people can lose income benefits when they get married, so we still don’t have full marriage equality.

What marriage means to us as queer people

Queer culture is not obsessed with sex. It merely accepts that there are exceptions to the rules of the dominant culture. People are not limited to male and female sexual categories – many people are intersex or non-binary. Not all people are interested in sex – many people are asexual or demisexual. Not everyone is interested in exclusive heterosexual relationships – many people are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or pansexual. Conservative culture denies all of these facts, insisting that marriage is only valid if it takes place between a man and a woman.

Marriage can exist in a completely different way. Rather than assuming it means people are having sex, it can imply that people trust each other and want to form a family on their own terms. It doesn’t have to mean exclusive sexual commitment. It can, instead, represent the dedication to bring thoughtful, considerate communication to the relationship.

Everyone deserves to have a community that celebrates their joys! Finding a relationship that means home is a joyful thing. Thank you all for reading along as I create a life for myself beyond what I was brought up to believe it should be.