The dice have spoken. The topic is Queer. The genre is opinion.
Where do I start? I knew I liked guys when I was 13, and for the record, I still think fondly of the senior A swimming team. I wasn’t Queer until I hit university. Queer is much more than a physical desire, it’s a political framework that gobbles up gender, sex and sexuality. I used to be radical. Then something happened. Bills mainly, work, and family functions. A few HIV scares, mostly my own hypochondria (sniffly nose? probably AIDS!) but such was the internalised homophobia of a young man in Queensland at the time.
There are two schools of thought on the path of Queer politics at the moment. One says “Don’t fight for marriage, it’s a trap! Don’t become like the heteros, ours is a path more fabulous and different” the other says “We will swallow them whole, we shall marry and have children and be on tawdry school committees”. Which one is right?
Queer is about diversity, of gender, sex and sexuality. Queer embraces all, the conformist and the non-conformist. If Queer is to remain radical and not to become domesticated like Feminism has (Power dress for success!) then it has to only do one thing, fight for the right to be different and free from discrimination because of that difference. What does that mean? Gays and Lesbians should be able to get married, but if we honour the rights of couples maybe we should also recognise the rights of thruples?
Maybe single people and sex radicals should also have an easy way of accessing the rights married people so easily do. Helen Razer pointed out that married couples are a sort of legal super being, favoured by tax law, property law and contract law. Until the end of 2011 you couldn’t be compelled to give evidence against your spouse; only priests and confessors continue to hold such a privileged place in law.
It’s not a case of “don’t reward the gays and lesbians for acting like straights” it should be a case of “freedoms and benefits for everyone, regardless of their relationship status”. Inevitably some tool suggests that without families there will be no children and we have to support coerce people into these relationships by having punitive measures in place. These people probably need counselling, and nicer children. If marriage is such a delicate thing, that making it even slightly more inclusive would kill it, then it deserves to die. It won’t though, it will evolve into something different. The challenge for the Queers is to make sure everyone can enjoy the ride, married or not.