Yesterday two of my friends who are working as volunteers for our local gay & lesbian center were asked by a 16-year-old girl for help. She wanted to come out to her family, but she needed some support and probably mediating for this, because she’s afraid of her family’s response.
This is the Netherlands. 2013. Where same-sex marriages have been legal since 2001. To be honest, I’m skeptical about it. I know it’s a big thing in a lot of countries all over the world at the moment. The right to marry is the big equality issue now. I don’t have a problem with anyone who thinks marriage is just about love, this big romantic thing, forever ever after, and nothing else. I personally don’t understand that, but if you think it will make you happy, go ahead…I have a problem with the institution of marriage. Why do you have to get married to get certain rights or benefits? It means the state approves and favors one kind of relationship. Is that equality? It puts a group of people in a privileged position. Is that where we want to be? Among the other privileged ones? Does society really change because we can marry now? Is that what the LGBT-community has been fighting for all these years? I thought it was also to try and end heteronormativity? So why are we all running to integrate into the most heteronormative institution ever invented, instead of creating a new society, with divers ways of relationships next to each other.
Aren’t we just blending in, adapting ourselves more and more, showing others: ‘look, I’m just like you!’ . It makes me angry this trying to show others we are so normal and the same and decent, we raise normal children, blahblah… I’ll skip the part about normal, because that will take me a whole post to rant about, but why would you imply you are the same? “I’m just like you?” Just as sexist or racist or classicist? Or narrow-minded or inwardly homophobic, thinking gays should only look like real men and not act like sissy’s, ridiculing masculine dykes and bringing your faghags to our bars.
The only thing I have in common is that we are of the same species and that we all have the same human rights. But I don’t want to be like them or live like them. I am a butch feminist lesbian and I will never excuse myself for that, I will lead my life the way I want to and I need no one’s approval, especially not from a government that maintains and supports inequality. I am angry because that 16-year old girl still has to say to her parents: ‘sorry, but I think I’m a lesbian and I hope you don’t hate me for that’. Did getting the right to marry a same- sex partner for over a decade make it any easier for her to come out? She will still have a very hard time being open about her sexuality in school, if she even decides to come out in school anyway. Isn’t it time we change from wanting to be accepted and aspiring to get the same privileges (because that is not the same as equality!) to realizing and believing there is nothing wrong with us. I personally am not looking for acceptance or ‘permission’ to get their rights, I want the right to be not oppressed or pressed to fit into their society. Society should apologize to that girl. For not showing her that many variations of relationships, sexual or not, can exist next to each other and that one is not better then the other. For not showing her an alternative: a world of greater tolerance, acceptance, support, and creativity.
Let’s be proud and open about the the lives we lead. However we want to lead them, with whoever we want to lead it.