Straight Up

Straight Up

Why Gay Marriage is Not My Issue

So, the first queer column of 2012 is about marriage. No surprise there. The happy dyad of gay marriage and adoption reform seem to dominate queer media, community and social spaces at the moment. I hear it all the time: “gay marriage is the next step/last frontier”, “it’s the rights issue of our time”.


That’s the thing about marriage – it is so gay. It is the issue of white fags and dykes who crave the status and privileges of cis-heteros. It comes at the expense of the concerns of oppressed queer and trans people who are occupied with trying to make liveable lives for themselves and others.

For me, marriage doesn’t even make it on to the “top 100 issues for social change” list (which I am happy to share should you be interested). Why would we, as a broad queer and trans community, dream of focusing so much energy on the tacky plastic bauble of marriage when so much of the potential of queerness is in troubling the state and how it defines/controls with whom we love, live and fuck? If we do want to talk about legislative change why aren’t we talking about including trans people in the Human Rights Act? If we want to talk about serious issues why don’t we talk about rape culture? Or body fascism and fat phobia? Or the economic exclusion of poor queers? Why don’t we talk about the harms of alcohol abuse and drug dependencies within our communities? Why don’t we talk about how sometimes it is fucking hard to be queer, trans, takataapui, genderqueer, mahu, vakasalewalewa, palopa, fa’afafine, akava’ine, fakaleiti, or fakafifine. That shame doesn’t neatly translate into pride. That sometimes we hate ourselves and hate our bodies – and that this is not OK and needs to change.

Darling fagglings, you can have your marriage – it’s just called a civil union – be creative with it. Girl, if you want to get dressed up in white, have a big cake and live the Hetero dream like mummy and daddy, by all means do it. Just don’t talk to me about it. I have more important things to do. And don’t speak on my behalf telling others that this is really all queer folk want. I can speak for myself. And I want much more.
This article first appeared in Issue 1, 2012.
Posted 6:09pm Friday 24th February 2012 by La Dida.