I was talking with a beautiful friend of mine the other day. He was telling me that for the first time in his life he has met someone that he is completely comfortable holding hands with in public. He said that was weird, not because he doesn’t like holding hands with his love but because he ALWAYS worries what other people nearby will say or do in response to seeing them.
HOLD THE PHONE. I have held hands in public with EVERY romantic interest I have had since I was 12 and not spared a second thought. That there is hetero-privilege, we don’t think about it because our partner just so happens to be “socially well accepted” solely due to the fact that they are of the opposite gender. Maybe we haven’t done more to change this for our friends and loved ones because it doesn’t affect us directly, we haven’t suffered cultural abuses because of our choices in matters of the heart. We haven’t extended ourselves to imagine what it would be like to be unable to marry the love of your life, because we can or already have. How often do we stop and think about the fact that this is outright discrimination with (as in all cases of discrimination) no damn good rationale beyond someone somewhere feels uncomfortable. I was floored that this is the experience of my dear friend. As much as I was over-joyed to hear his good news, I was saddened to hear that unforgiving heterosexual-centric culture had censored his comfortable and free expression of love at any point in time. But of course it has, I’m a naive white married woman and I just didn’t see it.
One of the ways that I think Australia can becomes more culturally accepting of folks who love people from the same or other genders is through marriage equality. Marriage equality will legitimise LOVE ITSELF. Then we won’t have people in our society worried about the consequences of the mildest forms of PDAs (public displays of affection) and they can get on with the business of being a solid, reliable and loving partner and all around good human being. We will all legitimately have a choice about marriage. Then we can all get on with more important work like deconstructing racism and white privilege.
<Sweary addendum deleted>
Pure and simple this is ALL about EQUALITY.
“It’s a no brainer, if you’re not for gay marriage don’t marry a gay person!” ~ Whoopi Goldberg
“It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love.” ~ John Lennon