Do u think marriage can be non-regressive, radical, not assimilationist?
you know what, I’m just so over the argument this question produces. it’s the wrong question to be asking.
I think the origins, concept and history of the institution of marriage are steeped in some backwards stuff and are far from radical. I won’t glorify marriage as something it isn’t just because I might want to have a wedding one day. but gay couples getting married IS a transgressive action in the face of homophobia even if it might not be the #1 anti-establishment thing to do. gender dynamics, among other things, can be pushed back against/defied in many different ways and not all of them are the most revolutionary way in the book but that doesn’t make them inherently reactionary either. it’s not even close to simple enough for that zero-sum game. even more importantly, I believe that defending human autonomy and the pursuit of a free, happy, fulfilling life without persecution is more important than making sure everyone is performing utmost radicalness. just because a marginalized person isn’t making every individual decision based on the highest level of rebellion possible doesn’t make them any less marginalized or any less deserving of defense/respect/community support.
plenty of people come into their gayness in spaces that aren’t steeped in textbook theory and they just live their lives, that’s not inherently reactionary. I think the decision to only defend marginalized people whose ways of subverting gendered constructs in the One way that you deem most ideologically valuable atm is elitist in the first place. the only gay couple to get married in their rural american town have probably never read a thesis on ‘Heterosexism, Capitalism and Marriage’. that doesn’t mean that their gay marriage is regressive. it’s still a subversive action under heteropatriarchy, and beyond that, who cares if it’s subversive or not? they’re people with personal lives and they’re likely to face homophobic violence and harassment. they deserve support, defense and community; they deserve to celebrate their marriage in peace because it’s significant to their lives, and other gay activists/leftists shouldn’t turn their noses up or consider them the enemy. if they did it’d be hypocritical because none of us can claim that our every choice looks flawless through the lens of our political ideals! every one of those holier-than-thou folks could look in their own closet/backyard and find things that they would have to admit fall into some category of “assimilationist” or “normative” or whatever other 5 dollar word they wanna pick today. people make decisions based on their wants all the time.
I want to get gay married one day, not for a political reason but because I’m a jewish woman, and jewish weddings are big in my culture. and I want at the very least a symbolic commitment ceremony someday because that’s important to me. plus I want to be able to visit my wife in the ICU if (god forbid) she ever ends up there. I don’t plan on acting like going to my wedding is the #1 fuck you to the system that I could muster lol I’m just gonna go to my wedding as a human being. my girlfriend is femme, she loves to wear makeup and heels, but she doesn’t try and act like that’s destroying gender and empowering women. it obviously isn’t, it just is what it is - a personal choice. and I’m butch, and yeah that’s ‘transgressive’ in a handful of ways I suppose but I didn’t end up butch chasing an ideological status, I’m just comfortable this way. the politics about womanhood that I’ve learned as a gnc woman are another happy upside, not the be-all-end-all. not everything we do has to be in service to the movement, and honestly making “the movement” mostly about individual posturing of a radical aesthetic/set of symbolic personal actions instead of mutual aid and action/organization on a greater scale is just going to be the slow suffocation of the movement.