It finally happened. I mean, it happened in my own smartass sort of way, but I caved and…made a wedding outfit Pinterest board. (It’s a secret board because I have SOME decency, called “YOU SHUT UP THEY’RE JUST WHITE CLOTHES.” Also infuriating: it’s really fucking difficult to find real black people in wedding dresses because of course it is.) I’ve embraced that I would like to get married one day and have my own black wedding complete with broom jumping, cupid shuffling, and for once, no motherfucking R. Kelly on the playlist as I’m not trying to step in the name of child abuse.
But this funny thing happens when I try to imagine walking down an aisle or doing my carefully choreographed ballet routine at the reception: the person at the altar and the one at the table with me is a man. My parents would take this opportunity to prove that my queerness is just a phase, something to get out of my system before I return to the fold or whatever. And while that is decidedly not true, the persistent heteronormativity of my imagined future is still fairly bothersome. Am I really not queer enough to escape the erroneous idea that marriage is just between a (cis)man and a (cis)woman?
Good article analysis skills will tell you that the answer to that question is no, and of course I’m queer enough, period, no matter what sex or gender configurations my relationships take on. I think Loverfriend (former Loverfriend? ex-Lover, current-Friend? Ugh, semantics) and I get into this a lot, and they would chalk it up to a steady diet of Christian fundamentalist relationship ideals and shitty romantic comedies for the duration of my childhood and adolescence. This, we would acknowledge, is a moment to decolonize my idea of weddings and marriage. I know that we live in a society that sets up matrimony as the ultimate achievement for feminine folks or anyone looking to have a “legitimate” relationship (coughmarriageequalitycough), and also that even modern marriage often reflects the notion of people as property to be “given away” like, you know, a present, or a pet. So in my efforts to unpack all of that for myself, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not looking to marriage as proof of my value or of the legitimacy of my involvement with another person. I would say that I’m excited by the idea of a celebration of love.
But I can’t sit here and deny that I’m equally excited by the symbolism of loyalty, even as I recognize that said symbolism is steeped in capitalism. After all, the only way to really prove your desire to remain true to someone is by vowing to lose money attempting to leave them. That’s fucked up. Plus, depending on how well-off the people getting married are or how shitty the marriage itself is, getting married is no guarantee that one or more parties won’t divest later down the road. Truthfully, I’m not fully sure where to begin as far as deprogramming myself regarding ideas of marriage and relationship wholeness. I guess that will be my own research project. As for the hetero problem, which I suppose is not so much a problem as an inaccuracy/event with lower likelihood, I think it’s the dearth of queer imagery in my life up until the recent past. I’ve never attended any variation of an intimate celebration of queer love and I have oodles of mostly straight friends. Queerness was demonized in my household for as far back as I can remember.
I think there is still plenty to examine here, and the prospect of digging deep into my idea(l)s surrounding relationship dynamics gives me a little thrill. I’d be lying, though, if I said it didn’t scare me a bit as well.