Is gay marriage really a good thing? A gay boy’s opinion
|June 1, 2012||Posted by Jack Green under lifestyle|
As a teenage boy, marriage is one of the topics furthest from my mind. It doesn’t matter. It has no relevance to me, and I don’t expect it to till I’m at least around 25; by then I’ll have finished university and contemplating the whole settling down concept. But, unfortunately for me, it does have some relevance. A relevance that is biological, sociological and emotional. You see, I’m bound to the topic of marriage’s nature in contemporary society because I am gay.
In the last year or so, the topic of gay marriage has become more and more intertwined with life: it’s a focus of the news, openly discussed in schools and other institutions, and the other day I even heard my conservative (but lovely) grandfather utter the words “gay” and “marriage” in the same sentence. The entire concept of what defines marriage is beginning to dominate culture, the media and society entirely. There are now gay marriages in soap operas, in films, in books and songs and every other platform of the media. And frankly, as a teenager, I don’t appreciate it.
I’m 17. I’m as far away as possible in terms of values, ideals and aspirations from settling down, creating a family of my own and continuing what, in my mind, is a rather boring and mundane life cycle. Right now, I don’t even think I will get married in my future (or its equivalent) and have kids. It just seems so boring. But out there, in London and in America and all over the world, there are people different from me only by age and experience who are fighting to be able to say “I do” in a church and have the same rights as their parents did, and their grandparents, and their great-grandparents, and so on.
I respect that these people are striving to further what is already a very democratic and liberalised Western society. In New York, gay marriage has been recently legalised, and here in Britain we have civil partnerships and will soon (I imagine) have gay marriage. But I have one question: why? Why bother?
There is this whole contradiction within society about treating each other with indifference and equality, but at the same time celebrating diversity. For example, you must treat the disabled with kindness and care in order for them to enjoy a “normal” life. My life is normal, yet I’m hardly ever treated with the kindness and care that the disabled are. Now, I’m not saying to be rude, mean and nasty to the disabled – it is one contradiction that I see as necessary for a healthy society – but it is still an example of our modern and contradictory world.
Gay people. Treat them with indifference, with respect and so on. Gay people are no different from the straight population, we are all the same. This is the message that politicians, teachers, public figures and the like (at least here in Britain) are promoting. Well, if gay people are no different from straight people, how come straight people don’t get pride parades? Why can’t heterosexuals like Madonna without being ridiculed? Why can’t heterosexuals be camp and feminine without having their sexual preference speculated upon? Society is aimed at the idea that straight people can do all these things that gay people can’t, but in fact it’s as bad the other way round.
I think that instead of trying to make each other completely the same, we should instead emphasise and strengthen the diversity of society. We gay people aren’t the same as straight people, so why do so many want the same treatment for both of us? It isn’t progress, it’s conformity. Homosexuals have had a great reputation for creativity and originality within culture and society: look at people such as Truman Capote, Ian McKellen and Harvey Milk. Why change this by allowing us access to one of the most boring, generic and sometimes repressive institutions on earth?
Furthermore, why are two the things to which my community strives to gain equal access marriage and the military? Of all the institutions to gain sexual equality in, why these two? Here our difference will not only be emphasised more so than it already is, but it may cause ridicule and unhappiness, even putting us in danger. By campaigning to allow yourself, as a gay person, into the army, or the navy or the air force or whatever, you are allowing yourself to be possibly shot, maimed and killed. Why? Why put yourself in danger for the sake of equality? Freedom, yes, do this for freedom, but for equal treatment within a minor part of society? No.
Instead of campaigning to gain access to marriage, campaign to help combat homophobia within schools and the workplace. Help to eliminate the dangers that face the gay community: homophobes, bullies and bigots. Don’t put so much effort, time and resources into a dying and unnecessary concept, but do something that really matters. Help save the lives of the bullied, tormented and victimised, forget about striving to gain equal access to flower arrangements, caterers and wedding bills. Help those that really need your help.
We don’t want to be like straight people, or at least we shouldn’t want to be. We should want to be different, to celebrate our difference and not conform to what everybody else has. Nevertheless, my views on the whole topic will be inconsequential. It’s going to happen whatever, and I might be glad of it in later life, but at the moment, gay marriage? Defiantly not for me.