Monday, June 27, 2011

Confession of An Archlesbian: I Chose My Lifestyle

This just in from The New Yorker:

Governor Cuomo, in his victory speech, said that the challenge in passing “marriage equality” had been getting people to focus on the second word—equality—rather than the first one.
Which is why we need to keep up the good work in reframing the "words" from "Gay Marriage" to "Marriage Equality."

As readers of this blog will know, I'm quite clear I don't take out gay trash or pay gay taxes -- fold gay laundry or prune gay rose bushes. I don't wash gay dishes, water a gay lawn or drive a gay Volvo. (Well, some folks might argue about the Volvo but they'd lose.)

The point is I don't have a gay life ... I have a life. And if you want to call it a "lifestyle" then go ahead. And at this point I'm ready, willing and able to "confess" that it is a lifestyle that I have chosen.

That's right. I chose my lifestyle.

I've chosen to commit to the love of my life until death do us part. I've chosen to love my kids even when they make what I think are stupid decisions and don't call their mother as often as I think they ought to. I've chosen to buy a house, pay a mortgage, keep up my property taxes, vote in every election (even school board ones). I've chosen to make sure my dogs get their vaccinations on time and to keep the litter box clean (even though I'm not the cat person in the family.) I've chosen to pledge to my church, to donate to local charities, to strive to respect the dignity of every human being and to love my neighbors as myself.

All of those are choices I make that add up to a lifestyle. And those choices do not have a single thing to do with my sexual orientation or my gender identity.

At the end of the day, we ALL choose our lifestyles -- every single one of us. Some of us make smart, healthy choices and others ... well, not so much. And the choices we make transcend whether we're gay or straight; bisexual or transgender ... or some other self-identifier.

So one more time.

I don't have a gay marriage. I have a marriage.

And this isn't a gay marriage movement. It's a marriage equality movement. Emphasis -- like Governor Cuomo said -- on the second word.

And we're not going to rest until we get it. Because we've chosen a lifestyle that includes a pledge of allegiance that includes "liberty and justice for all." And there's no * after "all" that leads to a disclaimer that says "*unless you're lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender."

At least that's the lifestyle I've chosen. And I'm going to keep choosing it until it's not just a pledge we make to a to flag but it's a reality we live in our nation.

Go ahead. Choose your lifestyle. Choose this day. Choose liberty. And justice. For all.


Daniel Weir said...

I think it was a Mary Chapin Carpenter song that had the line about our two lives: the one we are given and the one we make, We get to choose how we will live our lives with all the givens. I think you have chosen well.

Will said...

A Volvo means that you are or were somebody's mom; a Subaru station wagon means that you probably have dogs. Have you really asked the rose bushes about their identity?

Making presumptions about other people's life experience and world view is just so complicated! I want a check list. Ohhhh, wait, that's how this all started...

IT said...

Lesbian, check; Subaru, check; dogs, no.

So much for the steretype.