RULE NO.7: GAY MARRIAGE ISN’T EVERYTHING

Gay Marriage

Gay marriage should be legal. Period. But in the struggle for equality it’s important not to lose sight of the blessings we’ve been afforded as gay men. 

When I was coming to terms with my sexuality I often wondered if there were any benefits to being gay as opposed to being straight. Sure, some might argue that sex is easier to come by or that gay men don’t have children so they have more money for themselves but neither one of these arguments convinced me. What finally helped me accept that being gay wasn’t all that bad was the realisation that society’s plan for what constituted a normal life did not apply to me. All around me, people were expected to date, go to college, find someone to marry, commit to a career, have children, buy a house, either stay married or divorce, retire and then die. This expectation of life was terrifying to me as I wanted to travel and meet new people and live in different cities and explore and have various sexual experiences. So when I realised that being gay was the key that unlocked me from the metaphorical cell of expectations, I began to look at my homosexuality in a whole new light. I could make up new rules for the way I wanted to live life, discover what really makes me happy not what I’m told will make me happy. All of a sudden life seemed like an exciting blank canvas on which I could paint my own picture with all the colours of the rainbow.

To this day, I thank God (or the universe or whatever you want to call it) for making me gay. This is the greatest blessing I have been given; permission to re-evaluate what is truly important to my happiness.  That might be kids and marriage and a mortgage but if those things do happen in the future then at least I know that I chose them for myself.

So what does this have to do with gay marriage? While I  support the fight for equality and equal rights 100%, I think it’ important not to lose the uniqueness that is intrinsically linked to being gay. Of course I want the same legal recognition as my heterosexual friends but I don’t necessarily want my life to look like theirs. If seen positively, being gay is so very special in that it allows us to look at the world and ask “how do I fit in here? Where is my place?”. When the ultimate goal for gays becomes to find a partner, marry and blend into society so that people don’t think we’re so different anymore, then I think we’ve missed the point. Furthermore, looking at the rates of divorce and depression, I would argue that marriage as it exists today isn’t actually an institution that I would like to be part of.

If you fight for gay marriage because you believe in legal equality for all then I salute you. However, the moment we try too hard to fit back into the “normal” mold that society has created or concentrate too much on blending in,  we neglect the blessings that we were so fortunate to have been afforded when we were born gay.

Photo Credit: “Viva Las Vegas” by Matthias Vriens McGrath

Do you believe that homosexuality is a blessing?

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8 thoughts on “RULE NO.7: GAY MARRIAGE ISN’T EVERYTHING

  1. Andy says:

    I would agree with you here in most things. Marriage isn’t for everyone and straight people tend to Marry at a young age which in my opinion drives divorce rates up. As you get older you might wish to stay single and kudos to you for making that choice.
    I have been with my partner for 4 years now and the plan is to be with him forever. This might change in the future/ it might not but I believe it is us gays will show them how a real marriage is done because we make a discussion much later in life to be with the partner we want.

    • joshvansant says:

      Thanks for your post and for being part of the discussion. It’s always so great to hear of gay men in loving long term relationships and I do hope that you guys will have the option to get married sooner rather than later (if you so wish).

      You make an interesting point about gays showing them “how a real marriage is done”. Because it’s not expected of us to marry, if we do make that choice chances are we’ve thoroughly thought it through and the marriage will probably go the distance.

  2. GayTaylor says:

    Sounds like early gay activist/thinker/questioner Harry Hay all over again: gay people have a purpose, a unique role in the grand adventure called life. It behooves each of us to discover what we’re here for. And being born gay is for me, too, the superb teaching tool for learning about life and self and love and being and doing. I am grateful.

    • joshvansant says:

      Thanks for informing me about Harry Hay. To be completely honest, I had never heard of him but now I’m excited to do some research. It just proves that if you’ve developed a thought that you think is unique, chances are someone else has thought it too!

      The reason for this blog is posts like yours, so that we can all share thoughts, experiences and opinions in order to make ourselves better people. Thanks!

  3. scottfack says:

    You know what? I think people who are minorities tend to critically examine what makes them different and come to the conclusion (hopefully) to celebrate that difference. It sounds like you have done that. It’s awesome you came to the conclusions that make you happy and you acted on them. We should live our lives with no regrets because (speaking from experience, handling 11,000+ earthquakes in the last few years), you never know when life can change or even worse, end.

    About marriages… There are people in open marriages. There are people in marriages who are swingers. There are people in marriages who don’t have sex any more. There are people in marriages who have a third person involved, or even another married couple. There are people in marriages who are not happy but stay together because they feel honour-bound to do so. There are people in marriages who sneak around to have relationships or sex with other people outside their marriage.

    Who is to say what is “normal”? Isn’t “normal” what is within the bounds of your happiness and your life? And what right do any of us have to judge others’ “normal”s compared to our “normal” as long as it’s not hurting us or the ones we love?

    I love my partner Noel. We have been together 17 years. Hell, I moved half way around the world to be with him. We fought New Zealand immigration for the right to be treated as equals under the eyes of the law, and we won. And, last night, we were given the legal right to marry.

    I don’t want to marry him to be like everyone else. I want to marry him so our relationship has the same standing legally, with all the rights and privileges and protections thereof, as a straight couple.

    Your blog is very good… I might just have to follow you now! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • joshvansant says:

      Your story is amazing. Thank you for sharing it. You and your partner give a human face to a debate that seems to be dragging on for much too long.

      I believe that your story truly illustrates why same-sex marriage is so necessary. And I wholeheartedly agree with you, who has the right to judge what is normal? Life is too short (as you mentioned) to deny oneself of happiness and if that happiness comes from a loving partner then nobody has the right to refuse that.

      I look forward to reading more of your opinion in your future posts. Thanks for following.

  4. Black Tree says:

    I understand the hesitations expressed here Josh, but my personal motivations for wanting the legal right to marriage are not concerned with ‘Blending in’.
    I feel the underlying theme of this article concerns institutions and social conventions and how they impact our own decisions and life choices. That is something each of us has to discover and decide for his or her self and should be left as a separate issue to the one at hand: that being the fight for the right of same sex couples to have their unions and relationships legally recognised, if they so choose.

    • joshvansant says:

      Thanx for sharing your perspective. I agree with you that there are two different issues here here: 1. that gay marriage should be legal and 2. the impact of institutions and social conventions on individuals. I believe that these are intrinsically linked though. My only concern is that at present homosexuality brings with it the gift that is freedom to look at these social conventions from a different perspective. Once gay is eventually “normalised” through greater acceptance and marriage equality, I worry that future generations of young gay men wont appreciate the uniqueness that homosexuality brings.

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