It’s Not Enough To Just Be “Cool With Gay Marriage”

same-sex-lesbian-couple

We were all sitting in a bar, unwinding with a few vodka sodas after a ridiculous workweek, when in walks the sweetest couple. They were probably on one of their first dates, and one of them brought the other flowers. They seemed completely lost in each other.

We were all smiling at them, secretly wishing we could have a little romance in our lives like they did, when my friend scooted in a little closer to me. “They’re so cute,” she whispered. “Which one do you think is the girl and which do you think is the boy?”

I wish it was just an innocent slip-up, that she didn’t really mean it and that she wasn’t being malicious. But the truth is, whether she knew it or not, her question was full of ignorance and bigotry and the single mindedness that’s all too common in our heteronormative society.

You see, the two that were sharing the bar with us that night were lesbians (or at least two girls on a date with each other). And while none of my gal pals seemed at all bothered by the couple, I was certainly bothered by my friends.

What my friend didn’t really seem to understand was that neither of them was “the boy.” They both appeared to be girls, and that’s the point. If one of them wanted to be with a boy, she wouldn’t be a lesbian.

The thing is, this kind of question is not at all uncommon. You hear it all the time when you see a gay couple where one of the guys seems “a little more into his looks,” and people assume he’s “the girl,” or when a lesbian has a pixie cut and rocks a rad suit at her wedding. Like what the hell, guys? Are we so effing stuck in a heteronormative mindset that we have to assign these two individuals a gender role in a “traditional” straight couple?

And heteronormative culture is all over the place – not just in bigoted (or at least ignorant) comments about who’s who in same-sex couples. How many times have we read a dating advice article where the writer describes “how to get the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend?” Don’t we think it should say “how to get the perfect significant other?”

It’s time to stop assuming that everyone is straight.

What kills me is thinking about what’s taken away from same-sex couples when people ask “which one is the girl.” You’re not asking about how long they’ve been dating, or how they met, or any number of things that would let into their love story. Instead, you’re saying that they’re different, that their sexuality is something that you don’t understand, that it’s a source of your curiosity. You’re making it about you, when their relationship should be about them.

It isn’t enough to be “cool with gay marriage,” or to go support at the Pride festival every year. It’s time that we start accepting all sexual preferences – really accepting them – as the norm and a part of society.

Featured Image via We Heart It.

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Why Ross and Rachel’s Love So Isn’t Romantic to Me

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Today when I maybe shouldn’t have been doing so much Twittering and a little bit more working, I saw the most adorable Ross and Rachel graphic (you know Ross and Rachel—that couple on Friends who may or may not have been on a break?) It was a series of screenshots from the finale when – spoiler alert – Rachel got off the plane, and we got to see the two finally get their acts together. The Tweet got oodles and oodles of retweets, but all I could think was “ugh, I would never, ever, ever want that.

That’s right – me, the Friends-obsessed super-nerd, finds nothing romantic about the Ross and Rachel relationship.

friends shes your lobster

Don’t get me wrong. I’m an avid Friends fan who will always maintain that Ross is Rachel’s lobster, but I can’t in good conscience romanticize the relationship those two yahoos had, because I’m pretty sure when you look up the word “dysfunctional” in the dictionary, you see a photo of Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer as their iconic characters.

Because seriously, who wants to drag out a relationship with the supposed love of their life for ten whole years? Who wants someone as jealous as Ross, or as flighty as Rachel? Who wants to wait until their shared child is two years old before they actually get together for good? Who wants an entire relocation to France to be what makes you and your S.O. see that you were meant to be together?

It’s just nothing I could ever do, and I wouldn’t want to. When (if) I fall in love with someone, I don’t want it to be the juicy drug that I can’t kick; I want it to be like the sun. I want it to be the thing that keeps me warm, the thing that I know rises and sets the same, the thing that is in my life every day but never stops being beautiful.

friends i got off the plane

And I don’t want to get off the plane to show my S.O. how much I love him; I want to have something that makes me not want to get on it at all.

7/3/2014

“Your heartbeat is mean,” he said.

“It’s too loud,” he said.

The blue lights from the TV licked the wall behind us and I looked down at him looking up; it was like the sadness in our eyes suddenly lined up against each other like the two sides of a magnet.

“But it’s yours that’s cruel,” I said. “Sometimes it’s loud, like mine. Sometimes it’s loud, like the gunshots at Valley Forge, like the fireworks overhead tonight. Like the tires screeching to a halt. And just when it has kept me company and sung me to sleep, it grows quiet. It’s like my ear is pressed against nothing, like I’m burying my face against air. And just when I’ve found my own background noise, my own steady rhythm, it starts beating again.”