My head got fucked up about the gay-marriage thing at the gym this morning. My hetero workout partners David and Cyril, who are usually politically savvy, talked optimistically about the news from Canada recognizing gay marriage, at least in Ontario, and the prospect of Canadas permissive attitude spreading south to the U.S. They were either trying to cheer me up, or just celebrating the fact that something progressive had happened in North America. Theyre fine ones to talk, a Brit and Swiss-German, respectively, they both have received permanent alien resident status here in a very short time. While their green cards are backed up by authentic marriage certificates and honest-to-goodness monogamous relationships with American women, they handhold me through the immigration frustration I still have to endure. My partner of four years is a man, and he cant get a green card to save his life. As a cranky atheist with a Pentecostal background, I know how fervently snaggletooth Christian the foundation of America is, and I dont expect any policy change anytime soon. But looking at David and Cyril, I cant help but feel cheated. As an American gay, I am not entitled to the benefits of domestic partnership, and this man-on-man love relationship Im involved in is even now considered some kind of a taboo. Or less respectable than one based on the Adam and Eve model.
Still, I am uncomfortable with taking on the weight of injustice against the gays I try not to do victim. I dont go to parades. Its easier for me as a self-identified freak and sexual outlaw to turn on the group and its repulsive agendas that took hold after years of mainstreaming the cause. Im not so much against the assimilationism of the post-AIDS reality shift back in the 90s, when gays started adopting children and sharing turkey-baster babies and wanting proper marriage, its their sense of self-righteousness that bothers me the attitude that says, Were growing up, and youre holding us back. Somehow, even in that schism, a boring middle ground was found; I think all that we are a diverse community talk was supposed to calm down the trannies and grisly bears.
The wedding ceremony is another concept for me. Ive plexed long and hard on why the walk-to-the-altar-in-white fantasy thrives to this day, especially when a totally untraditional, funky, crusty friend pulls it out of nowhere. Im only half cynical, otherwise Id be a hypocrite. Though Ive had no ceremony of my own, Ive been the father of the bride in two white weddings, held up a corner of the chupa in a Jewish wedding, and most recently was my own fathers best man (in his third marriage). But Ive never been to a same-sex commitment ceremony.
I wouldnt have expected the immigration of my lover to seem like a right if my two friends hadnt had their lives made easy in the very same situations. My partner and I are still struggling to find solutions to sort out his immigration status; everything weve come up with has been time-consuming, somewhat risky, and all entail expensive lawyers fees. There hasnt been an amnesty for illegal aliens since the 80s, and another one is unlikely to happen anytime soon. His country has pending legislation to give equal rights to same-sex unions, but for now we remain stuck in this situation. He endures this patiently. I, on the other hand, am so hateful its eating me up and causing problems in our relationship. In my smaller picture, I have no bullshit attitude about whether marriage mimics heterosexuality: I simply want to get my man a fucking green card.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.