Slack

I have been rather remiss in my blogging recently.
My plan was to just journal blog rather than think too much about what I am posting, in order to just get on with it!!!
I’m getting there.
Anyway, my health is slowly improving now I am back on the right drugs. I am managing to actually leave the apartment more often and last weekend I went completely out of my comfort zone (with a little help from a friend) and attended the Sydney Writer’s Festival. It was a fabulous day, and it was an achievement!!!
A few days rest, a successful trip to Newcastle to see my Dr and now I have a few weeks of no plans.
I’m very tempted just to hide in the apartment and read, but I need challenges, whether they be intellectual, physical, psychological, or a combination of all three!!!
I need a goal to work towards.
I want to go back to studying next semester.
For a start, I need the extra money the government gives me if I am enrolled. But also, it is something to do, I can set myself small goals each day to get the reading done. It anchors me. It also gets me out of the aparment, and even out of Gosford once a week. It takes incentive!!

Back to the present. As you know from my previous posts, I have quite a bit to say about same-sex marriage, and it is all over the news and for various reasons it is making me rather cranky. If you haven’t read my blog, please know that I am coming from a queer perspective!!! I AM A BIG DYKE!!!! So, to clear my head and in an effort to relax and have more pleasant thoughts, I walked down to the water, went to a café at my sailing club called “Tommy’s” and drank the most delicious soy mocha I have ever tasted and enjoyed the view.

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No Longer Queer

 

Marriage is a cultural relic, a “throw-back”,  if you will. No, I am not just talking about “traditional marriage”,  I am talking about marriage full stop. I am talking about the state having the power to certify certain relationships over others. Actually, not even that, it is the fact that the state has any say at all in our private affairs that is at issue.

I am not going to go into the history of the institution of marriage in the western world, but let’s just say that it is a story about private property rights.  Full Stop. It has nothing whatsoever to do with love so let’s just get that straight to begin with.

Marriage is not some romantic ideal which transcends the historical, the cultural, and the geographical. The very idea of romance and marriage, and even our very concept of love itself, is ideologically driven. An ideology that is not born out of religion, or art, or poetry, but from economic necessity. Let us not be blind to this truth.

So, where does that leave us today in Australia, in 2015?  Well, same-sex marriage is not about love, it is not about equal rights under the law (we have those already) it is about our own insecurities. It is about a community which has seen great change in the last half a century, which, at one time, pushed against the dominant culture, challenged heteronormative, stood up and said “Fuck That”.  However, like many other political and cultural movements, we have been absorbed by the dominant ideology, we now no longer want to push the boundaries,  we no longer fight to change the system, we want to be part of it, and in doing so, we are no longer act as an oppositional force.

By asking for same-sex marriage, by allowing our pride symbols to be co-opt by major financial institutions and by fast food companies and the like, we are capitulating. We are saying that there is no longer a fight, that there is no queer, that we are all the same.  We need to stop, think, realise what has happened, and re-start the fight. If the Queer movement isn’t acting as an oppositional force, then it is no longer queer.

A Licence to be queer: A plea to those with money

I recently read a very annoying article  (I won’t Link), that claimed that we should campaign for same-sex marriage “because of the children”.  That a wedding is like buying a first car or a house,  that it is an important memorable right of passage.  PUHHHLEASE!!!
Given that only a small and ever decreasing proportion of the population can actually afford the car, the home and the wedding, should this really be our number one queer rights priority?
Is it really so vital that we put all our funds and time and labour into fighting for the good of the feels of wealthy gays who can afford the nuclear family white picket fence heteronormative dream? Surely not. 
But the campaign funds come from somewhere.
So,  this is a plea,  to those in our community who have money,  to think about what is most important, to think about the young queers who have been chucked out of home, of those who are struggling with meeting their basic material needs, those who desperately need to access free mental health services that don’t even exist!! of those who can’t even afford a piece of wedding cake, let alone the car and the house.
Please, think about it.

A Licence To Be Queer?

It is very difficult, from a queer perspective, to argue against Same-Sex marriage. I am met with reactions ranging from bewilderment to outright hostility, from gay and straight alike. So this is an attempt to outline, hopefully in simple terms, why exactly I, and many others in the queer community (perhaps more than you think), would take such a seemingly contradictory stance on what has become the hottest “gay rights” issues of my generation.

Firstly, I am writing about this as an Australian. We have equal rights under the law (with the notable exception of adoption in NT, VIC, SA and QLD). We have, for now, universal health care and a comparatively sufficient welfare system. We are very lucky. The basic, material human rights that are denied to American citizens based solely upon their marital or employment status, and the way in which this impacts upon the queer community, is not being discussed here. If you would like to read more about this topic, I highly recommend you read Gay Marriage Hurts My Breasts by Yasmin Nair.

When I say to my queer friends that we already have equal rights, they exclaim “but we do not have the right to marry!!!”. Is marriage really a “right” and if so, should it be? Well, have you heard the term “marriage licence”? Tell me this, if you could drive a car without obtaining a licence, would you fight for the “right” to pay for your driver licence? Let’s take the analogy a bit further…  Say you argue that driver licences are a good thing for the safety of the driver and the community. I wouldn’t disagree.  However, what is the benefit of a “marriage licence”? …. think about it….  what does it mean to licence a relationship? It implies that there are good relationships that meet the standards of the state, and that there are bad relationships that do not. We are saying that it is the role of the state to decide who gets the tick of approval to be in a relationship and who does not. Marriage is not about love, it is about the state defining and sanctioning something as personal and arguably indefinable as human relationships.

My point is, that the state should stay out of our bedrooms/lounge rooms/kitchens or wherever it is that you do whatever it is that you do with your partner/partners/friend/friends/companions/undefinedhumanrelationofsomedescription etc. I am being completely serious. I am not saying that there is no place for legal arrangements, but I am saying that these arrangements do not have to take the form of a life-long commitment between two monogamous lovers. Life is far too complicated for that. It works for some, but is it really the way in which we should be basing the organisation of our society?  Surely it is the nuclear family ideal that we, as queers, should be rallying against, not campaigning for, and thereby solidifying.

To Be Continued when I can figure out exactly the what it is I want to say and how to say it.