No templates needed
Simon Williamson lives with his federally-recognized spouse in the wild yonder of Newton County. Follow him on Twitter at @simonwillo.
While being LGBT+ people in an unLGBT+ world comes with an almighty load of problems—like the need to constantly protest against laws specifically designed to cock us around—there are benefits to having few templates for our adult lives.
One of the major perks is not having to worry about fitting our relationships, or our selves, come to think of it, into pre-ordained gender roles. For example, while society arbitrarily attributes masculinity to me due to beardedness and inability to dress myself nicely and my husband as more feminine, the way we are with each other doesn’t subscribe to such facile nonsenses in the least. In fact, in my last column I mentioned he exhibited behavior generally considered masculine when “Then, the most visible black gay men were activists, writers and organizers, and if you wanted to be visible you became an activist, writer or organizer. Now the most visible black gay men are reality stars.” he had to get a bat out of our bedroom, while I hid downstairs ready to clobber its flying rat ass with either the mop in my left hand or the grumpy beagle in my right. His other tasks include ridding every building I ever go into of insects, singing the Vince Gill part in our “I Will Always Love You” duet, and maintaining his body by running seven miles four times a week—none of which I am physically able, nor mentally prepared, to do.
The freedom to let such matters play out on their own and little pressure within our community to fulfill gender-based expectations is a luxury we really should appreciate. We don’t need to subscribe to the rules of the insecure straight men who aren’t allowed to enjoy musicals, or to dress up for swanky dos, or acknowledge that having your prostate rammed by a penis, or an imitation thereof, is actually rather mind-blowing. While I have never been a lesbian, I don’t see why the chance to set your own path wouldn’t be more available to the women in our community either, even with the added pressure society heaps onto them.
Which means that it is more likely we forge our own paths. If that isn’t freedom—although the crowd that uses that term the most rarely agrees with us—I don’t know what is.
The drawback, of course, is that, as a group, we self-police, and we can often be the Sambora to our very own Locklear. We’re awful at including the T in our series of letters (I don’t think we’re particularly good to the B either), our rich- est lobby group is so white it could sing a cloying duet with Stevie Wonder, and marriage equality has filled our spinnaker like Dolly Parton’s tits across the dash of a Smartcar, forcing out a host of important issues relevant to our people.
What we have is the chance to push the ever-continuing sexual revolution further. It really is up to us to drag society with us to a place where “being a man” can include football, buttsex, pink doggy clothes, and a rousing version of Oklahoma! after dinner.
We’re continually wrestling with our demons, and once they’re beaten, we have an even better chance to show the rest of the world what real freedom is, and to rid of ourselves of forced gender binaries and their restrictive rancidity.