Queer Victories: “Normal” is a weapon of mass destruction

Cross-posted at Not Your Average Feminist

As I’m sure you know, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal was voted through the Senate, and is currently on its way to the President’s desk. My facebook and twitter live feeds are full of victory cheers, but I have to be honest when I say that I’m a little torn.

The two most salient issues I’ve seen get a lot of attention in terms of queer politics are DADT and equal marriage. The loudest/most televised voices in this disjointed movement are fighting for my community to join the military and have institutionally recognized marriage. And a lot of those marginalized queer folks, myself included at one point or another, have come to believe that this is our movement should be fighting for. Since when was it a good thing to go to war? And maybe my opinion isn’t a popular one, but I could really care less about the word “marriage” or all the oppressive history that comes with it. Make marriage what it should be, a secular contract between consenting adults that share a household and deserve the same economic and social benefits as everyone else.
Notice I didn’t say two adults, or people in some type of romantic relationship. If multiple people want to enter a consented polyamorous relationship, who are we to put a value judgement on that? Who are we to say that two sisters living together who never got married, or perhaps are widowed, should have to pay more taxes because they aren’t technically a joint household? I get that to a lot of people, the word “marriage” is a comforting and familiar concept that if granted, would help us feel “normal.” SCREW NORMAL! Who gets to define what normal is? I love being queer, and I’m not nor do I want to be just like everyone else. If anything, we should be helping other folks realize that there are many choices in this world, and that they don’t have to follow all the scripts out there if they don’t want to.  Queer used to be RADICAL, and in many spaces it still is. But these spaces aren’t the ones that have media darlings. We have become too reliant on politicians to make a change. The shit that really matters can only be changed if EVERYONE feels the responsibility to do so.
What do I really care about in terms of queer issues: bullying, international death penalties, the hundreds of trans people that are murdered yearly, HIV/AIDS research medication & support, access to decent healthcare, the estimation that 40% of homeless youth are queer identified, sexual liberation, visibility, education, affordable housing, support services, the right to equal employment without discrimination, sexual violence in prisons, prison abolition, police brutality, racism, access, gentrification, suicide, drug addiction, & being treated like a person in my day-to-day interactions. Where is the bill for that?
If we keep spending all of our time trying to be what society tells us is “normal,” we’ll completely miss out at being ourselves.
But maybe it’s just me…What do you care about?

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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