This is not so much a political manifesto as it is a statement of ‘lifestance’
I am a male, Caucasian, born in Canada in 1958.
I am queer. I am gay. They are not necessarily the same thing.
As a gay man, my romantic and sexual relationships are with other men. Not a misogynist, I love women. They are a very important part of my circle of love and support. But as a gay man, my primary relationship is with another man. It is a relationship that only some people honour. My family all do. Anyone who would be a close friend must; they don’t have to love or like the person but they must honour the relationship.
My political life involves much more than “LGBT issues“, but of course it includes those issues. So long as such relationships are not broadly honoured, so long as we are denied thousands of rights and privileges afforded those who present themselves as being in ‘traditional’ heterosexual relationships, there is work to do. I support the fight for equality.
At the same time, I will not rest should “marriage equality” arrive in the USA. It is not enough that ‘normal gay folks’ can set up house, raise kids and blend in. Of course there’s nothing wrong with wanting that for yourself; just don’t tell me I need to want that for myself.
I am queer. I differ “from the normal or usual in a way regarded as odd or strange“. My relationships are far more complex, deeper and richer than can be fit into our society’s view of normal or usual. My current primary relationship will never be mistaken for “marriage” by those who know us. My ability to love and be loved will never be contained by social norms.
I have no interest in fitting into old stereotypes- of how a gay man should be, how a ‘normal’ person thinks or acts, what makes a “real man” (or a ‘real family’) or how to structure my relationships. Queer relationships encompass a diversity that includes various numbers of participants, who may identify as one or more of the terms that make up “LGBTTQQI2s” – lesbian, gay, transgendered, transexual, queer, questioning, intersexed, 2-spirits. So long as all are willing, informed participants who agree to whatever ground rules are established, I accept them.
Ultimately, acceptance is the goal. I will not be merely tolerated- I demand acceptance. Even from ‘normal gay folk’.
1. Assignment was to read “The Hacker’s Manifesto” and write my own Manifesto; this is also, in part, a reaction to “The Androgynous Man” essay by Noel Perrin;
2. Some concepts and quotes are from a post at the author’s blog;
3. “A person’s life stance, or lifestance, is their relation with what they accept as being of ultimate importance, the presuppositions and theory of this, and the commitments and practice of working it out in living.” (http://www.museumstuff.com/learn/topics/life_stance);
4. “Queer (adj) 1. differing from the normal or usual in a way regarded as odd or strange” (Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition 2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd.)