partner and I have a dilemma.
We’re a straight couple. Our lives and finances are intertwined,
and we are already essentially living as a married couple.
Now we want to hold a ceremony with family and friends to
make public the commitment we’ve already made privately. That
said, we are in favor of marriage equality and are considering
joining the marriage boycott (www.unmarried.org) until DOMA
is repealed and every state allows gay marriage.
Our friends and family say we should get married and fight
for equality “from the other side of the fence.” On the other
hand, a number of the people in attendance at our wedding
would not have access to the rights we’d be signing up for,
and that feels unfair to us.
We’d like to know what you think. Is boycotting legal marriage
a worthwhile statement for straight couples to make? Or do
you think we should put gay-rights groups on our registry
and fight for marriage equality as a married couple?
To Render Change
you should ask, HTRC, as last weekend the boyfriend-in-America/husband-in-Canada
and I attended the wedding of some dear straight friends.
We weren’t the only same-sex couple at the wedding; there
were “a number of people in attendance [without] access to
the rights” our straight friends were signing up for.
All us homos at the wedding were delighted to be there and
deliriously happy for our friends, and not one of us would’ve
asked them to wait to marry until gay marriage is legal in
all 50 states—something that isn’t going to happen until 2024
at the earliest, according to number-crunchin’ superstar political
blogger Nate Silver (tinyurl.com/cn58xy). That’s when Silver
predicts that the final holdout—Mississippi—will finally legalize
Here’s what I think you should do, HTRC: get married, make
a donation to the fight for marriage equality, and encourage
your guests to do the same. And, hey, are you guys getting
married in the next four weeks? Because there’s a ballot measure
in Maine that would strip same-sex couples in that state of
their newly won right to wed. Help protect marriage equality
in Maine by making a donation—right now—at protectmaineequality.org.
And religious bigots in Washington State, where I live, are
attempting to repeal a domestic-partnership law at the ballot
box. Protect the rights of same-sex couples in Washington
by making a donation—right now—at approvereferendum71.org.
And in addition to throwing some money around, HTRC, I think
you should consider lifting one of the readings from my friends’
is a vital social institution,” the reading began. “The exclusive
commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love
and mutual support. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal
commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration
of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity,
and family. Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe
haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil
marriage is an esteemed institution and the decision whether
and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.”
So touching, so true, and so universal—who could argue with
those sentiments? Everyone at the wedding was nodding. And
the reading continued . . .
is undoubtedly for these concrete reasons, as well as for
its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage
has long been termed a ‘civil right.’ Without the right to
choose to marry, one is excluded from the full range of human
After the reading—which was done by a gay friend of the couple—the
officiant identified the source: It was from the 2003 Massachusetts
Supreme Judicial Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage
in that state. It was a lovely gesture: The gay couples at
the wedding were touched and the hetero couples were reminded
of the injustice that gay couples face. It would be wonderful
if this passage from the Massachusetts court’s ruling on marriage
equality caught on as a wedding reading, HTRC. The gay people
in the pews will be touched, and with any luck, any straight
guests who oppose marriage equality will take a moment to
reconsider their positions. At the very least, they’ll know
where the bride and groom stand.
I’m a high-school student, gay, but whenever someone asks
me, I lie and say I’m not. I feel like I’m ashamed of who
I am and that I’m dishonoring every openly gay person. But
I don’t know what else to do. Most of the other students at
my school use the words “gay” and “faggot” in a derogatory
way. I’ve only been in high school for four weeks, and I’m
not sure how they would react. What should I do? Should I
Boy Seeking Serious Help
a big fan of telling people what to do (just ask my poor boyfriend),
but coming out is a deeply personal decision, one you’re going
to have to negotiate yourself,” says Benoit Denizet-Lewis,
who wrote a cover story for the New York Times Magazine
about gay kids coming out in middle school.
that said, here’s what you should do. First, the fact that
you’re worrying about ‘dishonoring every gay person’ speaks
volumes about your character and tells me that you have a
heart and a conscience, both of which will serve you well
in your life as an openly gay man. Second, consider coming
out first to an adult you trust (a school counselor, your
gay uncle). Third, try to come out to one friend, preferably
one who loves the show Glee. Having a peer ally is
critical to your mental health. Finally, when you do come
out to your parents, just be sure you’re not in a moving vehicle.”
Denizet-Lewis’s first book, America Anonymous, is out
now, and it’s pretty genius. But for the record: I do not
love the show Glee.
Greetings from Portland, Oregon. Our fair city is totally
overflowing with cute, young, scruffy boys. Which is awesome,
of course, for gay guys like me. The only problem is, it seems
like a disproportionate number of these boys are, well, boys
without dicks—trans guys. Seems like every dance party, every
art-fag event, is packed with non-bio boys. But where are
all the trans girls? None of my lesbo friends talk about all
the new trans girls running around town.
I know that this could strictly be region-specific, but it
seems to be a bigger issue. Why is it that the butch girls
all seem to become dudes, yet so few of the femme boys identify
just theorizing here: There seem to be fewer MTFs out there
than FTMs, and the MTFs who are out there mostly seem to have
been straight-identified before their transitions (they were
with women), unlike most FTMs, who seem, for the most part,
to have been lesbian-identified before their transitions.
So MTFs weren’t integrated into the queer community prior
to their transitions the same way FTMs were before theirs.
Confused? Me too.
So MTFs are less likely to frequent places—bars, clubs, art-fag
events—where you, a gay guy, might encounter them.
As for why there are so many trans guys in Portland, GGGIPDX,
trans guys clump up for the same reasons other sexual minorities
do. It’s not just about safety in numbers—although it’s partly
that—but also about the romantic odds. The more trans guys
in one place, the more trans guys there are to date; and the
more trans guys in one place, the likelier non-trans guys
and girls are to meet, get to know, and perhaps consider dating
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.