It was a slow day at the Bridge. Because there were few customers, vendors were walking around, visiting with each other. There wasn’t much else to do.
I was sitting at my table, working on a bracelet. I hardly ever sit idle at the Bridge.
I could hear a couple of vendors–friends of mine–talking. They were discussing gay marriage, and they were not taking a pro-gay-marriage stance.
Here’s the thing about me: I’ve experienced affection, love, attraction, lust, desire, fondness, passion, and yearning for both men and women (and for more than a couple of people who didn’t choose either of those categories to describe themselves). I’ve had sex with men and sex with women. Gender isn’t a limiting factor as far as I’m concerned.
But straight people tend to assume everyone is straight, and I just let that assumption ride at the Bridge. As a woman on my own, I didn’t want the mostly drunk male vendors hitting on me. No way was I interested in getting involved with any of them. I also did not want any of these drunk dudes harassing me for being a dyke. So while I wasn’t ashamed of my sexual proclivities, I wasn’t out and loud about them either. After a couple of summers working at the Bridge, when I got a boyfriend, well, that just reinforced what people thought they already knew about me.
So I could hear my friends talking not too far from me. I could hear them getting each other all riled up, talking about standards and traditions, saying things like, Huh! Now anybody can get married. Next thing you know, people are going to be able to marry their dog.
I try to stay out of other people’s conversations. I really do. I try not to butt in. I try not to get involved. But that day I lost control and I turned to my friends and said, Well, I know a lot of dogs who would make better husbands than most of the men I know.
My male friend who was involved in the conversation is generally a kind and loving person, and he’s been a good friend to me. He’s also told me about the womanizer he used to be. He looked at me with big, sad eyes, and he said, Ouch. That hurt.
The folks having the hateful little conversation disbanded. I don’t know if I did anything to change their minds, but at least I didn’t have to listen to their ugliness.
I’m not into marriage. I’ve never been married, and I hope I never am. Marriage is an oppressive institution. Yes, some people do have egalitarian marriages where needs are met and love is shared. But marriage is based on property and patriarchy and capitalism and inheritance. Marriage is not my cup of tea.
But how does gay marriage–or even human/dog marriage–detract from traditional man/woman marriage? How does marrying one’s dog hurt other people? (Ok, I know, a dog can’t give verbal consent to marriage or any activities commonly related to marriage–such as visiting in-laws one can’t stand–but let’s just pretend for one moment that the dog wants to get married too.) If someone is so rah-rah-rah 100% into marriage, how does a non-traditional marriage hurt the true believers or the institution as a whole?
I’m not sure most dogs I know would actually make better husbands than most of the men I know. While the dogs are loyal, loving, devoted, and don’t spend the rent money on beer or weed or gambling, none of them have a job or money of their own. Most of them just lay around all day and want to take up more than their fair share of the bed at night. Also, the dogs always expect me feed them and take them on walks. Me, me, me the dogs always seem to be saying.
Sure, I get lonely sometimes, but overall, I think I’m better off on my own.