As a person who’s in the minority, it’s understandable at times that I have to field questions that are a product of innocent curiosity blended with a forgiveable amount of ignorance.
There are also questions that are so absurd that they don’t deserve an answer, because their premises have no logical justification; so, by answering them, you’re automatically accepting an imbecilic world view. It’s the equivalent of stepping into a sandbox with a child to discuss matters outside of the sandbox while you’re both pretending the world outside of it doesn’t exist. Doesn’t work.
Now I’m gonna go ahead and contradict myself by answering some unanswerable questions, just to illustrate my point further. After this, you might have some idea as to why we desperately need a real conversation about gay rights and same sex marriage in Australia. There’s a reason why Malcolm Turnbull is being held accountable for failing to deliver basic human rights to queer citizens – and that’s because the less we talk about it, the more people get bizarre, fantastical ideas about what it means to be gay.
A culture that sweeps gay under the rug is gonna have some weird ideas about their fellow humans.
There’s a reason why Malcolm Turnbull is being held accountable for failing to deliver basic human rights to queer citizens – and that’s because the less we talk about it, the more people get bizarre, fantastical ideas about what it means to be gay.
So here’s a thought exercise. Imagine a gay couple. Let’s say for argument’s sake they are two men and they’ve got a bunch of kids. Regardless of whether you’ve just met them, or if you’ve known them forever, which of the following questions is acceptable to ask?
a) What’s your kid’s name?
b) How long have you been together for?
c) Which one of you is the mum?
The premise of that last question is unacceptable because it assumes that:
a) There must be a mother for parenthood to be viable.
b) One of these men is not a father.
Now for another of my favourite fool questions, aimed at a gay couple who are two women:
a) Which one of you is the man?
The premise assumes that one of a couple must be of the opposing sex or gender for it to work – or, in order to preserve their hetero-sanity, a straight person must assume some creepy imitation of heterosexuality is being performed in order for the relationship to be valid. That’s just silly. I like to quote Ellen DeGeneres on this one: “Asking who’s the man and who’s the woman in a same-sex relationship is like asking which chopstick is the fork.”
The pressure is on for queer people to embody normative heterosexual traditions and that pressure is exerted by, y’know, the massive hetero hop that is Planet Earth. These nonsensical questions are asked by well-meaning simpletons because their cultural programming has them ensnared in a world view that queer people disrupt simply by existing. Luckily, this can be remedied by exercising basic empathy.
So which chopstick is the fork?
On Sunday August 13, get over to the Imperial Hotel in Erskineville for some spicy community action: SEND TURNBULL A SPINE! In the face of majority support throughout Australia, the Prime Minister has failed to deliver marriage equality, so the queer community has decided to deliver him what he desperately needs – a spine. Support this fundraiser to build a giant spine and send it down to Canberra. The spine will be driven from the Imperial Hotel down to Canberra on Sunday arvo and be delivered on Monday morning. You can make donations and see progress at sendturnbullaspine.com
On Saturday August 19, head to The Shift Club on Oxford Street for HIGH NRG DECADENCE. Despite the lockout limitations (1:30am), the party will be going until 4am, so be sure to hydrate. The lineup is stellar, featuring Alex K, KCB, Oursource, Dave Austin, Rata, Charlie Brown, Steve S, Andee and Lately with a special secret guest to be announced. Tickets are available now.
From Saturday September 2 to Monday September 4, in a giant warehouse somewhere in Alexandria (location to be announced), prepare for some dirty, twisted and extremely gay good times with Heaps Gay’s MASQUEERADE for the Sydney Fringe Festival’s opening weekend. There will be great music, art and performance featuring local legends, artists and musicians: Lupa J, Post Motel, Rebel Yell, SVETA, Okapi Neon, Jikuroux, Caroline Garcia, Anna May Kirk x Alice Joel, Honey Long x Hayley Coughlan, Matt Grant and so many more! The dress code is ‘Transform/Disguise’ and tickets are available now.