A Different Way to Feel the Homomentum

I don't ordinarily do much about Valentine's Day. Besides being the anniversary of the day my back was damaged (22 years now - half my life ago), I've a number of friends who are single but don't want to be, and who find the day really unpleasant and painful as a result, with its strong emphasis on dyadic happiness.

But this year, one of my partners (a woman) happened to be in town (I have two long-distance relationships at the moment - we're all polyamourous, no "cheating" involved) on V-Day, so we went out for dinner, to a local steakhouse we like reasonably well.

It's a fairly ordinary steakhouse/sports bar, lots of TVs tuned to various mercenary companies playing sundry forms of "put the MacGuffin in the scorehole more often than the other bunch does"*.

Anyway, we went, and were seated, and were handed the V-Day special menu, from which we ordered - it was a thing where you could get various dishes "for two", as it were, served on a main plate with the intent of sharing it.

In the background, the TVs blared eight different McGuffin-moving-matches at once, and faintly, if you listened carefully, you could hear a succession of bland pop songs under it all.

Just after we ordered, a song came on: I Kissed A Girl, I don't know which version, but it made me smile.

And then recognize what this was: we were, very evidently to anyone, on a date, two women in a sports bar, effectively, having a romantic dinner like any hetero couple might. And were served off the "couples" menu, while listening to a pop song(!) in which a woman loudly proclaimed how much she'd enjoyed her moment in the lesbo sun.

My mind went back, to many dinners with many dates, over the years, and how it used to be we would travel to Toronto to have such a romantic dinner so we could have it on Church Street and not have to worry, being surrounded by other queer and/or queer-friendly folk - rather than face dirty looks and slurs, poor service, and all kinds of "you're not welcome here, dirty queers" responses, that generally stopped short of anything you could report to the Human Rights Tribunal.

That is what the homomentum does for me. It means I no longer have to drive a two hundred kilometre (hundred and twenty mile) round trip to have a date. It means popular media include me, and people like me, at least a little. It means matter-of-factly handing the "couples" menu to any group of people as wants it. It means relationships that look like mine don't make heads turn.

It isn't about special rights. It's not about having a lifestyle. It's about having a life, like anyone else's: to be able to go out for a nice evening together, and to be free of harrassment, opprobrium, and not occasionally physical danger.

So maybe we don't all need same-sex marriage, even the queer folk. But even if you personally don't need it, its existence is yet another piece of making it so being queer isn't...well, queer. It's another tiny piece of making us part of "normal".

And on that level, every single jurisdiction, no matter how small or remote, adds another teaspoonful to that big sack of homomentum.

Thanks, Maryland. And all the others.

* And geez, what do you think Freud would have to say about that? Group after group of large, physically masculine men, gathering in groups which they prefer not to include women, to symbolically stick their McGuffin in the scorehole as often as possible. Getting any sense of metaphor here?

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