Holy Shit, the Pragmatism Faerie Just Brought Me a Cynicism Cookie

If you're like me (and I know I am), you might have heard that President Obama thinks same-sex couples should be able to get married. It's pretty hard to underestimate what a big deal this is. A sitting president of the United States came out in favor of [gay joke] announced his support for gay equality in yet another arena.

I'm being super serious when I say that I think marriage equality is a pretty big deal. I'm legally married in a state that only let me get married under the pretense that I'm a guy. That kinda sucks (the dude part, not the marriage). The thing is, as much as I'm not wild about using my marriage license, HOLY SHIT THE BENEFITS (assuming someone is willing to enforce the legitimacy of said marriage). My partner and I save well over $100 a month just on the tax on our health insurance benefits. Allowing many of our friends to get married and simultaneously not forcing Westsidebecca amd I to be straight for tax purposes would be pretty sweet, too.


This is what I heard:
I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone [REMEMBER THAT?!?!], because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married. [Emphasis mine]
I'm not sure if "affirm" is the best choice of word. It's not like I knew all along that Obama was my super-secret ally who just came out of the closet* (surprise!). Also, I'm not so interested in what Obama thinks as in what he does. Taping an interview with a national news outlet is a start, but, um, I'd really like some action. (That's what she said.)

Once I got past the deafening dog whistle about monogamy (okay, I didn't), I basically saw a sitting president making the somehow still controversial claim that some gay couples conveniently serve the narrative that the kyriarchy is using, and that they deserve a cookie. Also, coincidentally, there's an election in November and :cough: it takes money and votes to win an election.

Look, I'm happy that the president has finally evolved. I'm not so happy to see that he's evolved to join privileged, assimilationist gays in time for their endgame. (That's soooooooo what she said.) It's just, I daresay I'd be a spot happier to see Obama down on the Christopher Street piers handing out free health insurance. Or maybe he could work to ensure that working class queers could still hang out on the Christopher Street piers without the rich neighbors being all pissy about it.

I'm not expecting the United States to ever elect queer leaders. If queer people saw ourselves mirrored in our nation's leadership, we wouldn't be very queer now, would we? Still, it's depressing to see a president propping up the same institutions and same tropes that oppress us, all in the name of "defending our rights". I don't want an orgy on the White House lawn (Okay, I do. A girl can dream.), but having a president with some willingness to act in opposition to intersecting oppressions would be nice, even if the latter strikes me as unlikely as the former.

*As a queer lady, I get one free gay pun for my piece.**

**Okay, twọ

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus