She may be a legal expert but when it comes to gay talk Lily Merrick (a.k.a. Climax’s own Elvis) has little clue. In her latest blog post she’s finally tackles the “gay” marriage issue, nervously…
Gay marriage, same sex marriage, equal marriage. As some of you may have noticed, here at Climax we messed up a little with the branding of our March event when we advertised it as ‘Celebrating Gay Marriage’. It should obviously have said ‘Celebrating Equal Marriage”.
While I once again would like to apologise on behalf of Team Climax, the whole thing got me thinking.
I don’t usually pick up on issues like that and in this instance it completely passed me by; in all honesty I didn’t even realise it would be offensive. My girlfriend often shows me pictures or statements that objectify women and I end up looking at her vacantly wondering why she is showing me this. Really, the reaction she’s looking for is for me to say (in my own language) ‘bloody hell that’s not acceptable, what a d***.’ But it doesn’t come naturally.
I label myself as gay and had never thought twice when saying ‘gay’ marriage in conversations with friends and family, however lately people’s comments on our Facebook page have opened my eyes, and mind, somewhat. To me the term gay is easy; it’s a word that has been reclaimed by the LGBT community to remove its negative connotations. The word gay in combination with marriage however, creates a whole different issue.
‘Gay’ marriage is certainly the most common term used in media but ‘same sex’, or ‘equal’, marriage is the term that everyone can identify with.
‘Gay’ marriage can come across as biphobic, meaning that it narrows the scope of the issue to exclude bisexual and transgender people – and the more I think about it I realise it defeats the point of the campaign. People are fighting for equal marriage, and so by labelling it gay marriage I’m cutting out a significant group who are also being discriminated against.
This realistion has led to a whole bunch of new questions.
Am I perpetuating a stereotype that others may follow by not correcting myself and becoming more aware of my statements? By saying that it isn’t a big deal, do my actions allow things that to some are offensive slide by? Are people I surround myself with taking direction from me in the way they address these issues?
The social responsibility is quite scary but I guess it’s also something I should stop shying away from. Yes, you could say that this whole situation has been a bit of a lesson.
I need to get more up to date on it all and if you have opinions on the matter then I would love to hear them… I think I need all the help I can get!
Text: Lily Merrick
Image: Tobias Kingsley