Sitting, white hotel sheets crushed.
A pillow to the side; not for resting, but for holding.
Wait. Alone. Wait for the party to begin.
This bed is too big.
I write this post in the interim period between attending a wedding ceremony and attending the reception.
Today I attended another wedding. I have known the groom my whole life. Before his bride arrived, he was smiling and joking at the church. And when the couple were first announced as husband and wife, they both beamed in such a genuine way, that my heart ached.
I am was overwhelmed with happiness for the two people in front of me. They have found their best friend, and declared that. Though, for me, weddings are always a conflicting experience. On one hand, I have positive emotions for the 2 people, but on the other hand, I feel sadness that I don’t have someone to call my partner in life, and I also feel inferior, because I can’t get married.
LGBTQI rights have come a long way in Australia, but same-sex marriage is still a dream. These feelings of inferiority come from the reminder that my expression of love and intimacy can not be publicly declared to be recognised by the state. My expression of love is not as worthy as theirs. I in no way begrudge others from getting married, but every time I go to a wedding I feel sad.
The story that I created in my head during my teens that my same-sex attraction was wrong, that I am wrong, seems to be subtly reinforced at each wedding. I know that if I wanted to publicly commit to a partner, I can hold a commitment ceremony and have a party (and what a party that would be!), but the absence of recognition by the state (which is representative of the ethos of the wider community) that the definition of my partnership is not the same as theirs, it would feel different.
Some would argue (on both sides) that same-sex relationships are intrinsically different. From the queer perspective, we should not define our relationships by these archaic patriarchal heterosexual bonds. To a point I agree with this. I don’t know yet if I believe in the concept of marriage: of 2 people committing monogamously (usually) for the rest of their lives. Perhaps it is a desire in me to feel equal to my straight peers, but I feel the need for this equal recognition. Which is strange, because emotionally I want this equal recognition, but intellectually, I don’t think I believe in marriage in the first place. That being said though, I fully support the right for same-sex attracted people to choose whether or not they want to get married or not.
Putting politics to one side, I have been single for many moons. Having depression and being queer certainly has contributed to this result. I do feel lonely at weddings, as a lot of singles do, but generally, there aren’t many queer singles (or couples) to commiserate with, and the straight singles are dwindling too. This loneliness, coupled with the reminder that my type of love is wrong, fills me with a subterranean distress; of low self-worth.
I have to steel myself. Come on, get changed. I have to go to the reception. Be happy, smiles, laugh and dance.
I’m really going to get a drink when I get there.