Part 2 Another Marriage, but Why Aren’t I Happy? or, Heterosexual Privilege in Marriage

2 days ago I wrote this post Another Marriage, but Why Aren’t I Happy?. It was written hurriedly between attending a wedding ceremony and the reception. I tried to capture my down mood and anxiety at that moment. Now, though, it is 2 days after and after travelling interstate, I am back at home. I haven’t read all the comments on the original post, nor have I reread it. I can’t even remember all that I wrote.

For the most part, I did enjoy the reception party. I walked into the room; a reasonable sense of control of my negative emotions. Over 200 guests, all dressed up, milling around or sitting, having pleasant conversation. I weaved through the small groups of people, found my table at the front, and poured myself a glass of wine. I was aware of my chirpy facade. People asked me what I did after the ceremony. I said that I tried to nap and did some creative writing – not quite a lie.

The night did become more enjoyable the more free wine that I drank. Speeches were emotional and almost brought me to tears. I watched the faces of the bride and groom, raw with joy, as their loved ones expressed their happiness of the union. In that moment, I shared that joy. But now, I wonder, if I was to marry, what would be said on that day? Would my parents say a speech? What would they say? I know that I am catastrophising in my head; my self-doubt influences my imagination. But there was such strong emotional and cultural significance reflected in the speeches, like the marriage marked the next stage of their life journey, almost akin to rite of passage that made them more “complete”. I feel like I am lacking. Maybe a lot of single people feel this. Maybe I feel this because of my mood disorder. But I feel that, because I am same-sex attracted and want to fall in love with another man, this feeling is different to my peers. I can not experience this rite, this cultural institution, and will not be complete. 

As I said in the original post, I don’t even know if I adhere with the concept of marriage. My ideas are all intellectual though, not emotional. There is something my experience lacks that draws people to marry: so many of my rational, intelligent, liberal-minded friends have gotten married. Is it heterosexual privilege that this “natural” progression of their relationships comes so easily? That their relationship is so readily embraced and supported by their community? I recently watched this BBC social experiment short where 2 straight men experience homophobia when holding hands in public. I may be transferring this fear in one context to a different context, and it may be irrational to do this, but if the risk of homophobia exists for public displays of affection as benign as holding hands, what about a wedding? Sure, I can only invite accepting people, but should I have to make that decision on who not to invite (Chinese parents traditionally like to invite their friends [lots] and many extended family members to their child’s wedding)? Even if I was optimistic, sending invitations to the same people as if I was having a traditional heterosexual wedding, would everyone come supporting the event? Or, would people decline? I don’t want to have to go through that.

I drank lots of wine at the reception so my mood improved as the night went on. There were only 3 other queer people in the party of nearly 250 people, according to my usually faulty gaydar. But the time for mingling with strangers only really started when the dance floor opened at the end of the party. 2 of the guys (presumably a couple) left with the exodus of older guests, and the other woman I didn’t talk to much. Usually I love dancing, but that night I really wasn’t into it. All dressed up, but no one to dance with.

“I am lost in a rainbow,

now our rainbow is gone.”

The Irrepressibles – In This Shirt.

4 responses to “Part 2 Another Marriage, but Why Aren’t I Happy? or, Heterosexual Privilege in Marriage

  1. Cool series on the perspective of marriage equality or the lack thereof. Nice work! Much love and naked hugs! 🙂 See, I wrote on your site here a comment yesterday that I’d be back, again!


  2. Pingback: Another Marriage, but Why Aren’t I Happy? | bitter.sweet.alive

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