Weekend Things, Y17-W32

Trying to Have a Gay Old Time

Married dorks up a mountain

I’m so tired of hearing Matthias Cormann droning on to Fran Kelly about same-sex marriage on RN Breakfast every second day. I’m so tired of the ALP earnestly pretending that they’re against the politicking on this subject, while simultaneously looking for the wedgiest way to wedge the Libs on it. I’m even tired of well-meaning twits like Karl Stefanovic sticking up for us. Fuck them all.

I never thought I’d get married. I was probably about three years old when I grokked that marriage is an instrument of patriarchy (the broader social implications didn’t become clear until I was six or seven, haha), and when I started falling in love with women, I never considered marriage to be among my losses. From time to time, I’ve probably suggested that progressive people shouldn’t want to get married; I was even a bit surprised — and hurt? — when my heterosexual friends started jumping on board the marriage train.

But then, after 15 years together, somewhat motivated by immigration-related things (unlike Australia, the United States barely recognizes de facto relationships, same-sex or otherwise), Sophie and I walked into Brooklyn City Hall and did the thing, and it was very nice (we ate bagels on the subway home). It probably strengthened our relationship. It certainly caused others — particularly in the US — to view our relationship as more permanent and significant. When we returned to Australia last year and celebrated with our amazing friends and family, I felt like I was part of something, despite myself.

The same-sex marriage postal poll whatsit that we’re going to have to endure in a few months is hurtful, divisive, time-wasting nonsense, but I plan to campaign and to vote in favour of gay marriage. I expect that the majority of same-sex attracted people will do the same, although participating in something so cruel and unnecessary is hard to come at, and one could hardly blame us for opting out. If you’re a heterosexual person, then you absolutely must do your duty — it would be appalling if a ‘no because the model is wrong’ movement took hold and the vote failed on that basis.

ANYWAY. Make sure you’re enrolled, and then do the thing. Rock the post office like it’s 1959.

Tim Minchin somehow always manages to make me cry through my laughter (or laugh through my tears?)

It’s a good week to listen to this excellent episode of Slate’s Hit Parade, which tells the intersecting stories of Elton John and George Michael and goes into considerable detail about the impact of their sexual identities on their careers. Most of the time I think we’ve come a long way since the 70s, and then we have a week like this one. (Too Low For Zero is still one of my favourite records, by the way — I listen to it a couple of times a year and it blows me away every time.)

Somewhat related, on the sexual freedom of gay men:

There was a beautiful park with an old, wild forest that our parents would sometimes take us to. Everyone knew, and so children knew too, men met there to have sex. This knowledge thickened the sunlight that hung in the trees’ foliage and deepened the shadows at the mouths of the caves. Once I succumbed to this faint vertigo and got lost there. Strangers helped me find my way back to my family. Who were they, my mother wanted to know, urgently, and was suddenly and completely reassured when I explained that I had been helped by two men who were holding hands. I remember her and her friend doing the thing that adults do over kids’ heads when they think they don’t know something, the shared secret laughter. But I felt superior to them because I was the one who the forest had briefly swallowed and taken for its own. Because most of the adults in my life wanted to hide sex from me, or half-hide it, or mistook children for ignorant people who didn’t know what sex was, I felt an immediate and natural allegiance with those adults who fucked in public.

Call Me By Your Name is just the most beautiful, romantic film. I can’t think of many films about queer relationships that don’t revolve around, or build up to, violence or tragedy; I realised after I walked out of Call Me By Your Name that I’d been waiting for a blow that never came. 🍑

On the other hand, The Trip to Spain is dull: a little bit homophobic, a little bit racist — the final scene is baffling — and definitely too long, with only a fraction of the charm of The Trip to Italy. Wait for Youtube clips of the good bits.

And now, to non-gay news:

One of the things that attracted me to the idea of working at Culture Amp was their zero-commission sales model. Here’s a nice post by our VP of Global Sales, Ramon Elzinga, about what we’ve learned.

Steve Johnson is retiring from football at the end of this year, which means it’s a good time to re-read Bob Murphy’s article about playing on him from a few years back.

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