A number of years ago, I happened upon this TED Talk and I was absolutely struck by the line Kim Katrin Milan delivers after describing some of the unconventional choices they made for their city hall wedding:
“The gift of queerness is options.”
This line has been on repeat in my brain ever since. I’ve long thought that we LGBTQ+ folks are privileged in a way by not having wedding traditions and gender roles defined for us by generations past. And I’ve believed for just as long that straight folks are, unfortunately, deprived of this experience; but I’d never heard it summed up so succinctly or perfectly before.
I say it over and over again to myself and to my clients.
The gift of queerness is options.
Our LGBTQ+ community has been deprived of many things for many years (and we still are), among them the right to marry whomever we deem worthy, but what always comes in tandem is the necessity to forge our own paths.
We’ve claimed the right and the space to define love, family, partnership, parenting, and so much more in the ways that fit our individual selves and our relationships best. That redefinition spills over into the ways we celebrate our special occasions. Our birthdays and births, our achievements, our holidays, and yes, very much, our weddings.
Would I wish any of the deep emotional wounds, the physical pain, the countless daily microagressions, the systemic oppression upon anyone? Of course not.
But what I would like to share with everyone – yes, even (and especially) straight folks? This incredible gift of queerness.
The gift of choice, of being our truest selves, of loving without shame, of not giving a single, solitary fuck what anyone else thinks about it.
“Not queer like gay; queer like escaping definition.— Brandon Wint
Queer like some sort of fluidity and limitlessness at once.
Queer like a freedom too strange to be conquered.
Queer like the fearlessness to imagine what love can look like… and pursue it.”