Wednesday, 2 June 2010


I'm lucky enough to have befriended a young (oh my god she's 13 years younger than I am!) woman who is highly intelligent with a dynamic personality. Recently, she's come out. Good for her I say! Upon coming out, she hoped for what (I thought) we all hope for: love. What she is finding is in some ways, just the opposite: sex. She's fallen for a girl who thinks that to aim for monogamy is a betrayal of gay. To aim for monogamy and to be gay is hetero-gay.

I have to admit to loving this term. It sounds very much like something I would throw around in my early 20s because it sounds good.

So I wonder - has the term hetero-gay been co-opted from Foucault's 1970 interview, printed in Foucault Live? I don't have access to the text right now, but if I recall correctly, Foucault challenges the gays (and I suppose the lesbians) to live differently; to find new ways of creating love and sex and bonds that are otherwise than those of heterosexuality. He wishes for gays to find ways to exist together beyond those tied to the history of marriage and the asymmetrical power relations that exist therein.

Great, I say! Fantastic! However, once you get to be in your mid-thirties and find that you are one of a handful of people in the world with the right to legally partner with the one you love, ideology goes out the window. Well, it does for me in any case. I am horrified by the stories that come out of America telling tales of couples who have have spent decades together only to be separated by hospital staff in their final days. I'm equally horrified that families, many of whom have had no contact with their gay son or daughter, have the right to take over property and assets with no recognition of the relationship their child was in. Horrified.

Ideology is one thing when you're young but quite another when you're old.

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