Roadrunner Records - Slipknot's hard-hitting, aggressive metal anthems are getting…
- Posted on Nov 10th 2008 2:00PM by Sara Quin
This Week's Theme: CRY
Editor's Note: This week's edition of Laugh, Rage, Cry will be a special one, featuring two individual columns by both Tegan and Sara, who chose to respond to the passing of California's Proposition 8, which rescinds the right for homosexuals to marry.
I have been living in Montreal for six years. Montreal -- and Canada in general -- has the reputation for being a more lenient, understanding and open-minded country. Although I am grateful for the legislation that has made me "equal" in the eyes of the law, you cannot legislate away people's disgust or ignorance. You can't remove the stinging intolerance and slurs of homophobic audience members' words in my ears. For any minority, this seems to come with the territory. What helps me hold my head above water is the understanding that I am legally equal in the eyes of my country. I pay taxes, I obey the law, and I respect my place in the community and strive to be successful in it. I want to be inspiring, a role model. I am fueled by the idea that my life as a message dismantles the public's image of gay people as sexual deviants, as less than, as being abnormal.
Sadly, I've managed to find discordant messages in my own community. The most heartbreaking judgment, the most powerful resistance, is in the hearts of those who are gay themselves. I know this could extend to any minority who developed their sense of self and their self-worth based on projections of "normalcy" in the world around them. We're overwhelmed with institutionalized homophobia, sexism, racism and classism. Feast on this your whole life and it's no wonder most of us battle to accept who we are. I could deconstruct the sexism in the gay community, the apathy of those who can disappear into "normal," who avoid supporting the fringe for fear of being associated with it. It goes beyond sex, or haircuts. It's truly disheartening that we can't come together to demand fairness. It's a human rights issue. Taxation without representation is right, Melissa Etheridge! Shame and fear keep us from demanding tolerance and acceptance. It divides us, our communities, our families and keeps us from connecting to the courage that is needed right now.
I attended a wedding recently. As my cousin walked down the isle, her arm linked with her father's, I was moved to tears. The sudden rush of emotion was complicated for me. I love my cousin, and I felt astounding happiness for her. I watched as her fiancé's eyes welled up with tears and I felt overcome. My parents' wedding photos were my favorite when I was a kid. They divorced when I was five, but I loved the way my mom looked, her dress spread out around her on the lawn of my grandparents' funny brown bungalow. My dad, his hair full of ringlets and his unruly beard, standing with the wedding party, not wearing socks in his shoes. I didn't understand marriage but I loved the ceremony of it. I was sad that my parents' marriage dissolved. I was romantic and I wondered if one day I would have children staring at photos of me on my wedding day. I still do. It's what I want for my life. Marriage, love, kids, strange outfits, and awkward photos of cakes being cut and books being signed. I'm not religious, but my second favorite set of photos are of Tegan and I being baptized. I love how unkempt my parents look holding us, we're blooming out of our baby blankets, in the arms of our relatives. The ceremony. What it means. Burned into my mind, my heart. I want the right to choose that ceremony for my life. To celebrate my relationship and my commitment. As of 2005, I, as a Canadian, can marry. It is truly sad for me to think that there are millions of people like me, who cannot access these rights, these customs.
"Gay marriage" is not what is at stake. It's the right to choose to marry, the right to benefits, the right to adopt, the right to access the same set of rights extended to every citizen in the United States of America. Those rights do not extend to homosexuals. And it's f---ed up. And you should care, straight or gay, white or black. Canadian or American.