Romantic love is not another way to say ‘sex’, even when you’re talking about same-sex couples

My grandfather is 90 and my grandmother is 88 and a half. They have been married since 1946.

They sleep in separate, side by side twin beds because my grandfather’s multiple physical problems cause him to be disruptive in his sleep.

At his 90th birthday party, my mom and my aunt tried to sit on either side of him at the restaurant, so they could feed him, but he insisted that Grandma replace one of them.

Afterwards, back at the house, he was explaining to them that he didn’t care about food, just being next to her.

Remember, they’re in separate beds.

Now, tell me again why same-sex marriage is so different from cis-man-cis-woman marriage? Or why some people act like you’re talking about your sex life or being inappropriate in front of children if you mention a same-sex partner?

I hope I get to sit next to my spouse for 68 years, too.

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About Shira

Queer Jewish feminist author
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5 Responses to Romantic love is not another way to say ‘sex’, even when you’re talking about same-sex couples

  1. That’s a lovely story and so very true. Like somehow same-sex relationships are only ever to do with sex and nothing else just completely belittles everything my (anyone’s) relationship is about.

    • Shira says:

      Thank you!

      It’s such an obvious homophobic microaggression to point out, because all you have to do is look around and there are zillions of examples of straight couples’ love and commitment being recognized in ways that make it clear nobody is thinking about sticky parts when they’re going “awww!”

      Thanks to media representation things are getting better for us very quickly, but I still think there’s a lot of knee-jerk reaction against same-sex romantic interest in children’s media, even if it was on an even tamer level than the straight stuff that’s already in the same stories.

  2. jaelscribble says:

    This is a beautiful story, but so is your wish to sit next to your spouse for the next 68 years.

    That being said, there IS no good reason for why people assume this. Like, literally! I try to point to people the legit research out there that says that same sex marriages tend to last longer. (;

    • Shira says:

      Thanks! Sometimes, if you listen to bigots, you actually start to understand why they don’t want us to have any rights. There are specific myths and falsehoods about us that cause them to come to the conclusions that they do — it reminds me of the little kid who said he was scared of “black people” when he had a black best friend, because he thought the term “black people” referred to a very specific offensive stereotype involving thugs in ski masks. That’s one of the reasons why visibility is so important. It’s not just about making those of us in the group feel less isolated, although that’s probably the most important reason. It’s also so that those outside the group can see who we really are, instead of having only lies to base their opinions from.

      • jaelscribble says:

        I’m not sure I’ve heard a reasonable reason from bigots, but the legal situation is pretty different here in Canada and the bigots don’t get a lot of say other than “this bothers me.”
        That being said, there is some resistance against visibility. It’s fine to hold hands with your girlfriend or whatever, but making out on an escalator, for example, constitutes “flaunting it.” Even though, like you said, people of all sexualities do that, like, all day every day.
        And the same obviously goes for non-standard gender presentation, but I’m not sure if that battle’s been entirely won ANYWHERE.

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