February 29th is the day that women can traditionally propose to men. Danni Glover proposes that her marriage to a man could still be a queer one.
My queer identity runs deep. I often laugh when people ask about my coming out story because I’ve actually never really been “in”; in fact, it didn’t occur to me that other people might be anything other than bisexual until I was probably twelve or thirteen, though thankfully I’ve since grown out of that mindset. As I grew up I became involved with community and online activism, passionately devoted to LGBTQ+ causes at home and internationally. The queer community has always felt like home to me and, for the most part at least, I have felt welcomed, celebrated, and loved within it. I’m worried that that’s about to come to an end, though, because this summer I’m getting married.
To a man.
I’m hopeful that we are all too evolved to believe that monogamous bisexual people don’t exist, that we are just experimenting until we decide whether to settle down with a man or a woman, that Alan Cumming is now gay and Anna Paquin is now straight. There isn’t any moral information to be found in a bisexual person being with a particular man or a particular woman exclusively while still being out. So let’s just set that clearly ridiculous argument aside because it doesn’t dignify a response. Though it does worry me somewhat that these bigoted responses often come from lesbians and gay men as much, if not more than, straight people. That’s the reason for my anxiety, really. What if all this time my friends and comrades have thought of me as an alright queer as long as I don’t go too hetero? What if my authenticity depends on this relationship with a man being informal? I won’t feel any less bisexual, but I worry that they might see me that way.
I’m hopeful that we are all too evolved to believe that monogamous bisexual people don’t exist, that we are just experimenting until we decide whether to settle down with a man or a woman, though it does worry me somewhat that these bigoted responses often come from lesbians and gay men as much, if not more than, straight people.
Look, I know how that sounds. I’ve met enough self-loathing queer people to recognise the backpedalling. I can’t help thinking it, stressing over it. Whenever I talk about my wedding plans to my friends, most of whom are not cis-heterosexual people, I stress its informality as if they’re asking me to legitimise it. I tell them that I’m not wearing white, it’s not in a church, we’re doing it on the cheap. We’re not getting married like straight people, I’m thinking, even though that’s exactly what so many of us have struggled to have the right to do. I feel like I’m being a traitor to my politics of class, sexuality, and gender. And maybe I am. The personal is political. We can’t escape it. For me, as a person who has been politically engaged my whole life, I don’t try to escape it.
This is all unfounded, of course, as so many anxieties are. I have three best friends in the world who have known my partner and I forever, all of whom identify as queer, all of whom hugged us with delight when we announced our wedding plans at New Year. They’re all in the wedding party. Not once have any of them suggested I have anything to feel shame about, or that I’m changing as a result of this. My husband-to-be is as supportive and curious as you could ask any community ally to be, and I admire the way he is always self-questioning masculinity and heterosexuality, the supremacy of both, and how he can challenge them. He’s a keeper, so I decided to keep him.
I feel like I’m being a traitor to my politics of class, sexuality, and gender. And maybe I am.
And in every single other way I’m excited about this marriage. Our families get on great, there are tax breaks. Plus, you know, I love him.
I have a history of making life changing or affirming decisions on instinct and emotionally processing them later, but I almost always know when I’m doing the right thing, and I know it this time. I think people are probably inherently monogamous or nonmonogamous in the same way that their sexuality is inherent, and marriage just feels like something I want. To me, it solidifies the stability I crave in every part of my life. I’m the sort of person who needs to know what my schedule is all week and when my pay cheque is arriving. I just see monogamy as a natural extension to that part of my personality, and marriage as a symbolic celebration of me achieving one of the things I want in life. Also, weddings are nice! I want one. But not at the expense of my self.
Our community has a long way to go when it comes to bisexual visibility and acceptance. That’s evident from how worried I feel about introducing someone to my husband the next time we go to Pride. We need to become better at legitimising the relationships of bisexual people to empower them to be politically active and personally satisfied with the people they love. I’m #stillbisexual. If the guy I’m marrying can figure it out, then so can you.
But I ain’t changing my dang name. With a name like Danni Glover, would you?
Follow Danni on Twitter (@danvestite)