By Wu Wen-xuan (Born in Taipei, 1986. Wu graduated from the Department of Graphic Communication and Digital Publishing at Shih Hsin University, and has been to Manila, the Philippines and Hanoi, Vietnam to work as a Chinese teacher and journalist. In recent years he has tried to write and record through words and hopes to keep exploring cross-culture and cross-class issues.)
The Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage in late June this year. Many Facebook users have added rainbow filters to their profile pictures to celebrate one of the most powerful countries finally carrying out “equality before law.” The person I used to be would probably applaud the victory along with others, but now I think we should bear a way more open attitude when discussing same-sex marriage from the perspectives of gender, sexual orientation and marriage.
Let’s talk about homosexuals first.
It is easy to tell if one is homosexual if a person is attracted to the same sex. But if a woman who likes men falls in love with a good-looking lesbian, or if a man likes to be with gorgeous transsexuals, are they also homosexuals? Should a transgender with breasts and a penis (whether congenital or acquired) be regarded as man or woman?
There are men who lead ordinary lives with their wives, but cross-dress privately to fulfill certain psychological needs. It’s also possible for homosexuals to be captivated by an attractive opposite sex. There are men who psychologically like women but prefer men physically. There are bisexuals, transgender and asexual people, as well as bisexual, asexual love and so on. A large ambiguous spectrum still exists under gender and sexual orientation. So instead of saying somebody is gay or a lesbian, it’s better to believe our gender and sexual orientation are flexible.
Next, let’s go into what marriage is.
Marrying the person you love seems to be a universal value. We are taught to praise marriage. People scramble to find a life partner. But how many married couples stay together for a lifetime without experiencing what it is like to love and be loved?
There are so many kinds of love; some people enjoy the companion of their partner, while some embrace their partner’s body. Others just indulge themselves in the feeling of being with their partner. Some people are capable of dating more than one person, even to the point they don’t mind sharing their partner with someone else. (Can monogamy be revoked then?)
Moreover, people today don’t hide their intentions for getting married, whether they have political or business interests. Women hunt for relatively rich men so they don’t need to worry about money for the rest of their lives. (An actress who marries a wealthy businessman is a fairy tale, yet foreign brides who marry Taiwanese guys are gold diggers? What a racist idea.) Men are eager to marry a comparatively beautiful woman to satisfy their sexual desire or to give birth to a male heir.
We fall in love and get married; break up and get divorced. We can jump into marriage without love; after all, lovers don’t necessarily get married.
While we are celebrating the legalization of same-sex marriage, we should try to understand that love and lust are flexible. We should decide with our free will who deserves our loyalty and whom to have sex with. (Of course, we need to learn to respect other people’s will. Do we have the right to reprimand public figures for their love affairs, sex parties or being a sex worker?) As for marriage? Forget about it. I can put up with not getting married because I have the ability to love.
Same-sex marriage has its significance, but don’t you think the liberation of sex, sexual orientation and marriage is a better idea to embrace?
Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang
- Same-Sex Marriage
- sexual orientation