"Not much has changed," said Ledon Sweeney of Iowa City, who married his partner of 12 years. "We live pretty boring lives. We go to work; we mow our lawn, we pay our mortgage, and we go on vacation if we can save enough money."
The linked article is about how marriage in Iowa, one year after same-sex marriage was legalized, is pretty much the same as it was before. Fine.
But why do gays need to always stress how boring our lives are? Who do we think we're helping?
This sort of talk gives me nothing but vicarious existential angst; if being bored is the most one can aspire to, then I think someone has a serious problem with finding meaning. It reminds me of this quotation from Yukio Mishima's Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea that bothered me a lot when I first read it but is making more and more sense now:
I asked my old man a question: "Dad, is there any purpose in life?" You know what I was getting at, don't you, what I really meant? Father, can you give me one single reason why you go on living? Wouldn't it be better to just fade away as quickly as possible? But a first-class insinuation never reaches a man like that. He just looked surprised and his eyes bugged and he stared at me. I hate that kind of ridiculous adult surprise. And when he finally answered, what do you think he said? "Son, nobody is going to provide you with a purpose in life; you've got to make one for yourself."
How's that for a stupid, hackneyed moral! He just pressed a button and out came one of the things fathers are supposed to say. And did you ever look at a father's eyes at a time like that? They're suspicious of anything creative, anxious to whittle the world down to something puny they can handle. A father is a reality-concealing machine, a machine for dishing up lies to kids, and that isn't even the worst of it: secretly he believes that he represents reality.
I said it used to bother me. I'm beginning to understand it and know that while Mishima's answer (study, revolution, then public self-disembowelment) isn't mine, it's a question definitely worth posing.
Life's short and we should try to live it to the fullest. While some boredom is to be expected, I just don't get people who love being bored so much that they'll tell a researcher they're constantly bored and a researcher who'd then publish it as a validation of public policy. If anything, someone should equate the boredom with deep suffering and realize that the public policy in question has negative consequences.
Perhaps that's not what the couple meant when they said their lives are boring, that maybe they're having a grand ol' time doing all sorts of crazy things and just told the researcher that they're bored because they think it advances an agenda. Who knows. But I don't think that's the best message to be sending to the youth who are just coming to terms with their sexuality: The most you can hope for is an uneventful life that will soon be forgotten. That makes me choke, my throat constrict with the realization that there there may be nothing to live for.
Why aren't we giving each other something to live for? An exciting life doesn't have to be violence or partying all the time or sex sex sex. A salad made from vegetables you grew yourself is pretty damn exciting to me: the miracles of life and energy and flavor all in a bowl, for you man, for you! Get your head stuck in the books to live in someone else's world for a while, intimately knowing another human being's world according to them.
Because we're free, being gay is freedom. Coming out should be like taking the redpill - you don't have to live like common people.
What if we replace the boredom message with: Being gay will take you places you can't even imagine now, forces you to take your life into your own hands. You'll be introduced to an intimacy, a pleasure, an excitement, and an intellectualism that heterosexuals will never know.
I would have loved for someone to have told me that when I was younger, instead of figuring out that it's entirely true on my own.