Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Howdy, Partner

So, I've been with M.T. for more than two years now, and we're at the stage where I find it odd to refer to him as a boyfriend. We're not boys. We're both in our thirties. We're men. We're two men who are in love and who have been together in a committed relationship for more than two years now--so what are we to refer to each other as?

There are a few options and I hate them all:


It feels strange saying it out loud. I used it once for the first time a week or two ago and I thought to myself: Do they know what I mean by that? Or do they think of M.T. as a business partner? Or maybe they think we moonlight as detectives? Or perhaps they'll think about our collection of Country-Western shirts and assume we're cowboys. I don't know. I don't like it. It doesn't mean love to me. It's partnership. It feels cold and business-like.

Life Partner

Don't like it at all. It's very science fiction. In robot voice: He. Is. My. Life. Partner. Or maybe it's too lesbian. Not sure. It doesn't work. It sounds like robot and smells like granola. Next--

Significant Other

Yeah, let's emphasize other, shall we? No thanks.


Well, gay marriage is illegal and all, but we could have a commitment ceremony or whatever gays do and pretend marriage and then what are we? I refuse husband because husband is what straight people use. Can't do it.

Any ideas? I guess we'll have to create something. We need a gay language. That's what we need. There has to be some level of separation from the straight world.

That's a whole other blog.


divine m said...

Yeah, this is a tough one. Linguistically challenging.

What is the need for a name about? A particular level of being out of the closet? Accuracy? Letting people know that you're fucking each other or making it be known that you're not like the rest of the heterosexist world? The utterance "He's my . . . " in itself denotes ownership regardless of what follows. Naming one's "other" serves the purpose of letting others know they can't have him.

This is a very complex situation, one I once found myself in. I ended up defaulting to "boyfriend" as stupid as it seemed.

I am so mired in academia right now. But I promise a post on the trifecta of queer in a few days. . . .

Kristian said...

I think we like names because a name (boyfriend, fiance, husband) means we have something more than a fella or some guy or whatever. Yet it is ownership. It is claiming a person as yours, so that you can be like: Hands off, bitches. Mine.

And yes, there it is another level of being 'out' here. To say, here's my boyfriend, my lover, my partner--it's yet another way for gays to claim hetero-normalcy. And by that, I mean, it's showing heterosexuals that we can be in committed relationships. It is yet another way for gays and lesbians to show that, hey, we can do this, too. Our love isn't dark and dirty and weird. He isn't "my dark alley fuck" or my "bathroom encounter". It's a relationship. It's love. It's real.

I can't help but be proud of my relationship. To say, yeah, he's my boyfriend or my partner. To be like, yeah, he's mine. I'm lucky. Be jealous. Neh.