Dear Rachel

In an interview she gave to the Hollywood Reporter, Rachel Maddow voiced her opinion on marriage equality:

“‘I feel that gay people not being able to get married for generations, forever, meant that we came up with alternative ways of recognizing relationships,’ she explains. ‘And I worry that if everybody has access to the same institutions that we lose the creativity of subcultures having to make it on their own. And I like gay culture.”


Dear Rachel ~

I am a 39 year old gay man.  I am a huge fan of yours and while I agree with you on almost every issue, I have to tell you that I found your views on marriage equality short-sighted at best.

This isn’t about the preservation of gay culture.  This is about equality, and while I will certainly utilize my right to marry the instant I get it, it is ultimately not about my equality or your equality.  To me, this about our gay children.  Our gay children who should look forward in their lives and see as many choices, options and opportunities as their straight counterparts ~ who should not have to unlearn all they have been taught about themselves.  I couldn’t be prouder of my community for building families and defying laws and odds and norms. I look at those who came before me in utter awe ~ of their strength, their fearlessness, their creativity, their internal fortitude in knowing that there was nothing wrong with them when the world was telling them the exact opposite.  But I want those who come after me to read about our history and our struggles ~ I don’t want them to know firsthand.  It is my most fervent wish that they not fully understand what it was to be gay way back when we could not get married; when we could not adopt and create families which received full protection under the law; when we could be fired from our jobs or evicted from our homes simply for being gay.  Let there be a great, wide generational chasm!  I wish for them an easier path than yours or mine.  That’s why, to me, marriage matters.  It is the same reason that the repeal of DADT mattered.  So that our children can look forward and see no difference.

I have heard from friends and now read your views that this lack of difference is worrisome.  That it will lead to the end of gay culture.  To that I say this:

I would gladly give away my sense of humor as I know it to not have felt tortured as a child when I knew I was gay and I “knew” it was “bad.”  I would gladly give away any creativity I have to never have been taught that parts of this world were closed off to me simply because of who I am.  I am not worried about the loss of gay culture.  I am worried about the loss of gay children ~ at their own hands because they are being tortured at school and on the omnipresent internet.  I am worried about the loss of gay adults at the hands of ignorant, angry people who see in the media their own hate dressed up as a difference of opinion; who see in our laws not a condemnation of their own fears and prejudices, but a reflection of them.  I am not worried about the loss of the next great gay game changer if the reason that they are a game changer stems from their hesitation at holding their boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s hand in public, from their fear of kissing their significant other goodbye at an airport, from the loss of a natural sexual coming of age.  If that is what creates gay culture, then I would just as soon give it all away so that our next generation can grow up average.  Perhaps fewer of us will be special.  Perhaps more of us will be happy.

Sincerely, Ian

Posted on Oct 6, 2011 by Ian In: Current Events/Pop Culture/Politics, Write the Power
« »