rope tied in knot looking like love heart

We Used to Be Kidnapped by Marriage…

When I was young, I was always told to get good grades at school, enter a well-known university, meet someone nice there and get married. What comes after? Have a few kids, buy a big house, pay off the mortgage and see our days numbered. Somehow, we are all participants in this exhausting race. Nobody’s happy, nobody wins. It is just a matter of survival.

These expectations are like bubbles. When you get closer, they pop. My marriage is not recognised. All the plans and thoughts about living a ‘normal’ life, sink. It’s hard to position our desires, love and lust into this heteronormative world.

I unwrap this box of gift named ‘queer’, and my world has turned upside down. I am sinful; I am sick; I am abnormal. These labels are glued to my skin, and they have been here for way too long. One day, I embrace my sin, my psycho and my uncontrolled desire for being who I truly am. I know I have no way back and a long way to go.

Living with labels and stigma does not only make me stronger, but it also navigates a new direction. I ask myself, our society has already scarred me, and why should I live up to its expectations?

Marriage is a cocoon. It looks nice when you see from a distance, but no one knows what it feels like to be in there. I cannot even expect to hold someone’s hand until we sleep a perpetual sleep.

Marriage is painful privilege. You can all the social recognition you deserve as a human being. But you also sign a series of commitments that have legal, financial and moral complications.

Marriage used to be a weapon. Let’s not forget Jim crow and the Nuremberg Laws.

I will vote YES for the postal survey as many queer folks behind me want to hold their partner’s hand down the aisle. But, please do not forget that marriage, as an institution, has kidnapped not only queer people, but also everyone.

We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.